Michelin Announces 2020 Stars for Chicago
by Ashok Selvam and Daniel Gerzina

Just over 130 restaurants worldwide hold three stars, Michelin’s highest accolade, a category signifying “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” Two stars mean “excellent cooking, worth a detour,” while one star means “high quality cooking, worth a stop.” Take a look at the full 2020 list for Chicago... read more...


The Best and Worst Chicago Restaurant Week Deals For Five Popular Cuisines
by Elizabeth Atkinson

There were a solid amount of good deals for Italian this year, including solid bets at Ceres’ Table, Formento’s, and Il Porcellino. But Nico Osteria knocked it out of the park with a dinner menu that surpasses a $60 value with any choices. It’s a four-course meal, with nearly all dishes available on the regular menu (there’s only a slight change to the dessert torte available and the addition of truffle to the cacio e pepe), and a solid smattering of everything that Nico does well. This one’s a Restaurant Week must.


Michelin Announces Chicago’s 2019 Bib Gourmand List
by Ashok Selvam

The 2019 Michelin Bib Gourmand list features nine newcomers among the 58 Chicago restaurants in this year’s group. That’s a four-restaurant bump from last year when Michelin named 54 Chicago restaurants to its “short list.” Bib Gourmands honor “quality restaurants that have menu items that offer two courses and a glass of wine or dessert for $40 or less (excluding tax and gratuity).” Five restaurants dropped off from last year. read more...


Michelin Unveils Chicago's 2018 Bib Gourmands
by Ashok Selvam

Michelin's Bib Gourmand list is revered by travelers as a sign of a quality meal at an affordable price. This 2018 list marks the tire company's seventh year in Chicago, as the tire company released this year's winners in late October. For 2018, Michelin has put together a guide with 54 restaurants in Chicago. read more...

Chicago Tribune

Where to eat before, after Cubs playoff games
by Phil Vettel

Wrigleyville abounds in dining options, but when you filter out the sports bars, your choices become decidedly fewer. Not that I have anything against sports bars. But on days when the Cubs are playing (and there are home games Tuesday, Wednesday and, Harry willing, Thursday), Wrigleyville's sports hangouts start filling up two hours before game time and are packed solid when the game is over. For pregame and postgame dining, these joints are tough to get into. So here are my picks for more attainable pregame and postgame dining, where the food is good and tables are generally available. These aren't the best places to watch the game -- many of these picks don't even have TVs -- but they're terrific before-and-after spots, and all are within walking distance of the Friendly Confines.

Ceres' Table, 3124 N. Broadway. One of the best pizza-and-pasta places in the city (gluten-free pastas available). Sundays through Thursdays, a small pizza, glass of wine/beer and dessert is $22 (at the bar only).

Chicago Tribune

62 Great Outdoor Dining Spots in Chicago and Suburbs
by Phil Vettel

Ceres' Table. Fine food and great people watching at Ceres' sidewalk cafe. 3124 N. Broadway, 773-922-4020.

Men' Book

Getting the Boot
by Lisa Shames

Ceres’ Table
Even when Giuseppe Scurato found himself cooking at non-Italian restaurants early on in his career, Italian touches would find their way into his food. “It’s in my DNA,” says the Sicilian-born chef. “It’s always there.” And we are glad it is. At his Lakeview restaurant, Scurato features dishes from all over the Boot, although he has a soft spot for those from the South, including the Sicilian seafood stew pictured above. After a recent trip to the region, Scurato returned with new ideas (and perhaps a little homesickness too). “Even though I was born and raised there, I always find things I’ve never seen before,” he says. A new discovery in Chicago of Piennolo tomatoes from the region of Campania—the area’s rich lava soil imparts a unique flavor—has Scurato particularly excited. Look for them in a pasta dish with salt cod, white wine and garlic. 3124 N. Broadway, 773.922.4020

Marriott Traveler

Pizza Fanatic: Sonia Gil Goes Deep for the Best Pizza in Chicago
by Sonia Gill

Chicagoans are into their deep-dish pizza, but that’s not all they’re about. They’re about pizza in general. Join Sonia as she tries some of the best pizza in Chicago at local hot spots including MyPie and Ceres’ Table.


