Al Primo Canto, the celebrated Brazailian galeteria with a location in Edgebrook, has opened at 749 N. Clark in Chicago’s River North. A galeteria is a casual restaurant that specializes in slow-roasted rotisserie chickens cooked over natural hardwood charcoal in a brick oven.
“What you will experience is the simple and fresh tastes of southern Brazil in a celebratory atmosphere,” says Chef-owner Georges Elbekai,. “A galeteria is favorite for families, couples and groups of friends because it’s a fun environment with good food. And we feel our affordability makes it the perfect concept for our current times.”
Elbekai, who has worked in the culinary and management sides of hospitality at Carnivale, Caliterra, House of Blues and Bob Chinn’s downtown, became enamored with the galeteria after regular trips to the country with his wife, Maria, and children to visit her side of the family. Galeterias in Brazil are rooted in Italian cuisine, a result of the large influx of Italian immigrants who settled in Porto Alegre and the surrounding Rio Grand do Sul.
The signature dish of the galeteria is known as galeto al primo canto in reference to the age of the chicken when it reaches the market. At Chicago’s Al Primo Canto, the galeto is marinated with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, white wine and a variety of fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary and oregano. The chicken is slow roasted in a brick-lined, natural charcoal rotisserie measuring 10-feet long and 4-feet wide.
Imported in one piece from Brazil, the oven is symbolic of Elbekai’s commitment to authenticity.
Featuring Brazilian-Italian inspired fare, the Al Primo Canto experience offers a set price for the full house-specialty experience as well as a full a la carte menu. The endless feast for adults is $29.95 and costs $12 for children 6 to 12. Children under 6 eat free. (Prices exclude tax and gratuity.) Once seated, guests are greeted with an appetizer of traditional homemade cheese bread and roasted eggplant capanato. Next comes fettuccini tossed with three types of sauces – marinara, mushroom, and extra-virgin olive oil with garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley.
Salad, tender galeto, flavorful beef tenderloin, 15-spice leg of lamb and side dishes of seasonal vegetables, crispy potatoes and fried polenta follow.
The a la carte menu includes salads, bruschettas including Roasted mushrooms topped with goat cheese and finished with white truffle oil ($3), Pan seared scallops served with fingerling potatoes and leeks in a green tomatillo sauce ($11), Grilled Vegetable Plate ($8), Homemade Gnocchi a la Caprese with tomato basil and fresh mozzarella cheese ($13), Three double lamb chops marinated in sixteen spices, grilled over natural wood charcoal, served with fried polenta and vegetable ratatouille ($24) and more.
Multiple courses are served by casual, friendly staff in an open, warm environment with walnut and oak wooden detailing and vaulted ceilings.
Al Primo Canto in River North will be BYOB through May. Full brunch, lunch, wine and cocktail menus coming soon.
Says Elekai, “From the minute our customers get out of their car, they can use our $8 valet service and come in to enjoy a bountiful feast all for an affordable, unique way to celebrate with friends and family.”
AL PRIMO CANTO
749 N. Clark
Chicago, IL 60654
Monday – Sunday, 5 PM – 11 PM
Al Primo Canto North
5414 W. Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60646