Osteria Via Stato
Executive Chef:
 David DiGregorio
Chicago, IL

As an upscale Italian spot in Chicago, Osteria Via Stato uses its fair share of tomatoes year round in its sauces and salads. The menu always includes tons of fresh, local fruits and vegetables, and the Roman-style pizza of the month often features heirloom ingredients like asparagus and peppers. But it really turns things up in the summer, when chef David DiGregorio hosts a dinner to celebrate the humble tomato in all of its various forms­—including dessert.

The annual Heirloom Tomato Dinner at Osteria Via Stato, hosted in conjunction with a local farm, gives DiGregorio a chance to show off the best qualities of this versatile vegetable (well, fruit, technically). In the past, there’s been an heirloom tomato, bacon, and burrata bruschetta; braised rabbit and roasted tomato risotto; and even a tomato gelato served with tarragon cookies.

While the dinner sells out every year, it doesn’t mean that people who are craving something juicy are out of luck. Diners at Osteria Via Stato often find DiGregorio’s panzanella salad on the menu, which is tossed with enough perfectly ripened heirloom baby tomatoes to satisfy even the hungriest guest.