August 25, 2009

Inside Racanelli's Cucina in the Loop

Photographer Jennifer Silverberg takes us in Racanelli's Cucina in the Delmar Loop, to accompany this week's review by Ian Froeb.
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Racanelli’s Cucina is John Racanelli’s latest venture in the Racanelli chain. It is located at 6655 Delmar Boulevard in the Loop.
Racanelli’s Cucina is John Racanelli’s latest venture in the Racanelli chain. It is located at 6655 Delmar Boulevard in the Loop.
The grand entry of Racanelli’s Cucina in the former Market in the Loop. It took about six months for the renovations to be complete.
The grand entry of Racanelli’s Cucina in the former Market in the Loop. It took about six months for the renovations to be complete.
The main dining room of the restaurant -- quite a change from the first Racanelli’s, which opened in the Loop in 1994.
The main dining room of the restaurant -- quite a change from the first Racanelli’s, which opened in the Loop in 1994.
The first Racanelli’s, from 1994, was in the former Market in the Loop. At the front of the restaurant, through a different entrance, you can still order that slice to-go.
The first Racanelli’s, from 1994, was in the former Market in the Loop. At the front of the restaurant, through a different entrance, you can still order that slice to-go.
In the kitchen, chef Eric Below is “digging” for clams. The beginnings of the fantastically garlicky linguini with white clam sauce.
In the kitchen, chef Eric Below is “digging” for clams. The beginnings of the fantastically garlicky linguini with white clam sauce.
The clams are sautéed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and white wine. Not shy with the garlic, the clams smell terrific.
The clams are sautéed in olive oil, garlic, parsley and white wine. Not shy with the garlic, the clams smell terrific.
Chef Eric Below overseeing the kitchen happenings. While balancing the required multi-tasking of kitchen duties, he makes sure those clams are cooked perfectly.
Chef Eric Below overseeing the kitchen happenings. While balancing the required multi-tasking of kitchen duties, he makes sure those clams are cooked perfectly.
Again, Eric Below is sautéing the clams. Next comes the linguini, cooked al denté.
Again, Eric Below is sautéing the clams. Next comes the linguini, cooked al denté.
The linguini with white clam sauce is shown here with the fettuccine Romano and Margherita Pizza. The fettuccini is made with grilled chicken, prosciutto, spinach and cream sauce. The pizza is Racanelli’s tribute to the original Italian pizza, made with Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
The linguini with white clam sauce is shown here with the fettuccine Romano and Margherita Pizza. The fettuccini is made with grilled chicken, prosciutto, spinach and cream sauce. The pizza is Racanelli’s tribute to the original Italian pizza, made with Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
John Racanelli, owner of the Racanelli Empire, says one of the secrets to his pizza is working it on the board. The more you work it, the more air you get out of the dough, creating fewer air bubbles when cooking.
John Racanelli, owner of the Racanelli Empire, says one of the secrets to his pizza is working it on the board. The more you work it, the more air you get out of the dough, creating fewer air bubbles when cooking.