Have you ever traveled to an international city on vacation and discovered the most amazing food and then tried to figure out how you can bring it home with you? Well, Tim McEnery of Cooper’s Hawk had that same experience, only he made it happen! Read about how Piccolo Buco and Cooper’s Hawk are bringing Roman Pizza to Chicago.
Piccolo Buco by Luca Issa & Cooper’s Hawk
Introducing Piccolo Buco, by Chef Luca Issa of Piccolo Buco Roma and Cooper’s Hawk Winery and Restaurants, where you will find the most delicious and unique Roman pizza.
The magic of Chef Luca’s pizza comes down to the extraordinary crust that is light and airy inside and yet has a tall crispy edge. Watch the video and see what happens to the dough as it bakes.
I was invited to the media celebration where I talked with Chef Luca about his cooking style, the ingredients he uses, where the recipes for his dishes come from and how he met the founder of Cooper’s Hawk. A collaboration destined to happen!
“When in Rome, Liz and I happened upon a charming spot called Piccolo Buco. The pizzas were so beautifully crafted with fresh, simple ingredients and unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I’m so excited to share this with our Guests and Wine Club Members.” Tim McEnery, Founder, Cooper’s Hawk
Chef Luca was born and raised in the shadow of the Trevi Fountain. The original Piccolo Buco Roma was created by his family. Just five years ago, he took over Piccolo Buco on Via del Lavatore. It is considered to have the best pizza in Rome.
The talented team behind the Cooper’s Hawk brand have continued in their new restaurant concept to exceed the expectations of their guests and Wine Club Members. The food is absolutely incredible from antipasti through dessert with wine and cocktails perfectly aligned with the flavors of the menu items. Using authentic ingredients sourced in Italy including tomatoes from Puglia and an artisan salumi maker in Chicago following Luca’s grandmother’s recipe, guests will experience the Piccolo Buco way.
A suggestion as a way to try Cooper’s Hawk wine if you aren’t familiar is to enjoy a Gusti wine experience. A selection of four wines are presented to you in a tower along with a guide that not only tells you the type of wine but also describes their profiles in sweetness, tannin, acidity, alcohol, personality, pairing and taste. Wine education is a very important part of the Wine Club which makes this information so valuable.
“Borrowing from the Italian tradition of small wine tastings called Gusti Di Vini, Piccolo Buco offers a Gusti Bar for guests to sample and continue their wine discovery. “
Chef Luca introduced his favorite ingredients to us on a marble presentation board with a sampling of each chosen item. From yellow tomatoes to homemade focaccia to his grandfather’s recipe for salami, each had a story and purpose.
Piccolo Buco’s location is at Oakbrook Center just outside of Chicago. The restaurant is a welcoming and comfortable experience with indoor and patio seating.
As you review the menu, you will notice that the pizza is shown in three sauce categories: red, yellow or white. With its light, airy crust, the best tool to cut the pizza is a scissors. While everything on this menu is a must-try, here is what we ordered and highly recommend:
Ahi Tuna Carpaccio
Crispy Stuffed Squash Blossoms
Luca Issa Caesar
Four Cheese Yellow Pizza
Fungo White Pizza
Cacio e Pepe
Mama Luca’s Tiramisu
Summer Peach and Blueberry Crostada
The culinary travel writer side of me is excited to visit Chef Luca in Rome to see where the recipe magic originated. What I know for sure is Piccolo Buco is going to be a fabulous addition to the Cooper’s Hawk family. To see our whole dining experience and to watch the uniqueness of this pizza being made, visit Inspiring Kitchen’s Instagram post. Don’t forget to make your reservations!