Skip to Content

Archive Lounge in Chicago, Steve Chiappetti’s Secret Pizza Spot

The veteran chef talks about revamping the menu at The Albert at Hotel EMC2, and adding a separate lounge for Sicilian-style pizza and wine.

pizzas and other dishes

Selections from the menu at the new Archive Lounge in Chicago. Photo Credit: Katherine McConnell

There are plenty of great places to get pizza in Chicago, whether you’re in the mood for a tavern pie, deep dish, Detroit-style, or Neapolitan. Steve Chiappetti, executive chef at The Albert at Hotel EMC2, knows the landscape better than anyone, so when given the opportunity to open Archive Lounge, he went a different pizza route.

Chef Steve Chiappetti
Chef Steve Chiappetti of Archive Lounge and The Albert in Chicago. Photo: Katherine McConnell

Located in a loft space inside the hotel, Archive Lounge is what the Chicago native calls “a little secret getaway to have pizzas and wine.” But rather than go with a familiar pie, Chiappetti broke out the pans and went Sicilian. The puffy-crust pizza is the main menu attraction at the intimate spot, which seats about 40, along with Italian wines and standout desserts such as olive oil cake.

In an interview with Appetito, Chiappetti explains that he took inspiration from his southern Italian family roots and Palermo’s famed pies. “It's a hardier and it's a simpler version of how to do pizza in my mind,” he says.

Sicilian pizza
Sicilian-style pizza from Archive Lounge in Chicago. Photo: Katherine McConnell

Archive Lounge is the outgrowth of his success at The Albert, a contemporary restaurant that he calls “Italian-inspired” and which reflects Chiappetti’s deep culinary background. The son of an Italian father and French mother, he came up through Chicago’s dining scene cooking at haute spots including Ritz-Carlton Chicago’s The Dining Room and legendary Italian restaurant Spiaggia. He even represented the USA in the 1996 Bocuse D’Or competition. 

Chiappetti also opened his own acclaimed and successful restaurants in Chicago, and started other businesses including a catering company and an 18-acre farm, part of a non-profit organization with a culinary school. Then, he took a detour to Las Vegas after his mother passed away. “I got rid of everything,” he says, and left his longtime home to work for Caesars Entertainment. He oversaw restaurants for the massive organization before returning home during the pandemic. He joined the team at Hotel EMC2, part of Marriott’s sleek Autograph Collection, last year, taking the reins at The Albert.

Chiappetti credits Scott Greenberg, the Chicago real estate developer behind Hotel EMC2, with bringing him in and encouraging a more Italian direction after the Albert's first iteration as a more "molecular" gastronomy type of restaurant. The chef says he developed a menu that would focus on food that customers "can get their arms around."

shrimp dish
Hot Shrimp from Archive Lounge in Chicago. Photo: Katherine McConnell

Under his leadership, The Albert has become a popular spot for creative antipasti, fresh pastas, and hearty meat dishes including a selection of steaks—this is Chicago, after all.

In late February 2024, they opened Archive Lounge in a loft-like second-floor space above the main floor restaurant. Here, Chiappetti offers his fellow Chicagoans and guests a sophisticated getaway with a menu of snacks such as fried olives and chili-rubbed shrimp, an all-Italian wine list (cocktails are available as well), and those Sicilian-style pizzas. 

While he acknowledges that the city may be known for its other famed styles, he says, “That’s not what I’m trying to do here. Chicago-style pizza is fantastic. I grew up in the southside of Chicago, so I get it. But this was something from my family—it was in our family to eat pizza this way.”

228 E Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611, 312-471-3883, @archivelounge228,

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

See all subscription options

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Appetito

Pizza City Fest Nashville Announced

Chicago pizza expert Steve Dolinsky’s festival will expand to its third city in the fall of 2024, bringing regional pies to Music City.

May 21, 2024

The Bicicletta Cocktail, a Milanese Classic

In an excerpt from her book, Stuzzichini, Stef Ferrari revisits a beloved spritz from Milan made with Campari, white wine, and soda.

May 21, 2024

A Revelatory Lunch at Via Cassia in Hudson, NY

A former restaurant owner finds inspiration in the approach to dining at Via Cassia, a new Italian restaurant in the Hudson Valley.

May 20, 2024

Sunday Shop: Lulus, Lindt, InnBeauty Project

Morgan Hines seeks out the best in not only food and drink but style, housewares, and more. Welcome to Appetito’s Sunday Shop!

May 19, 2024
See all posts