Why We Love Wicker Park's Gratto
By Thyra DeCicco
When there are so many hip and trendy pizza places in the neighborhood, it's easy to forget about the little gems hidden away in places off the beaten path. And so it is with Gratto Pizzeria and Deli located at 1341 N. Damen Avenue.
It was 92 degrees at 10pm at night and I was walking my 2 dogs down Potomac towards Damen Avenue through the magnificent historic district of Wicker Park filled with19th century architecture. I then turned the corner and headed North on Damen towards Gratto which is tucked neatly into this backdrop.
When I popped my head into Gratto, dogs in hand, you could feel the rush of heat in the restaurant. With daily temps of 100 degrees in the shade, and the stoves in the restaurant going, the temperature in Gratto must have easily been 115+ degrees and they were getting ready to close because of it.
Any slices? I asked.
Not only did they accommodate my request (again, it was 115+ degrees in there). Michael did it with a smile. Friendly, cordial and only to happy to help. He even offered to bring the water dishes back out for the dogs. This is the the type of experience you have with the little family-owned Italian byob tucked quietly away on Damen & Evergreen....just steps away from Division Street's busy strip.
If you're looking for a cozy casual spot, make yourself comfortable on their outdoor patio. The pizza is delicious. Thin crust. Rustic Italian (not New York style). We had the veggie (green olives & onions) and cheese which had extra chunks of what tasted like blue cheese distributed throughout the slice - to go - of course so Michael & team could close. The slices were generous. The seasoning was perfect. Gratto's pizza has a lot of rich tomato sauce. So if you prefer a little extra sauce on your pizza, this is your spot.
Gratto also offers pasta, tapas, sandwiches, and ... they deliver. Did I mention they provided great service with a smile? For additional information about Gratto Pizzeria and Deli.