Maddon’s Post, a joint venture featuring Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon and chef Tony Mantuano, will have its Opening Day on Tuesday, May 14, at Wrigley Field.
Described as Italian-Polish (though far more the former than the latter), the dining room will feature wood-oven and open-hearth cooking. Executive chef Aaron Thebault will oversee the day-to-day operation, which he says will feature “heritage-style cooking.”
The restaurant is at 1119 W. Waveland Ave., an address Mantuano urges fans to forget.
“We’re exactly at Clark and Waveland,” he said. “The building comes to a point, and that’s where we are, right there.”
Unlike the half-dozen or so other restaurants that have sprung up around the ballpark, Maddon’s Post will not have a Wrigley-Field view; the restaurant’s windows and upstairs outdoor patio face north, overlooking Clark Street.
“I like facing the neighborhood,” Mantuano said. “We’re doing everything we can to be a neighborhood restaurant. The place feels snug and cozy; when you walk in, the bar is right there, and the entire south wall is wood-burning hearth and ovens.”
Pizza will be a large part of the menu; Mantuano describes the crust as a cross between Neapolitan and Chicago-Tavern style.
“The chef at Ava (Maddon’s Italian restaurant in Tampa) brought his (dough) starter from Bestia (in Los Angeles) to Tampa, and he flew some up here.”
“Our pizzas are going to be a popular part of the menu,” Thebault said. “But we’ll also have ribs with a honey-mustard glaze, and a platter of Italian and Polish sausages — but not in sandwich form. Eventually, we’ll start hanging meat (by the hearth).”
Pastas will be on the menu, including a pappardelle with cabbage, fontina cheese and onions that was a Maddon inspiration. Filled pastas will range from ravioli to pierogi, which isn’t as incongruous as it sounds, Mantuano said.
“What’s the difference between pierogi and agnolotti?” he said back in February. “But it’ll be the best (extreme emphasis) pierogi you’ve ever had.”
There also will be a baseball steak — there’s actually such a cut, taken from the center of the top sirloin — with twice-cooked fries.
Parking, especially on game days, will be an adventure — valet service is impossible — but for locals, the restaurant will offer stroller-valet service.
The dessert list will include paczki, made daily in-house and featuring various toppings.
The restaurant will open at 4:30 p.m. the first four days, then expand to lunch and dinner hours.