Francesco’s Hole In the Wall

Restaurants , Italian Suburbs
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Snapshots of owner Frank Gallo with celebs like Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci suggest he rubs elbows with the big boys, but it’s the customers who get the star treatment at this classic Italian joint. First-time visitors are treated like regulars, as if the assumption is they’ll become just that. A mammoth dry-erase board displays signatures such as scampi al forno with asparagus risotto and pasta shells with veal meatballs. Perfectly spicy seafood diavolo comes loaded with a net’s worth of shellfish, but save room for the banana fudge chocolate-chip cake with white-chocolate gelato. You can try the near-perfect tiramisu next time.

Venue name: Francesco’s Hole In the Wall
Address: 254 Skokie Blvd
Opening hours: Lunch (Mon, Wed–Fri), dinner (closed Tue)
Price: Average main course: $11
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