Travel Diary: Convito Cafe

Convito Cafe and Market in Wilmette, Illinois

Convito Cafe and Market in Wilmette, Illinois

Convito Cafe and Market in Wilmette’s Plaza del Lago shopping district is a long-time favorite on Chicago’s north shore. Under the direction of Nancy Brussat Barocci since its inception in 1980, the Convito brand has grown and changed with the years under Brussat’s capable leadership. Now  partnered with her daughter, Candace Barocci Warner, the Convito Cafe and Market continues to offer a warm welcome to diners and shoppers looking for regional European specialties with a focus on French and Italian cuisines. In addition to its traditional restaurant, the Wilmette location also offers a market featured prepared foods for take-out and fresh pastas, breads, cheeses, wines, and sauces.

On a recent visit to the Convito Cafe, my friend and I ordered four items from the appetizer menu for our lunch.

GotMyReservations - Convito Cafe Calamari

Fried calamari – crispy, tender squid with zesty cocktail sauce

GotMyReservations - Convito Cafe Bruschetta

Bruschetta – mozzarella fresca, fresh tomatoes & basil warmly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil

GotMyReservations - Convito Cafe French Onion Soup

Onion soup gratin française – rich broth baked in a crock with gruyere & parmigiano reggiano topped with crispy onions

GotMyReservations - Convito Cafe Crabcake

Summer crab cake with a corn-radish-lime relish & roasted red pepper coulis

We accompanied our meal with a nice rose and a light white; the wine list was appropriate for the summer season and individual glasses of wine were priced reasonably. All of our meal items were perfectly prepared and served with lovely garnishes and presentation. Convito Cafe and Market offers a refreshing and satisfying visit to the countryside cuisines of Italy and France and is highly recommended.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford. 
Like a child in wild anticipation, 
I long to hear that, “All aboard!”

Music and lyrics by Bud Green, Les Brown and Ben Homer (1944)




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