Meet Oakbrook Center’s best kept secret: Antico Posto, a cozy Italian cafe and wine bar that’s been serving up the old-school favorites since 1999. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle from the shopping center is the top destination to enjoy authentic and reimagined classic dishes inspired by Tuscany and Bologna. To experience it yourself, make a reservation at Antico Posto.
Italian for “The Old Spot”, Antico Posto holds its moniker proudly! We’ve asked Sous Chef, Joe Dellacroce, to weigh in on old cooking wives tales and to help us decipher what’s fact and what’s fiction to help guide you through your next Italian cooking adventure.
Salting Pasta Water
FACT: A good pasta is all about the different layers of salt and flavors. Adding salt to the water is step one to giving your dish a more flavorful noodle. Try the difference between a noodle that’s been cooked in salted and water and one that hasn’t been. The taste is palpable. That will translate to a more flavorful pasta dish.
Oil + Pasta Eliminates Sticking
FICTION: Sure, it makes sure the pasta isn’t sticking together, but the oil also repels the sauce from sticking to the pasta. The same can be said about the shape of your pasta, but more on that later! Add your pasta directly into your sauce with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. This will ensure your sauce will stick to the noodles!
Pasta Shapes are Interchangeable
FICTION: Parlaying from the sin of adding oil to pasta, the shape of the pasta is designed to hold specific sauces. Lighter sauces call for skinnier pasta like spaghetti or linguine while meatier sauces call for heartier noodles such as rigatoni or pappardelle.
Gelato is Ice Cream, Just Italian
FICTION: Sure, there are similarities and they are in the same genus but traditional gelato has a higher proportion of milk and lower in cream and eggs, or no eggs at all. It is also churned at a slower rate, leaving the finished product less airy and much more dense and creamy than ice cream.
Gnocchi is only made out of Potatoes
FICTION: While yes, potatoes are a popular base ingredient for gnocchi, it is technically defined as dough dumplings that are soft, thick and smaller in size. The regions in Italy greatly influence what their gnocchi is made out of. Gnocchi can be made out of anything, and Antico Posto’s Ricotta Gnocchi is legendary.
Italian Food is Primarily Pizza & Pasta
FICTION: Boy, oh boy, where do we start? Pizza and pastas are definitely the most popular form of Italian food here in the states, but did you know that pasta is traditionally served in smaller portions as a mid-course? Pick a region of Italy and you’ll discover classic dishes that use hyperlocal traditions and ingredients like Piedmont’s Bagna Caudo, or Arancini in Sicily.