Ravioli is just one of a hearty handful of homemade pasta on Ed’s menu today at Vita Bella Italian Kitchen & Market in Frankfort, along with Mama’s Meatballs and, of course, wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant opened in March 2021, almost exactly one year after the pandemic cost Ed his job at a Chicago restaurant. He and his wife, Megan, decided then that it was time to make their vacation home in Frankfort their permanent home, pushing fast-forward on a longtime dream of their own. Megan had been visiting the Crystal Lake area since birth, sharing her love for it with Ed and their two children over the years.
Ed’s decades of experience opening and managing a number of restaurants in New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Houston, along with his family’s recipes, served as the inspiration for Vita Bella. The cavatelli is Ed’s favorite, served with their Bolognese sauce—four different types of meat stewed for three hours with tomatoes, garlic and then a touch of cream to smooth it out. And don’t overlook the grab-and-go market. There’s a little bit of everything—Iron Fish maple syrup, Fustini’s oils, his mom’s homemade bread, Italian amaretti cookies, sandwiches, salads and entrées.