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Adding a twist to the traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony, Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico (pictured center) joined Founder & Executive Chef Mark Grimes (from left), Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Nicki Anderson, and Owners Mae & John P. Calamos, Sr., in cutting a 12-foot ribbon made of pasta to kick off the Grand Opening reception for Che Figata (pronunciation: /kay fah-GAH-tah) Wednesday, May 30.
At the helm of the kitchen is Grimes, whose vast global experience at top hotels and restaurants led him to create Che Figata. He hopes walking into the restaurant will be the ultimate exhale moment for guests. “Every element of Che Figata is special, says Grimes. “With our authentic food, dedication to quality sourcing, dynamic marketplace and zealous team, we live out the meaning of Che Figata.”
Che Figata’s menu features a creative take on regional Italian favorites prepared with careful, traditional cooking methods. The simple, yet bold flavors take guests on a journey through southern Italy spotlighting the coast and land among the menu of starters and small plates, Roman-style pizza, house-made pastas, grilled meats and seafood, and desserts. Grimes ensures the vibrant fare is created authentically by championing quality-sourced ingredients imported from Italy, locally-sourced meat and eggs, and house-made specialties (i.e. pastas, sauces, giardiniera) embodying the Italy-to-Table experience. Menu highlights include the shareable Midollo Con Fave e Capperi – bone marrow spread onto a crostini topped with truffle, charred caper berry, fava bean, rose cipollini marmalade and wild cherry; the Salamino Piccante pizza – Roman-style pie with spicy charred pepperoni, caramelized cipollini, Calabrian pepper, buffalo mozzarella and Parmigiano Reggiano; Linguine e ‘Nduja – house-made tagliatelle with ‘Nduja, garlic, lemon-pistachio pesto, cipollini, fava bean, San Marzano tomato and Pecorino Tuscano; Ossobuco 24 Ore – a 24-hour braised veal shank along pecorino soft polenta, lemon-infused olive oil and gremolata; and Pescespada al Samoriglio – swordfish with charred lemon, Italian parsley, fresh oregano, capers and an orange and arugula salad. Specialty desserts include indulgent Gelato – Italian-style ice cream available by the scoop or served as a trio in fresh pistachio wafer cups, as well as the Torta All’Olio di Oliva – olive oil cake served with fig compote, blood orange syrup and honey mascarpone cream.
In the natural pairing of Italian fare and wine, Che Figata boasts an impressive wine program featuring a highly curated selection of Italian varietals with more than 50 wines available by the quartino and 100 available by the bottle. The regional wine list showcases an intimate focus on authenticity guests will feel in every subtilty at the restaurant. Hand-crafted cocktails round out the beverage program, offering Italian classics such as the Spritz and Bellini along with unique creations including the Olive Oil Martini and Lemon Aloe Refresher.
Che Figata’s marketplace makes it easy for guests to take “Italy-to-Home.” From house-made items such as pastas, broths and sauces to Italian-imported cheeses and specialty products, Italian wines, Italian cook-and-serve ware, fresh bread and take-home meal kits, the market offers a little something for everyone.
The 7,500 square-foot space evokes feelings of the Amalfi Coast with rich hues of blue among mosaic tiles and leather and suede-lined booths. A floor-to-ceiling trellis brings the space to life while feeling naturally bright and airy. The open kitchen provides guests an uninterrupted view into the creation of the cuisine, while those desiring an even more intimate look will enjoy the expansive chef’s counter seating where dishes are freshly prepared in front of them. The kitchen is equipped with innovative Hestan French Top stoves, a state-of-the-art Woodstone wood-burning pizza oven, a Grillworks grill and pasta makers, all utilized to deliver a standout culinary experience.
Che Figata will serve lunch and dinner daily and is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For additional information about Che Figata, please visit www.chefigatakitchen.com, follow on Facebook or Instagram @chefigatakitchen and follow on Twitter @chefigatakitch.