One reason that the food is so good at Mamma 'Zu is that Vasaio is a stickler for first-class ingredients, and he lets them be what they are without hiding their identity under a blanket of unnecessary cover.
The same holds true at Edo's, where the ambiance is as basic as the food. The room and tables are adorned only with the basics a paper-napkin place, no white tablecloths with sprays of fresh flowers but then the prices reflect this no-nonsense atmosphere.
The servers are efficient and without attitude though sometimes vague when questioned about the menu, which is sometimes vague and without description like an English menu in Italy.
Edo's is a perfect place to color outside the lines when you order. Eat squid, calamari by whatever name, it's good. Tender calamari with warm white beans, arugula and lots of garlic is wonderfully satisfying. With a salad and lots of the good bread, this hearty dish could be a very satisfying supper. Calamari with endive and portobello mushrooms in a rich, dark sauce the server was vague on its contents is also delicious, a perfect starter for three or four people to share. And of course there's fried squid especially for those who've never had the courage to eat these innocuous little bits and pieces of tentacles.
Getting a pasta dish ($7 - $9) as an entree is of course the inexpensive (and American) way to eat Italian. Ordering is simplified by offering only a choice of spaghetti, penne or rigatoni and a choice of sauce listed on the menu.
Some special starters, side dishes and the main courses ($3 - $24) are listed on the chalkboard and change frequently, but some are fixtures. A 2" veal rib-chop was simply the most tender and succulent I've ever eaten, though its marsala sauce was too sweet for my taste. Lamb chops with rosemary and garlic speak fragrantly of Italian spring. Rock- and swordfish are also good choices, each taken off the fire at the right time. Even mundane eggplant parmigiana is done carefully and makes a good vegetarian choice. Most entrées come with a side of pasta - either with tomato sauce or olive oil but not much else adorns the plate, not even the popular squiggles of flavored paint or a parsley sprig.
You probably won't have much appetite left for dessert, but the tiramisu is worth sharing with coffee. The wine list offers good values as well as some better wines.
Edo's Squid is good, it's basic, and it's a very Italian experience. If you've eaten Bertha's mussels, you're ready for Edo's Squid. S
411 N. Harrison
Sun. - Thurs. 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fri. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 12 a.m.