First Look: Mille Lire

IMG_9182.JPGby Alex Gonzalez

Mille Lire is a new upscale Italian restaurant located in The Centrum at Oak Lawn. It was opened in December of last year by Naples-born Giuliano Matarese.

Mille Lire offers its guests a menu of authentic Italian dishes. The staff who serves these dishes are professional, friendly, composed, and well-kept. The restaurant itself in encased with all-glass walls, offering guests fantastic views of the city.

Guests wanting to save money can come in at lunch time and order the 2-Course Prix Fixe special, in which the customer gets an antipasto of their choice, along with a pasta of their choice, for only $21.00


One of the Mille Lire’s antipasti is the Mussels alla Marinara. The  Mussels alla Marinara are cooked in a white wine and garlic sauce, and come served with a bruschetta on top. The mussels pull out easily from the shell and have a very chewable consistency. They are sweet, tangy, delectable and satisfying.

The Roasted Cauliflower also makes for a great antipasto. Mille Lire’s cauliflowers comes served with golden raisins, pine nuts, pecorino, and bread crumbs.

Those who aren’t fans of cauliflower should at least make an attempt to try Mille Lire’s version. It is warm, crispy, and has the taste of puffed Cheetos, perfect for kids (and adults) who are picky eaters.


Those wanting a unique antipasto should take The Octopus Salad into consideration. The Octopus Salad is cooked with potatoes, celery, castelvetrano olives and red onions, with a green pesto frame circling the plate. The octopus tastes a little bit like apple chicken sausage and is very easy to chew. Plus, there are very few foods that can’t be improved with pesto sauce.


As for main courses, the Fettuccine alla Bolognese is to die for. Bolognese sauce from any given restaurant is always either a hit or a miss, however, Mille Lire’s bolognese sauce completely hits the nail on the head. It is very thick, meaty, and hearty, not greasy, watery, or too heavy on spice,  like bolognese sauce from some other restaurants. Mille Lire by far has the best bolognese sauce in the city. Also, the fettuccine noodles are the perfect shade of yellow and are flawlessly cut in a ribbon-like shape.

Guests of Mille Lire are in for a beyond exceptional experience. The delicious food, beautifully decorated dining area, and quick, professional service all make for a remarkable new addition to Uptown and Oak Lawn.

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