La Madia

I had a lovely Saturday night and enjoyed celebrating my birthday with 8 of my girlfriends. My official birthday was Wednesday 1/26, and I had so many people telling me to enjoy some pizza. I didn’t indulge that day, but saved it for Saturday where I could check out La Madia, a contemporary pizzeria in River North.

The chef, Jonathan Fox, tweets often about the restaurant and the menu, and although had stopped by on the Second City pizza tour, I was excited for a real meal. We started with some pizza fondue and it was glorious. It was a puffy bread that deflated once Lauren poked it with her fork. A great starter to the meal with a dipping sauce more like vodka sauce (or a pasta sauce). We didn’t quite know how to eat it, but took after the Jewish culture and the Challah: rip & dip 🙂

Pizza Fondue

Deflated pizza fondue… rip and dip
We also ordered mushroom bruschetta and classic bruschetta to share across the table. They each came with four pieces (we ordered an extra so each person could try one). I think we were more enthralled with the pizza fondue, but there was definitely a classy touch with the bruschetta. It was clean and a nice tomato blend. They were not chopped tomatoes, rather, the bruschetta was topped with a spread. Unfortunately, I completely forgot to snap a photo! But I did check their website and they posted the recipe for bruschetta. Great idea!
For the nine of us, we ordered four pizzas. Our waitress originally suggested one pizza for every guest, but we decided on four to start, and would order more if needed. Take a look at the four pizzas, larger than a dinner plate:
Three Cheese: Mozzarella, Provolone and Pecorino with Tomato Sauce & Torn Basil  
Margherita: Mozzarella di Bufala Campana, Tomato Sauce & Torn Basil  
Burrata, Roasted Eggplant, Market Tomatoes & Torn Basil
Housemade Fennel Sausage & Sweet Onions, Tomato Sauce with Mozzarella Cheese 
Yes… you probably noticed that we ordered a Margherita AND a Three Cheese… but if they were putting two separate pizzas on the menu with similar ingredients, I wanted to see the difference. The Margherita was the unanimous winner between the two plain pizzas, FYI. We had leftover dipping sauce from the fondue, so these tasted even better after dipping in sauce.
I was a bit weary about the Eggplant because it is a white pizza, but everyone loved it. There was definitely plenty of flavor throughout the pizza, and every ingredient was noted. I wish there was more eggplant and tomato throughout the pizza. Same goes for the sausage and onion pizza as far as wanting some more ingredients (more onion!!) I do want to note the nice thin crust with the perfectly cooked edges for dipping into sauce 🙂 This is a fork & knife pizza establishment… but at some point you give up and eat with your hands!
Overall, we had a great meal. Four pizzas, 2 orders of bruschetta, and two pizza fondues were PLENTY for nine hungry ladies. Wines are notable as well, especially $5 for 5 ounces on their wine of the week. The ambiance is hopping and a see-and-be-seen kind of atmosphere. The price is GREAT, and they offer many special events such as cooking classes, wine dinners, and $30 price fixe (for 2) dinner & wine. A great meal and a great chef, we all enjoyed our night!

La Madia on Urbanspoon

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