Shareable Italian cuisine? Delicious wines? Carry-out options so you can pick up dinner and wine after hopping off the train? If you’re nodding your head like I am, wait until you hear about Clarendon Hills’ newest restaurant – IL MIO.
Currently in development at 30 S. Prospect in Clarendon Hills, local community members and restauranteurs Rich Ciota and Ryan Christensen are excited to bring a new restaurant to town. I had the privilege of interviewing them in the new space (it’s looking fantastic!) to hear more about their vision and why they’ve chosen Clarendon Hills for their restaurant.
IL MIO, meaning “mine” in Italian really means “ours” to Rich and Ryan. They want to do something for the town they love by creating a vibrant space where people can come to eat, drink, socialize and grow together. Their mission with IL MIO (or MIO for short) is to create an environment that gives the citizens of Clarendon Hills something to be proud of while also impressing them. As Rich says, “We are putting our hearts and souls into this restaurant because Clarendon Hills deserves it. It deserves a restaurant that emphasizes hospitality, great food and wine, and value.”
To deliver on this mission, Rich and Ryan are cultivating an Italian restaurant that is anything but typical. Unlike traditional Italian restaurants – tablecloths, big portions, etc. – IL MIO will offer something different. The vision is for people to hop off the train from work or come in with the family and order a few drinks, enjoy appetizers and small plates to share and connect in a place that they make their own.
While the menu isn’t set quite yet, Rich and Ryan plan to offer different types of food within the Italian cuisine. During our interview they mentioned sausage and peppers, flatbreads, and some pasta – but think gnocchi and vodka sauce versus the traditional spaghetti and meatballs. They want foods to be in manageable portions for sharing, and to leave room for experimenting and trying something new!
When it comes to beverages, IL MIO will have a robust, cultivated wine list featuring primarily Italian wines. Rich and Ryan have a passion for showcasing Italian wines that don’t really have a big name. So, while you may not recognize some of the labels, trust that these experts have their customers’ palates in mind when selecting which wines to serve.
There are many options for enjoying IL MIO too, beyond visiting the restaurant in-person. Dining options will include carry out (for both food and wine – that’s right, call from the train and pick up both on your way home!), and delivery. Regardless of how you receive the cuisine, Rich and Ryan want it to exceed expectations. As they say, “You’re coming into our house, so we will deliver the best service, food and experience. There’s no excuse for poor service, even during a pandemic, and we want to generously serve our community.”
Now for the big question – when will they open!? Right now they are on track for a date in October 2021, as they’re currently putting the finishing touches on the space. They want to do it right, and don’t want to rush too much, but at the same time want to deliver this new restaurant to Clarendon Hills. For myself, I am thrilled and honored that Ryan and Rich are bringing IL MIO to our community and I cannot wait to bring my family to enjoy the food, wine, and camaraderie that IL MIO will offer.
Check out Mike’s behind-the-scenes sneak peek and interview with Rich and Ryan