Nothing is quite as satisfying as cooking a homemade meal from scratch. From collecting fresh ingredients at the Windy City’s farmers markets to dicing, marinating, and braising, each step in the process expands your culinary know-how. Residents of the South Loop apartments at NEMA Chicago can take their cooking to the next level in their stunning luxury kitchens, equipped with state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances and quartz counters. Your dinner companions can look on admiringly with a glass of wine while seated at the kitchen island, which is available in select residences. Of course, NEMA Chicago also offers spectacular city views from floor-to-ceiling windows — the perfect backdrop for whipping up a Chicago-themed meal.

In crafting your menu, you can draw inspiration from the city’s oldest restaurant, Italian Village. Family-owned since 1927, this Chicago institution offers up a wide range of regional Italian cuisines. Replicate the experience of dining in this beloved restaurant at home with a few simple recipes from Emily Phillips, Italian Village’s newly appointed executive chef.

For the primo course, bucatini alla carbonara is the ultimate showstopper, with a simple ingredient list of guanciale, parmesan, egg yolks, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, and the thick, spaghetti-like bucatini noodle. Guanciale, a cured meat prepared from pork jowls or cheeks, is sliced and rendered until its edges are perfectly crisp. Then, egg yolks are whisked smooth with parmesan and pepper to form a rich, velvety sauce. For the secondo, try veal Milanese, made with a pared-down list of kitchen staples. The recipe calls for dipping veal chops in flour and egg, coating them with a breadcrumb and sage mixture, and cooking in a pan of bubbling melted butter until crisp and golden brown. Serve with a lemon wedge.

For the quintessential Chicago dish — and a universal crowd pleaser — create your own Chicago-style pan pizza. The first step is pressing the pizza dough into a greased baking dish. After that, prepare the toppings, which include savory Italian sausage, mozzarella, mushrooms, onions, diced tomatoes, and more. Then, pop it all in the oven. You’ll know your pizza is ready when the crust is a crackling, golden brown, the cheese is bubbling, and a hungry crowd has gathered around the oven.

Or, to pay homage to Chicago’s famed steakhouses, you can grill your own cut at home. The New York Strip Chicago Style calls for marinating the steak in a delectable medley of garlic, cinnamon, sugar, and apricot preserves, before grilling (or frying) on high heat to desired doneness. The result is a tender, flavorful steak, and an impressive main course fit for a special occasion.

But if you prefer letting a pro do the cooking, NEMA Chicago offers a truly exceptional Room Service amenity for its residents, powered by partner Pear Chef. Lunch and dinner can be ordered via the NEMA Life app, and includes free delivery to your door. Meals are prepared by local in-house gourmet Chef Roland — often seen working his magic in the 16th-floor Chef’s Kitchen. The menu is updated often and frequent partnerships with outside Chicago-based restaurants and brands will bring exciting new culinary options to NEMA residents. And on Thursdays, you can enjoy the pleasure of Happy Hour at home, with 20 percent off alcohol beverages until 7 p.m.

After the meal, residents of the South Loop rentals at NEMA Chicago can retire with an espresso or an amaro in their spacious living rooms and enjoy spectacular views of a city that has inspired generations of chefs. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your virtual or in person tour!