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“Excellent food and service...”

Tufanos Vernon Park Tap
Ranked #502 of 9,525 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Kids, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Television, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: University Village / Little Italy
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
45 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Excellent food and service...”
Reviewed June 23, 2013

Recently celebrated a family birthday at Tufano's. We were a party of 19 and they took care of use from beginning to end... food was some of the best Italian food I've ever had and the service was outstanding.

Next time I'm in Chicago, it's on my list of places to go to...

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lou B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    50
    41
    13
    4
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
214 reviews
118 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Best place for Italian food in Chicago..$20. cab ride from downtown!”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

If you are used to good Italian food...you won't regret a stop here..food is excellent...make a reservation..take a cab because you won't see a sign outside this place..it's in a neighborhood and is where the locals go..not fancy but over the top great! Try the lemon chicken or the homemade cheese ravioli..great eggplant too! Calamari is fantastic...

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Anne A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
298 reviews
224 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Don’t let a little TV exposure fool you”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

One visit to the Tufanos web site and you would think they were the crème de la crème of the Little Italy food scene in Chicago. But when you peel back the proverbial onion and actually experience Tufanos, you will find there is more to the story. And it’s hardly worth the hassle of going.

Sure, they were featured on Diner’s Drive-ins and Dives. They had the Stanley Cup. But perhaps all of this fame has gone to their head because the food is mediocre at best, service and responsiveness nothing exceptional and the overall experience was average at best. Especially when you consider the options, specifically the Italian options, in the immediate area.

Let’s start with the “contact us” on their web site. Like so many companies that have a web site “just because “ Tufanos wants to hear from you and they have an e-mail address. To which messages fall into a black hole and are never replied. Upon arriving, expect to get attitude and hassled by the valet. Short, curt, rude and just generally unpleasant. Don’t even think of asking a question for you might never see your car again.

The interior screams of a typical Chicago neighborhood dive bar. We sat at the bar and the bartender was reasonably pleasant. He was gnawing on a toothpick like a beaver chewing on wood but he was the most professional and pleasant of the bunch. Which is not saying much.

Sure, incredible price points and you really could not find a glass of wine, salad, plate of pasta in this area for less. But you get what you pay for. Sloppy preparation, bland flavors and food that I can easily prepare at home. The bruschetta came as five pieces with barely seasoned pale red diced tomatoes spooned on unexceptional bread. Don’t bother. The Tufanos special salad is a heaping bowl of pale white butt ends of iceberg lettuce that had seen better days. Cubed cheese, some (read very few) veggies and a single piece of salami (all off the Sysco truck) comprised their “everything” salad. I would hate to see their house salad. Perhaps an empty bowl? The salad was “dressed” with an uninviting amount of poorly blended red wine vinaigrette. Skip it. The basket of bread tasted like it had been sitting out since last night. Watch your teeth. The D&D special is supposed to be shells with peas and a vodka cream sauce. Stay at home and buy your own box of Barilla, jar of sauce and can of peas and you would probably fare better.

Overall, really disappointed. Having been to “dive” restaurants in Milan, Florence, Venice and many other cities in Italy, Tufanaos needs to stick with being a neighborhood bar and skip the food all together.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Allen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
268 reviews
159 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
“Mediocre at Best. Don't Know What the Hype is About?”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

I was very disappointed in Tufanos. The food was mediocre at best. I had Tilapia Vesuvio, which the waitress recommended over the Chicken Vesuvio. The fish was tasteless and sopping from the sauce, which was on the bland side and only mildly garlic-y. The boat potatoes were greasy and soggy. The service was snobby and un-welcoming. The iced tea tasted like instant. Plus, they do not take credit cards. It's a 15-ish minute cab ride from downtown, definitely not worth the trip.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank SunshineGirl2929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Park, IL
Level Contributor
376 reviews
272 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 152 helpful votes
“I Almost Hate to Write this Review--But It's Very Popular Already!”
Reviewed March 5, 2013

We just love this place. My husband and I went here after he'd gone with a former colleague. This is old-school Italian at its best, and I'm almost reluctant to write this review in case more people decide to try it. (Clearly, it's too late for that!)

We were there on a Saturday night. As the place doesn't take reservations, I was initially assuming that we'd have a very long wait--but we were in in twenty minutes. The veal was fabulous, as was the cheese pasta. And the calimari was outstanding--very fresh, tender, delicately fried and seasoned. Fortunately, we saved room for the excellent cannoli.

A terrific place. We can't wait to go back.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Grmpmbl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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