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Mille Lire

The charred octopus with tortelli


Sea Change

By Valerie Jarvie

Photo by Kathy Tran


Chef Giuliano Matarese dives deep into his Italian heritage at Mille Lire.

Octopus—rare to find here, but a treasured tradition on the Amalfi Coast of the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find this delicacy from the deep often featured at Mille Lire, the glorious new modern Italian ristorante anchoring The Centrum. Chef-owner Giuliano Matarese, who hails from Naples, Italy, frequently offers octopus as an appetizer, enhanced with seasonal notes. One day, it’s roasted to tender perfection (a bit of give but still firm to the bite, much like pasta cooked al dente) and dressed with black garlic cream intertwined with classic Italian tomato sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes and minced porcini, a combination that blows the doors off the umami scale. On another day, chorizo, roasted chickpeas and cherry tomato ragu might grace the dish. It’s the perfect antipasto before a dinner of housemade pasta and secondi (meat or fish) courses, or a delectable bite to pair with Mille Lire’s imaginative Italian-accented drinks. 3102 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 116, 214.269.5200