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in Uptown or Lawrence on the Red line

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Fame da Lupo

View Map1463 W. Leland Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 334-9800
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Editorial Review of Fame da Lupo

It's the little touches, sometimes, that make a restaurant memorable. The owners of Fame da Lupo like to talk, and they like to talk to you about what you, the customer, would like, often to the point of changing their recipes on the fly to adjust your tastes. In fact, everything seems to be done with a sense of playfulness here.

The color scheme fits right in with that idea. The light red and green hues vaguely recall Italy, but the colors could just as easily represent Bulgaria. Eastern European influences are, after all, present in the predominantly Italian menu. One of the toppings available is lukanka, a type of spicy salami sausage unique to Bulgaria. Likewise, potato is available as a topping here, much more a hallmark of European pizza toppings than here stateside.

Prices on these pies are a little higher than average for their overall quality, with a personal 10-inch pie running from $9-$10 and a 16-inch large deluxe topping out at $22. Fame da Lupo is more interesting in its other offerings. For a unique treat, order from the sandwich menu. Its eponymous sandwich is $6, and features a hearty serving of lukanka, feta cheese and lutenitza. For the uninitiated, lutenitza is somewhat akin to a tapenade made with roasted red pepper. If you feel like staying in more familiar territory that has something of a unique twist, try the sauteed mushrooms: At $6, they swim in hot butter and are topped with a bit of dill that somehow ties all the flavor together in a surprisingly nice way.

Fame da Lupo translated as "hunger of the wolf" - is BYOB, so your mouth can be alive with juices like wine here, but you're going to have to hunt after them and bring them in yourself.

Average cost: <$10

Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman

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11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

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chicago, metromix