Italian Charcuterie Inspires Reverence and Innovation
by Joy Manning

Saluting Salumi
Italian salumi is as central to the national cuisine as pasta. Thanks to an increasing appretite for the regional cooking styles of Italy, more chefs are creating salumi in-house instead of simply importing sausages from the motherland.

For Giuseppe Scurato of Ceres' Table in Chicago, salumi-making isn't just a well-honed kitchen skill. To him, it represents a way of life. Scurato went to culinary school near his native Sicily, where all the ancient methods of grinding, seasoning, encasing and curing meats were part of the five-year program for every student.

"At its heart, charcuterie is all about craft. It connects the past with the future and brings back old techniques," he says. And all of those techniques are back in a big way.

"When I made charcuterie at Spago in 1997, we couldn't sell a sausage to save our lives," he laments. Today, Scurato prides himself on items like lonza cotta, a preparation of pork loin he learned in a tiny village in Northern Italy. The fat cap and skin are left on the pork for lonza cotta, which is brined for three days before it's slow-poached in pork fat and cooled.

Most diners have never had anything like it. "I wanted to put something special on our menu that would really make our charcuterie program stand out," says Scurato. It's these unique regional specialties and strict adherence to Italian tradition that makes his program different. "What I love most about salumi is that it's an endless education process," he notes.


The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Chicago
by Kailley Lindman

Ceres' Table
What you're getting: Venison osso buco

After relocating from Uptown to bustling East Lakeview last year, new life was breathed into this well-loved, seasonally inspired restaurant. Despite the considerably more spacious digs and bigger crowds, the heart and soul of Ceres’ Table remains the same: Sicilian-leaning regional Italian plates like venison osso buco, spaghettone cacio e pepe, and bistecca Fiorentina. And thanks to a new wood-burning oven, the kitchen is now slinging four varieties of perfectly blistered pizzas, too.

Chicago Traveller

The Chicago New Restaurant Rundown of 2014

Ceres' Table
Ceres’ Table excels in regional Italian cuisine. Their food and atmosphere is obviously the first thing that will attract you, but I love all of their options for dining. They provide something for everyone– from the traditional dining experience, to their drink/pizza/dessert special and 3-course menu offering. The couches implemented into the seating are a very nice touch. For an exquisite dinner, go with the smoked swordfish (for uniqueness and taste) and end it with the salted caramel budino. If you aren’t feeling super adventurous, their pizza is spot on.

Chicago Magazine

Four New and Updated Restaurant Reviews for September
by Penny Pollack
September, 2014

Ceres' Table
ITALIAN. Sicilian-born Giuseppe Scurato grabs you by the palate and never lets go as he sends out inspired takes on regional Italian in his handsome and enlarged new Ceres’ location. The dishes are designed for sharing and sampling over Italian-accented cocktails and compelling Italian wines, from terrific chewy pizzas out of the wood-burning oven to platters of artisanal salumi and formaggi to crudo, antipasti, and pastas. Sweet deep-water Royal Red shrimp cured in lemon oil and served with grilled fennel and bottarga (salted pressed fish roe); saffron rice balls (arancine) filled with artichokes and Taleggio with basil aïoli and tomato sauce; and hand-rolled pici pasta with spicy sausage all warrant your attention. If one of the spot-on servers recommends a salted caramel budino with chocolate biscotti, take heed.

Dinner nightly. Wheelchair accessible, child friendly, outdoor dining. $$


The 18 Best Pizzas In Chicago, 2014 Edition
by Melissa McEwen

Ceres’ Table
Ceres' Table uses their pizza as a showcase for Italy’s fantastic tradition of cured meats. My favorite is the Calabrese, which is a palette of fresh-made cow’s milk mozzarella (called flor di latte), Calabrian chili and caramelized onions made for nduja, a spicy sausage so gloriously fatty that it literally melts into the pizza. Balance it out with a selection from their excellent wine list.

