Grace Esler

Fire + Wine (chicago suburbs)

Grace Esler
Fire + Wine (chicago suburbs)

Fire + Wine is a high end small plate and Neapolitan pizza restaurant located at 433 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL. With a warming environment and incredible service, a meal at Fire + Wine will make you feel like family as soon as you set foot in the door while being blown away by these artisan crafted dishes.

To start off our night we ordered several small plates to share as you should at Fire + Wine including the Zucchini Fries, the Italian Bean Dip, and the Arancini Mozzarella.

These zucchini fries were delectable. Perfectly golden brown zucchini sprinkled with sea salt and parmesan cheese served alongside a creamy lemon herb dipping sauce creating a balance of textures and complementary flavors. As someone who loves zucchini fries, these are definitely one of the favorites on my list. 

Next was the Italian Bean dip composed of garbanzo beans and tahini, topped with smoked paprika and a tomato and herb oil. Paired with homemade pizza bread strips for dipping, this Italian twist on a classic hummus is creamy, savory, and quite filling for a small plate.

Last of our ordered small plates was the Arancini Mozzarella, which were deep fried balls of creamy mozzarella and fontina risotto with smoked garlic topped with tomato sauce and onion straws. This small plate is exquisite with the variety of textures from the crispy Arancini and onion straws to the creamy interior of the risotto. With incredibly contrasting flavors of saltiness from the cheese to the heartiness of the tomato sauce, this dish is a wonderful representation of the innovative Italian classics that post as a common theme throughout the menu.

As stated earlier, as soon as you walk in the doors of Fire + Wine you’re treated like family through the incredible service and warm environment. Fortunately, my father is very good friends with the owners of Fire + Wine, Michael and Anthony Vai, so we were treated as nothing less than family. They spoiled us in complimentary small plates and desserts, allowing us to feel more than comfortable and cared for.

First of the complementary starters was the Asiago Stuffed Gnocchi which is by far one of the best dishes on the menu. Homemade gnocchi stuffed to the brim with salty asiago is then pan fried in a wine reduction of garlic, shallots, chili flakes, tomato, and spinach to be finished with pecorino cheese. This pasta dish is absolutely outstanding with bold flavors of garlic and chili in contrast to the creamy and tender gnocchi; my only complaint was that I never wanted it to end!

The Tuscan Kale was the next of the complimentary dishes. A salad of shredded black kale tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and loaded with quinoa, sunflower seeds, fuji apple strips, medjool dates, manchego cheese, with the addition of avocado. This salad hit every note of crunch, sweet, salty, tangy, creamy, and earthiness; needless to say this salad was unique, modern, and nothing short of delicious!

As for the entrees, we didn’t order much because we had filled up on small plates, though we couldn’t leave before trying the homemade Neapolitan pizza. We tried the Regina Margherita Pizza, which was a classic Margherita style with tomato sauce, roasted garlic, mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, basil, tomato, and evoo. This pizza will melt in your mouth as the crust provides a slight bite while the mozzarella oozes overtop. The basil and roasted garlic add another dimension of flavor to the pie producing a brightness with contrasting depth.

Along with the pizza, we ordered the Wild Mushroom Ravioli, which was an absolute knockout and a must order at Fire + Wine. The dish started with fresh porcini mushroom raviolis sautéed with garlic, additional wild mushrooms, fresh herbs in a cream sauce, all overtop a piece of toast and drizzled with truffle oil to finish. The way the toast absorbs all that rich cream sauce is heavenly while the mushroom ravioli is tender and earthy allowing the truffle oil to really stand out in the dish. The Wild Mushroom Ravioli is flawlessly crafted with even better execution to be a top dish on the menu.

As if we couldn’t eat more, we ordered a Tiramisu for the table as well as the seasonal Sorbetto flavors of apple cider and blood orange. Along with these desserts Michael and Anthony Vai generously treated us to the Nutella and Berry Calzone!

The Tiramisu was exactly what you’d like to have when you order a Tiramisu, creamy mascarpone, soaked espresso ladyfingers, and a light dusting of cocoa; an Italian classic done perfectly.

As for the apple cider and blood orange sorbettos, I was pleasantly surprised by how intense these flavors were! The apple cider sorbetto screams Fall, while the blood orange is sweet and tart full of citrus tang. The texture was delightfully creamy for a sorbetto with tiny ice crystals for a smooth consistent mouth-feel. A refreshing and flavorful way to end the meal.

Lastly, thanks to the generosity of Michael and Anthony, our table received the Nutella Calzone with Berries to finish the meal. When you order this calzone make sure you have room because this thing is massive! A sweet and chewy puff pastry oozing with berries and Nutella that you’d be lucky to eat through even half of this monster. The Nutella and Berry Calzone is a fun Italian twist on a classic dish that is definitely made for sharing.

Overall, Fire + Wine is pushing the boundaries on classic Italian dishes by turning these staples into fun, innovative small plates. Fire + Wine brings together a warm, comforting vibe with high end dining to create the ultimate meal experience that should be shared with company. From the service to the food, you’ll leave Fire + Wine feeling like family and wanting to come back for more.