Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
"You don't need another big bowl of pasta place in Little Italy," says Scott Harris. He's the wildly successful Chicago restaurateur who has just opened his newest eatery, Davanti Enoteca, right in the heart of the eatin' district on India (at 1655 India). It replaces Zagarella, which had been there for decades.
Harris is explaining why he changed from his original plan, to open another of his Mia Francesca restaurants, which do serve up big pasta-bowl type food up in the Windy City.
Scott Harris at meeting with staff
So this cool, woody, chandeliered restaurant is aiming at a higher-level clientele.
Chef Luigi Negroni and other crew listening to Harris
But it will soon compete with La Villa, being built right now right across the road in the style of a traditional Italian, well, villa, complete with faux shutters.
Staffers at Buon Apetito say La Villa should open in "about a month."
Waiting for a sign...
La Villa adds to an expanding Italian empire -- Harris's neighbors own a solid rack of restaurants between Date and Cedar, from Solunto to Buon Apetito to Sogno di Vino, The Market by Buon Apetito, and La Terrazza.