A restaurant serving German and Italian specialties? Could these seemingly disparate cuisines co-exist under one roof?
Let’s just say that the results of this ‘fusion’ has been a thin slice of Himmel’s (Heaven) ina cozy German-Italian restaurant in Lincoln Square, thanks to sisters/owners Carol and Diana Himmel, who formerly ran Pizza Doc.
The restaurant has earned praises from diners and critics alike. One reviewer wrote, “When you’re craving a perfectly executed Roman-style pizza AND a Bavarian pork shank with dumplings, head to Himmel’s.”
Former Chicago Tribune food critic Phil Vettel was equally smitten, saying, “An Alpine, forever-Christmas décor with twinkling lights, Himmel’s exists as a German-Italian hybrid, where the menu lists Wiener schnitzel right below saltimbocca alla Romana. Himmel’s is a non-Italian restaurant that creates a craveworthy pizza…loved it.”
Here, you can mix and match your experience to fit your mood. You could start with a Lachs Toast, which is smoked salmon on pretzel toast, hard boiled egg, and caviar. Or, for your Italian counterpart, try Shrimp Wrapped In Prosciutto, served on a bed of mixed greens with a balsamic reduction.
Salats (salad) include a summery Pear Salad, where spring mixed greens are tossed with pears, Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts in a balsamic vinaigrette.Or, Himmel’s Gemischter Salad pairsromaine lettuce, mixed greens, tomato, cucumber, carrots, olives, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Pastas are staccato. Try the Bucatini All’ Amatriciana, pairingonion, guanciale (smoked Italian bacon), extra virgin olive oil, spicy tomato sauce, and Parmigiano and Romano cheeses.
Entrees are hearty, yet delicately prepared. Champignon Rahm Schnitzel are pork tenderloin medallions, seared and sauteed in butter and finished in a shallot mushroom cream sauce, served with spätzle and red cabbage. Chicken Parmigiano is pan-fried breaded chicken breast, smothered in tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, and served with fresh vegetables and spaghetti marinara.
“Himmel’s is the best,” wrote a Google reviewer. “Great food, great atmosphere, and the best staff. So attentive to our table. So much food…enough for a full meal the next day. Pretzel bread served on the table. Delicious… I recommend this place to everyone.”
“Best Schnitzel anywhere. A dish that’s often given a pass because it’s hard to do right. This isn’t the heavy, greasy dish you might be thinking of. It’s filling and satisfying but without regrets.”
Himmel’s is located at 2251 W. Lawrence Avenue Wednesdays and Thursdays, they are open 5pm–8pm. On Fridays, they open for lunch from noon-3pm, and open again for dinner from 5pm to 8pm. Saturdays and Sundays, they are open from noon-8pm. They are closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For information and reservations, click here.
Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago