2nd Annual Wood Family Foundation Fundraiser Held at Coda di Volpe

I attended an event last week that included two of my favorite things - food and the Chicago Cubs. It was a fundraising event to benefit the Wood Family Foundation. The second annual Pitch In and Party on the Patio event raised funds to help local 4th - 8th grade students through the foundation started by former Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood and his wife, Sarah.

Hosted by Gage Hospitality Group owner Billy Lawless, Ballyhoo Hospitality owner Ryan O’Donnell and Coda di Volpe Executive Chef Chris Thompson, the evening featured Chef’s Thompson’s VPN-certified pizza and antipasti. Guests sipped on cocktails from Campari’s negroni fountain, spritzes by Aperol, shooters of Fernet Branca, wine from Bonanno Vintners, Heritage Wine Cellars, and Rootstock and beer from Revolution Brewing. Among the bites we sampled were arancini, pork and prosciutto meatballs, paninis and slices of Neapolitan handmade pies that are made in their wood-fired oven. It's Southern Italian cuisine at its best. 

Kerry & Sarah Wood were in attendance, thanking guests for their presence and raffling off some items that included a scorecard from the legendary 20K game and several autographed items. Over 150 guests attended. 

Right after we arrived I was tickled when I saw someone approach our table and reach out his hand to introduce himself. It was Tom Ricketts. It was my third time meeting him and he could not be a friendlier and more approachable guy. He's a great face of the organization and he's such a fan himself that it's easy to make smalltalk about the team. It happened to be the same night as the All-Star game and he chatted about the Cubs players who were participating. It was also nice to see him supporting this charity and a Cub who was on the team long before the Ricketts were in charge.

Wood arrived a little later and after some words of thanks mingled with the crowd and was super nice to those asking for photos. I was one of them.

As for the food, I was impressed with everything we tried, especially the wood-fried pizzas. Oh, and the gelato. I think it was a total of six flavors that were brought out and each one was better than the next. I need to get back and try out some of the housemate pasta, which sounds pretty amazing. There's a pretty sizable wine list, as well, that I wouldn't mind diving into.

So, if you love Italian, give this Lincoln Park gem a try - especially this summer when you can enjoy your meal on the charming patio area. And if you're a Cubs fan, keep this event on your radar for next summer when you may be able to meet a legendary pitcher to accomplish a phenomenal feat and throw one of the most memorable games in Cubs history - a one-hit, no walk, 20 strikeout game.

Coda di Volpe
3335 N. Southport