Serious Eats: Chicago
A Sandwich a Day: Smoked Turkey at Letizia's Fiore
Located on the corner of California Avenue and Altgeld Street, Letizia's Fiore is the sister restaurant of Wicker Park's Letizia's Natural Bakery and Enoteca Roma, all three the brain child of Italian immigrant Letizia Sorano. Discontent with the minimal space in her two Division Street restaurants, Sorano opened Letizia's Fiore in 2010 with the intention of expanding her dinner options. The restaurant prides itself on using all-natural ingredients in its efforts to remain true to Italian cooking, and it's sandwich menu is no exception to the Mediterranean standards of tradition.
At first glance, the Smoked Turkey Piadina sandwich ($5.25) looks a little, uh, flat. Like really flat. Flatter than Illinois' landscape flat. That's because the sandwich—all of Letizia's Fiore's sandwiches—are served on piadina, a thin, Italian biscuit-like bread that's both crunchy and slightly crumbly. Sandwich fillings are at a minimum, to this blogger's chagrin. The smoked turkey piadina was just turkey and mozzarella cheese. It's a simple meal, to say the least, and leaves something to be wanted. What makes the sandwich worth sampling, however, isn't what it's made of, but how it's made. Like true Italian food, the sandwich isn't pressed in a panini maker or griddle. Rather, it's roasted in the restaurants wood burning oven to give it that distinct, smokey taste that's unique to such cooking methods.