Grilled Octopus and Calamari at Coda di Volpe


My coworkers will be the first to tell you that Brandon and I haven't quite got the hang of Chicago-style pizza yet. I find deep dish too cheesy and pub-cut too messy. And why, may I ask, add the toppings on the pizza before the cheese?? It just doesn't make sense to me.

Forgive me, but we're sticking with traditional Italian-style pizza for now.


Coda di Volpe, a traditional Southern Italian eatery near Wrigley Field in Chicago, promised us the thin crust and savory toppings we desired.

Brandon found it in his extensive research and noticed the restaurant is famous for its certification from the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, an organization from Naples that holds restaurants to strict standards.

"To hold this certification, Coda di Volpe makes its dough with soft, 00 Italian flour, and uses only San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and other top-quality ingredients. Then, it's placed in a wood-fired oven at temperatures between 806 and 896 degrees Fahrenheit and baked for just 60-90 seconds." -


We started dinner with two fruity wines - a Bruno Vespa "Flaro" (dry rosé of negroamaro with spiced pomegranate notes) and a Savaian 'Aransat' (an orange wine of sav blanc and pinot grigio with bright peach and mineral flavors).


"Coda di Volpe (Italian translation of 'tail of the fox') is named after the white grape variety that is indigenous to Italy's Campania region." -


I can't get enough of these warm wood tones and retro decor.


Our first course: a Grilled Octopus Salad with blood orange, endive, fennel, olive, and a basil vinaigrette. Very refreshing and full of complex flavors.

As any foodie knows, octopus is notoriously difficult to get right, and often ends up unappetizingly chewy. The chef here did a great job of preparing and grilling the octopus for this salad to the perfect texture.

If you're interested, we learned some fascinating details about sustainable octopus farming on the Kanaloa Octopus Farm on Hawaii's Big Island last year. Click here to read that blog post.


The wood-fired pizza oven.


For our second course, we enjoyed this Funghi Pizza, made with mushrooms, fior di latte cheese, garlic, sage, caciocavallo cheese, and porcini olive oil.

These handy shears made it easy to cut any size piece we wanted. With a bit of pepper oil on top, the flavors were spectacular.


This pizza was just the right consistency and thickness (or rather, thinness) we've been looking for! Delicious.


In course three, we tried the Chitarra Nero pasta with calamari, 'nduja spicy pork sausage spread, basil, sweet peppers, preserved lemon, and roasted tomato on black squid ink pasta. As you can tell, it was a seafood kind of night.


Finally, for dessert, our waiter recommended the tiramisu and blueberry gelato, Italian classics. I've made tiramisu many times at home, but we're always left with an unholy amount of leftovers (dangerous), so it's nice to treat ourselves to a single slice when we can.


The booths here look so cozy.