Meatballs at Ripasso

 

Theo Gilbert has certainly paid his dues in the eyes of Italian nonnas and sous chefs everywhere. He’s logged time at nearly every station inside Spiaggia, launched (then buried) two Terragustos, and even helped out über-Italian (via Milwaukee) chef Paul Bartolotta with his Ristorante di Mare in Vegas. But for his latest effort – the casual and homey Ripasso in Bucktown – Gilbert is going back to the basics. One of the best examples is the meatball dish, which arrives with little fanfare and even less bragging. With food this honest, the only ones bragging should be the customers, after they’ve had a chance to drive their forks through them and guide the flavorful orbs into their mouths.

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