Chicago Tribune

Restaurant review: Ceres' Table ★★
by Phil Vettel

The success of Ceres' Table in its original Uptown location was a culinary mystery. Set across the street from a cemetery and next door to the infamous Lincoln Towing company, Giuseppe Scurato's restaurant sat on a street that literally was the last place any Chicagoan wanted to end up.

"We joked that people were dying to get in there," Scurato says.

This didn't prevent the restaurant from doing respectable numbers and earning four consecutive Bib Gourmand designations (for good food and significant value) from the Michelin Guide. But good was not great.

"We did OK for four years," Scurato says. "I picked the location because it was inexpensive, and I expected the neighborhood to improve. But it never changed."

Enter restaurant veterans Scott Manlin and Caryn Struif of All Day Hospitality, who were about to take possession of Dale Levitski's Frog N Snail space. "The same week, Giuseppe called and told me he was having location issues," Struif says. "I thought we were presented with a gift."

In very short order, a partnership was formed, and Scurato found himself with a space twice the size of the original Ceres', a well-equipped kitchen and a brand-new, wood-burning oven. "We had to assemble it brick by brick and custom-vent it," Struif says. "It was well worth it."

But the real appeal was the location, on a heavily trafficked stretch of Broadway and an "extremely supportive" (Struif's words) neighborhood. "We get as many walk-ins as we get reservations," says Scurato. "We never had that before."

Ceres' never had so deep a beverage program before, either, nor a front-room staff this clever and personable. And in terms of the kitchen, well, cooking has never been Scurato's problem.

From the new wood burning oven, Scurato cranks out tasty, thin-crust pizzas with cornmeal bottoms and slightly chewy, blistered crusts. Of the six varieties offered daily (there may be a special besides), I'm fond of the Calabrese version, dotted with smears of nduja (spreadable pork sausage) and no shortage of lively Calabrian chilies. From the plancha (plancia, to keep it Italian) come large, head-on prawns, fragrant with garlic and brightened by caramelized orange and capers.

Scurato is unafraid to mess with tradition; I remember the arancini from his original location, improbably stuffed with oxtail but absolutely delicious; on this menu, he takes on vitello tonnato, often not the prettiest plate the world. He gives the classic veal and tuna sauce a linear presentation (circular is more typical) and decorates the top with pink beets, thin-sliced radish, oregano flowers and parsley leaves. Flavorwise, the dish is unchanged, though the beets add fleeting bits of sweetness. But it's beautiful.

Another colorful composition involves swordfish carpaccio. The swordfish has been smoked, giving it unexpected depth of flavor (abetted by very good olive oil and Sicilian sea salt), and he tops the generous square of fish with lemon zest, oregano and bright-red neonata (a spicy fish condiment). If Jackson Pollock redesigned the Italian flag, it might look like this.

House-made pastas are primi sized but large enough to share. A little ground pork liver gives the pappardelle bolognese a sense of rusticity, even as summer truffles and grana padano cheese add luxury. I could barely discern the swordfish in the gemelli pasta, but warmed cherry tomatoes and a finishing hint of mint made it a pleasant dish regardless.

The large-plate options, of which there are four, are the only dishes that cross the $20 threshold. Of these, whole-grilled orata (sea bream) with a salmorigano dressing is a wonderful dish, the fish's sweet flesh contrasted by the bed of rapini underneath; and porchetta romana, generously seasoned with fennel, rosemary and garlic, is a conspicuous hit as well. Pollo al mattone is a good-looking bird, but the chicken's flavor can't compete with the other entrees. And those splurging on beef can tackle the 32-ounce, $65 bistecca fiorentina, a massive porterhouse that comes with a side dish and is easily shared.

Desserts are few in number, but mighty. Pastry chef Leticia Zenteno adds a twist to affogato by pouring room-temperature espresso anglaise over vanilla gelato (instead of hot espresso), and she makes a nice pistachio panna cotta, topped with whipped cream, whole pistachios and a chocolate-chip vanilla biscotti. Best of the bunch is the salted-caramel budino, a pudding-in-a-glass made with rum-laced custard, salted caramel and whipped cream over a crushed-Oreo base.

