Restaurant offers patrons Italian meal

Meagan Pietrzak

In the heart of downtown one can find one of Joplin’s secrets, Lil’ Chicago.

This bistro serves patrons a contemporary Italian and American cuisine.

Patrons should expect the average entrée to cost roughly $6 to $15.

The dress is described as casual to somewhat fashionable.

During the average day, there will be jazz or blues played over the sound system.

“Lil’ Chicago has a low-key and friendly environment,” said ReGenia Brown, junior criminal justice major. “They really have great service and great bands.”

Some of the more popular menu items include a hand-cut pork tenderloin entrée with a pecan stuffing on top of an Applejack whiskey sauce served with salad or soup and a choice of homefries, seasoned waffle fries, onion rings, baked potato, mashed potatoes or rice. Seafood is also available in the form of a pan-seared salmon fillet glazed with clover honey served with soup or salad, choice of mashed potatoes or savory rice and vegetables.

Outside, in Bootleggers Alley there is a patio decorated with a fountain, foliage and strings of white lights hanging from miniature balconies.

“Starting next week we’ll be open Tuesday through Saturday with lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner everyday,” said Morgan Goodfellow, manager. “We will have High & Lonesome and Crying Out Loud playing for Fat Tuesday festivities around 9 p.m. and we’ll have several Cajun dinner specials for the evening.”

If someone is not in the mood for dinner, Lil’ Chicago also has a seated bar with a selection of beverages served and an assortment of wines. Plus, about every weekend there is live music with bands such as Cinna the Poet, Bill Gosh, Ben Miller Band and One Track Mind.

The cuisine is influenced by Chef George “Geo” Keeler, who creates almost everything from scratch.

“Our marinara alone takes about six hours to make,” Keeler said. “We also make our own chips and pico degallo.”

Lil’ Chicago is located at 520 South Joplin.

The hours for lunch are Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Dinner is served Tuesday through Thursday 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. with dinner hours extended until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

They also serve late night appetizers. All major credit cards and cash are accepted.

Also, reservations are accepted. Call Goodfellow for more information at 206-0183.