[Photograph: Kate Bernot]

Much has been made of the gelato from Tony Mantuano's recently-opened Bar Toma and for good reason. But don't let the rainbow of 14 flavors keep you from ordering a second dessert: the mamalucchi ($8). These lemon curd-filled puffs have all the soft crunch of a properly-cooked zeppole, but the tang of citrus keeps it from tasting too doughy—not that the quartet of ping-pong-sized pastries are light by any means.

They're fried and topped with the obligatory powdered sugar, adding more carbs to a pizza- and pasta-heavy meal that was already Atkins Kryptonite. Winter is the time for such indulgence, though. (Come summer, dessert at Bar Toma will be all about the gelato and a Campari cocktail.) The dish also earns nods for its charming (if not quite functional) frying basket. The serving piece is so sweet, it wouldn't be surprising if other restaurants borrow the idea. After all, something has to be the next Mason jar.

Bar Toma‎

110 E Pearson St, Chicago, Illinois 60611 (map)


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