The all-Italian wine list numbers more than 100 bottles, most of them at budget-friendly prices. There are also a dozen craft beers and 10 signature cocktails (the Lazy Hitman, a negroni with a blood-orange accent, is quite good), nearly all of them under $10. Which makes Ceres', named for the goddess of grain, a good place to seek out the brewed and distilled stuff.

All in all, the Lakeview version of Ceres' Table, while just 5 months old, is superior to its predecessor in nearly every way. Except that the new neighbors are a lot noisier.


Here Are 5 Exciting Wine Lists In Chicago
by John Lenart

Ceres’ Table - 3124 N. Broadway
Here’s another Italian restaurant with a wine list that intrigues me. Partner and beverage director Scott Manlin has assembled a wine list that he plans on changing with the seasons. Instead of listing wines by the grape variety or region, the list at Ceres’ Table presents the wines by style. Manlin explains "The list is organized by style and feel of the wine as opposed to by grape variety. This was done in order to make the lesser known grape varieties more accessible and approachable to our customers as well as to facilitate staff familiarity with more obscure grapes and wine growing areas. Our goal is to have a broad and approachable list rather than great depth in any one area."

List Focus: 100 percent Italian featuring 18 of the 22 principal growing regions of Italy.

Size of bottle list: 145 labels ranging in price from $34 to $180 per bottle.

Glass pour offerings: This is one of the more interesting glass programs lists in the city. Offering both by the glass (150 ml pour) and by the carafe (375 ml pour.) This includes 2 Proseccos, 6 whites, 6 reds and three dessert wines. Glass pours range from $9 to $15 and carafes range from $18 to $30. On the weekends they also do a selection of higher end wines from the list, sometimes poured from large format bottles. These wines range from $13 to as much as $22. While 22 bucks might seem like a lot for a glass of wine, that’ll get you a 2006 Barolo!

Vintage Range: 2004 to Current vintages

Hidden Gems: 2012 Danilo Thomain Enfer d'Arvier Petite Rouge Val d'Aoste $84


16 Restaurants To Find Housemade Charcuterie In Chicago
by Brett Hickman

The recently relocated Ceres’ Table is making their own lonza cotta (brined and poached pork loin), porchetta di testa (cured and rolled pig face), along with pork liver sausage (bacon, mascarpone and saba, which is a sweet syrup made from grape juice). For the porchetta di testa, chef Giuseppe Scurato debones the whole pig head before marinating it for three days in garlic, salt, pepper and lemon zest. He then rolls the head in cheese cloth and plastic before sous viding the whole thing low for nine hours.

Chicago Magazine

10 Places Everyone's Talking About and Dining at in July

by Penny Pollack

Ceres' Table: Bigtime pasta fans in CT's new ZIP code know Uptown's loss is Lake View's gain. 3124 Broadway, 773-922-4020

Serious Eats

Chef Curtis Duffy of Grace on Where to Eat in Chicago

Favorite New Restaurant: Ceres' Table. That restaurant is fantastic. I never went in there when it was Frog 'n Snail, and I've only heard it was really dark and didn't fit the neighborhood. I didn't expect for the restaurant to be as big as it was. It was deceiving how big the space is. The staff were very friendly and gracious and I felt immediately walking in that it was neighborhood people and a neighborhood restaurant. It felt like it's meant to be there and I think they'll be very successful. I had the swordfish crudo, which I enjoyed and the pastas were good. Arugula salad was the best part of the meal, with house-made ricotta.

Chicago Tribune

The season is ripe with new and soon-to-open restaurants. Here's where to chow down.

by Phil Vettel

Ceres' Table: Giuseppe Scurato moved his highly regarded Uptown Italian to new, larger and prettier digs in Lakeview. The space boasts a wood-burning oven that will enable Scurato to add pizzas to his menu mix. After years operating across the street from a cemetary, Scurato will undoubtedly appreciate the higher energy here. Open. 3124 N. Broadway, 773-922-4020


