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Following a string of unfortunate events, Italian bakery Dolci Amori is back on track with its first two locations, plus a new site coming to Gold Coast, located at 1150 N. State St.
What Now Chicago previously reported owner Ciro Longobardo was getting ready to open his first two locations by the end of 2021. The first location in Wicker Park at 2010 W. Pierce Ave. was slated to open in early November, while the second location in Lakeview, at 3025 N Clark St., was expected to open in mid-to-late December. Since then, Longobardo has experienced multiple hardships, including a stroke and his mother passing away. Now, the co-owner of Italian restaurant Piccolo Sogno tells Eater LA he is opening both locations by mid-June.
On top of the two highly anticipated openings, where guests can expect authentic Italian baked goods, Longobardo is planning a third location in Gold Coast, scheduled to open in late 2022. All three locations will serve delicious snacks from pastry chef Pasquale Lucci, who arrived from Naples just a month and a half ago. None of the locations will have a pre-determined menu, with offerings changing every day and options from the pastry case.
Together, Longobardo and Lucci plan to introduce multiple new Italian pastries such as fiocco de neve, via col vento, and “lobster tails” made of thin pastry leaves stuffed with cream. All locations will also serve a custom blend of coffee from Caffe Umbria. The Lakeview location will be 1,700 square feet, nearly twice as large as the Wicker Park location. This difference in size will allow the bigger cafe to have more seating with light lunches such as salads, arancini, pizzetta, and croquettes.
This project has been more than two years in the making for Longobardo, who grew up in Naples, Italy. He and his brother would visit local bakeries and bring back over a pound of food to eat for Sunday lunch. When Longobardo moved to Chicago, he noticed Italian American bakeries weren’t living up to the standard he had become accustomed to back home. As a result, he wanted to open an authentic bakery to showcase his hometown’s delicious pastries.
“I think the Italian bakery [in America] never really changed,” Longobardo tells Eater LA. “We made changes in the Italian restaurant. Thirty or 40 years ago, it was spaghetti and meatballs. Now there’s homemade pasta with white truffles. But the bakeries are still old-fashioned. I have an idea why it’s not here yet: Some of the ingredients are very expensive and workers are hard to find. I’m doing the best I can to slowly bring some of these new items to see how the people will receive them.”