Andrew and I came across Panozzo’s Italian Market a while ago when we had one of the most disappointing meals ever at Waffles in the South Loop. Not only is Panozzo’s a market and an eatery, but it is also a cozy venue for their foodie events! Last night, we checked out the Adult Afterhours event, which was technically a grown-up soda fountain, but we didn’t really focus on the drinks. Instead, we bee-lined for the yummy tarts!
They had a yummy savory galette of spring greens, cremini mushrooms and pecorino (Figure 1). Although there was probably a pound of butter in that crust, this tart tasted light and healthy. Perhaps I was biased with all the vegetables… It was so appetizing we had to go for seconds.
There were also two dessert tarts. The first was a strawberry tart (Figure 2), which was then topped with some basil gelato from Zarlengo’s, olive oil and balsamic reduction. All I can say is WOW. The strawberries were enhanced by the olive oil and balsamic reduction, and the basil gelato added an elegant, smooth texture to this dessert.
Finally, the lemon rosemary tart was a crunchy rosemary, bowl-shaped crust with a scoop of Zarlengo’s flavorful lemon-ricotta gelato and a side of pistachios (Figure 3). Although this was probably my least favorite tart because of the extra crunchy crust, the lemon, rosemary and pistachios worked extremely well together.
I had never heard of Zarlengo’s Italian Ice and Gelato, but this is definitely a place to go for dessert! Their gelato on the tarts really impressed me, and the mango sorbet bar (Figure 4) Tommy Zarlengo served amazed me even more! It was covered with milk chocolate and topped with smoked sea salt, chilies and lime. This dessert would be perfect for a hot summer day after a large meal. It has some flaming culinary flavors; yet, it’s doesn’t take up too much gut space.
To pair with the sorbet bar, Zarlengo’s was serving a play off of a root beer float: a lemon sorbet and IPA float (Figure 5). If you enjoy IPA’s, I highly suggest you put some lemon sorbet in it next time!
Panozzo’s also brought out a beautifully plated charcuterie plate (Figure 6) that brought me temporarily back to Spain. The meats were so thinly sliced and paired nicely with the freshly made mozzarella and olives (Figure 7). Panozzo’s really demonstrated their trade with this plate.
And right before we were about to leave, our friend Patrick who works there showed us how they make mozzarella! They start out with a ton of cheese curds (Figure 8), and add hot or boiled water to them (Figure 9).
Then wait a couple minutes for the curds to fuse together, and start folding the mozzarella (Figure 10 and 11).
Finally, form a ball (Figure 12) with the mozarrella and place it in a cooled brine.
To serve, chop the ball into slices (Figure 13).
Finally, drizzle the slices with olive oil and salt (Figure 14). Don’t eat too much…!!!
- Panozzo’s has some of the best sandwiches for lunch and it’s totally worth it!
- Go to one of their events, especially their dinners, which is a ton of fun and delicious.
- Try making mozzarella yourself – it’ll taste fresher than the stuff you buy in grocery stores, and it only takes 10 minutes! If the hot water from the faucet isn’t hot enough, use boiled water.