A Neonata Take on Crudo at Chicago's Ceres' Table

by Chandra Ram

We love crudos of all kinds, but are accustomed to fairly light condiments dressing these delicate dishes—a little acid, a light herb or two, a hit of good oil, but nothing too bold. So the smoked swordfish carpaccio dotted with neonata at the newly reopened Ceres' Table in Chicago was that much more intriguing when it hit the table. Executive Chef Giuseppe Scurato serves an elegant plate of thinly sliced smoked swordfish seasoned with this Calabrian chili fish sauce, made with "baby fish" like anchovies and sardines, and mixed with the region's famous chili peppers. Think of it as a cross between garum and chili sauce, perfect for dressing everything from crudi to pizza. The small doses of heat perfectly compliment the delicately smoked swordfish in this dish, which is finished with lemon zest, fresh oregano, and chives. This is crudo, amplified.


Lunchbreak: Ceres' Table chef Giuseppe Scurato makes arancini

1# Arboro rice
3 quarts vegetable stock
1 tsp saffron
3 artichokes, trimmed & thinly sliced
1 Tbs truffle paste
1 onion, diced
1 cup white wine
1.5 cups Taleggio
1 cup Parmesan
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
3 eggs
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 quart canola oil
salt and pepper

Over medium heat, sweat the diced onion in olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and toast for a few minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and slowly add the vegetable stock making a risotto. Halfway through, add the trimmed and thinly sliced artichokes and saffron. Cook the risotto al dente. Finish off the heat with Parmesan cheese, butter, and truffle paste/sauce. Spread the risotto on a sheet pan and let it cool off. Once the rice is cold make 2 oz. balls and fill them with a piece of Taleggio cheese. Use the flour, beaten eggs, and panko to bread the risotto balls. In a shallow pan bring the oil to 375 degrees; fry the arancini until golden brown.


Look Around the New Ceres' Table, Now Open
by Daniel Gerzina

The new and larger Ceres' Table location in Lakeview, relocated from Uptown, is officially open for business. Diners will recognize some of the bones from the last restaurant here, Frog N Snail, while simultaneously being reminded of Ceres' Table Uptown.

The space has a similarly bright color scheme as the original while incorporating modern art and muted wallpaper. Stone tiles and reclaimed wood are prevalent, most notably on a kitchen counter that surrounds a wood-burning oven and as a base for booths. Victorian-style couches are a classy touch at some tables. A 16-seat patio sits out front.

The whole space seats 100 and is open everyday.

Chef Giuseppe Scurato has made himself at home in Uptown.
by David Tamarkin

"Years ago, when chef Giuseppe Scurato left BOKA and landed at Burr Ridge's Topaz Café, I begged and coerced and guilt-tripped a friend until she finally drove me there. It was all about getting my hands on one of his steaks. Cooked on the pinker side of medium-rare and paired with some sort of luscious potato, they encapsulate everything I love about Scurato's food. Which is that it's very simple. And yet the flavors are just mammoth.

Obviously, when I started eating meals at Scurato's new restaurant, Ceres' Table (the first the chef has owned), I couldn't help but have beef on the brain. The flat iron steak tasted just as good as always. And yet eating it was palpably different than before. Where BOKA tipped upscale, and Topaz held court in a fancy strip mall (for post-shopping dining, I guess), Ceres' is as unassuming and quiet as a neighborhood joint can get. Here, Scurato's wife greets you at the door and handles the coat check. And that shy food runner who wordlessly puts the plates in front of you—that's Scurato himself. In this setting, the big flavors on the plate are loud in a different way: It's no longer the volume of trendy dining, but of a large family meal.

That familial feeling works precisely because of how uncomplicated—but highly flavorful—this food is. Baby octopus—tender, with nice charred edges—is simply cloaked in a fresh puttanesca. A chunky Tuscan bean soup is well executed and textbook, save a punchy pile of sun-dried tomato in its center. And soft gnocchi, one of Scurato's signatures, gets tossed in an addictive pesto and plated with rich shreds of rabbit.

