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Hyde Park, Woodlawn, South Shore

Hyde Park’s Piccolo Mondo Restaurant And Bakery Will Close This Month After Nearly 40 Years

The Italian restaurant with Spanish tapas and Argentinian pastries will close Nov. 27 as its owner of 15 years announced his retirement.

Diners on Piccolo Mondo Restaurant and Bakery's patio in July 2020. The Italian restaurant's indoor dining was shut down for two years amid the pandemic and reopened in September, two months before the restaurant's planned closure.
Piccolo Mondo/Facebook
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HYDE PARK — A Hyde Park staple of Italian dining will close after nearly four decades in business.

Piccolo Mondo Restaurant and Bakery, 1642 E. 56th St., will close Nov. 27, owner Norberto Zas wrote on Facebook Sunday. Zas plans to retire, he said.

“It was my pleasure to be part of this community and to give my best to provide all of you with great food and wonderful service,” Zas wrote. “I hope I succeeded!”

Zas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Anna Romanucci, an Italian immigrant who owned several Italian restaurants in the Chicago area, opened Piccolo Mondo with her husband Dino at the former Windemere Hotel in 1985.

Zas was hired as general manager in 1999 and bought Piccolo in 2007, according to the Hyde Park Herald.

Credit: Piccolo Mondo/Facebook
Piccolo Mondo’s spaghetti ai frutti di mare.

Piccolo Mondo serves Italian cuisine such as saltimbocca alla Romana, fettuccine apulliana and eggplant alla parmigiana. The restaurant’s menu also includes “a touch of tapas from Spain,” like salmon con cabrales and empanadas.

The bakery also offers sweets from Zas’ native Argentina such as cañoncitos de dulce de leche, medialunas and moñitos.

Piccolo Mondo Zas reopened its indoor dining room just two months ago, after keeping it closed for two years during the pandemic. The restaurant previously offered takeout and outdoor dining through the pandemic.

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