Entrées are even bigger in flavor: The fantastic pork loin is wrapped in thick bacon and plated with chestnuts and apples for a smoky, nutty, caramelly effect. The perfectly cooked chicken has herbs rubbed under its skin and arrives with big disks of potatoes slathered in a provençal-herb-tomato sauce. And, of course, there's that steak, flanked by lemon potatoes and roasted tomatoes. These are familiar flavors for sure—Scurato obviously didn't invent the concept of pork with apples, or steak with potatoes. But because the place is completely void of pretense, a little unoriginality is easy to forgive.

Following dishes like these—and, for that matter, the fabulous dishes as well—Leticia Zenteno's desserts are a necessity. In her years with Scurato (she, too, was at BOKA and Topaz), Zenteno has developed a style of dessert that is both restrained and familiar, and right now she's hitting a stride. The homey banana-chocolate bread pudding is the most rustic option, and it's a good one. But I liked the way the carrot cake arrived with sweet, crunchy carrot shavings on top, and I loved the intensity of the creamy pistachio crème brûlée. Most of all, I liked the rice pudding, which arrived dotted with crisped rice, crunchy brittle and beautiful cherries. It was a five-dollar dessert that I would have paid ten for, and that, like a lot of the food here, I can't wait to pay for again.

Scurato's Secret
Ceres' Table isn't Italian–but some of it's best dishes are.

Giuseppe Scurato insists Ceres' Table isn't an Italian restaurant.

The menu of his month-old Uptown restaurant is inspired by his native Italy, his culinary background and, says Scurato, "things I like to eat."

If a label must be pinned, the "modern American" catchall fits best. Scurato has cooked in America for decades--notably as chef of Boka and Landmark--and Ceres's menu jumps from crab Louie to garlic-flecked bouillabaisse. But the dishes that exude the most personality are those linked to his motherland.

Like hearty strozzapreti pasta: Dense strings of house-made rolled pasta curl around a deliciously woodsy, rough-hewn boar ragù laced with wild mushrooms.

Tripe--when it makes an occasional appearance--shouldn't be missed. Recently, it came dressed in a style Scurato learned from his grandmother, which eschews the traditional tomato base for more subtle, stewy sauce of braising liquid, bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano. A new dish is in testing-mode; tender pieces of braised tripe coated with spices and polenta and deep-fried until crisp.

His ode to Italian rice is a dessert home run. Acquerello rice (special aged rice) appears two ways: sweetened and puréed into a sauce; and in a classic rice pudding stirred with crème fraîche and brandy-plumped dried cherries. The garnish, though, is pure Americana: clusters of Rice Krispies (yes, from the box) bound with dark caramel.

October, 2009

This soon-to-open Uptown spot from chef Giuseppe Scurato (most recently of Topaz Cafe in Burr Ridge) stays true to its name—Ceres is the Roman goddess of agriculture—with an ever-changing menu of seasonal and locally focused fare. Scurato's contmporary American menu is informed by his time working with Wolfgang Puck in California and Michael Kornick (MK) here in Chicago, as well as his European training and Southern Italian roots. In addition to daily specials, look for dishes such as country-style pate; gnocchi with rabbit confit, arugula pesto and pecorino; and flat-iron steak with lemon-roasted potatoes and shallot fondue. Ceres' Table will be BYOB to start, with a liquor license expected in the first month or so.

America's 10 Best New Restaurants

Giuseppe Scurato (formerly of Topaz Café in Burr Ridge) set out on his own, opening this serene, blue-walled venture with his wife. From the moment you're seated at the rustic, hammered wood tables, the dedication shows. A first course of arancini, oozing with a mixture of Taleggio, artichoke and saffron risotto, is both honest and luxurious. Shaved artichoke and mushroom salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano and arugula in truffle vinaigrette is the epitome of spring. (Seasonality and use of local bounty is a big deal here.) Pasta dishes may range from goat cheese ravioli with rock shrimp, grape tomato, fava beans, leeks and basil to spaghetti alla chitarra. Even the flat-iron steak woos from its bed of lemon-roasted potatoes and grilled romaine. Desserts might include banana chocolate bread pudding with hot fudge and butterscotch sauce. Add craft cocktails and a well-matched, approachable wine list, and the result is nothing short of bliss.