The Mystery (and History) of Tiramisu - Osteria via Stato Skip Navigation

Osteria via Stato & Pizzeria via Stato

As Osteria Via Stato begins the process of slowly and safely reopening, as well as continuing to provide carry-out and delivery services, we are taking extra precautions to ensure the safe dining of our guests.  The health and safety of our patrons and staff is our top priority.

Dine in service will remain at 50% capacity with social distancing guidelines in place.  Masks will be worn by all employees at all times.  We are introducing digital and sanitized physical menus and will maintain thorough sanitation procedures and continuous hand washing.

For your health and safety, our policy is that all guests must wear a mask when entering, moving around, and exiting the restaurant. This includes when you leave the table to go to the restroom. Masks are not required once you are seated at your table. Thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you for your continued trust and support of Lettuce Entertain You.  We are so happy and excited to welcome you back and serve you once again.

To help offset restrictions on our business resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, a 4% surcharge has been added to all guest checks. If you would like this removed, please let us know.

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The beloved Tiramisu is one of the most popular desserts in Italian-American culture. With it’s sponge-like texture and coffee-soaked flavor, Tiramisu, which translated to “pick me up”, is a favorite on many a Chicago Italian restaurant menu.

view from seat of gondola on venice canal

Canals Of Venice

Surprisingly, Tiramisu is not as ancient as Rome.  This Dolce has an interesting history harking back to the 1960s. Even more surprising, Tiramisu didn’t become popular with Americans until the 1980s. So where did Tiramisu originate? It appears that there are several different thoughts on how the Italian “aphrodisiac” came to be. Let’s dive in.

According to some, Tiramisu was first invented in Veneto, at a tiny restaurant known as “Le Beccherie.” The owner, Robert Linguanotto, created a “simple” dessert that let the flavors speak for themselves. The traditional ingredients are egg yolks, sugar, mascarpone, cocoa powder, coffee, finger biscuits, and often times, coffee liquor. Although the core ingredients still remain the same, this dish is often tweaked from chef to chef.

tiramisu in a silver bowl with a spoon and glass of red wine in the background

Tiramisu is also known to have quite an interesting history in Italian brothels. It is believed that the dessert was created inside the brothels of Treviso, to act as a pleasure-seeking aid to clients.  Since tiramisu is commonly known to be an aphrodisiac – and has incredibly high caffeine content, it was served to clients in hopes to profit off of the enhancements that came along with the energizing dessert. An additional tale says that a woman, after visiting a brothel with her husband-to-be, used the dessert to stay awake on sleepless nights with her first newborn.  She shared the recipe with a chef at “Le Beccherie” and they perfected the dish, serving it to many delighted guests.  The rest is history.

canals of venice with colorful buildings

Although the true history of tiramisu is still unclear, one thing is for sure – it is a dish that will leave your senses enlightened, your heart happy, and your stomach wanting more. At Osteria Via Stato, we make our tiramisu with Vermont Mascarpone, espresso-soaked ladyfingers, and topped with Valrhona Cocoa, resulting in a delicious twist on the traditional Italian dessert.


Osteria Via Stato is an Italian restaurant in the River North neighborhood of Chicago.  We pride ourselves on using seasonal ingredients, local producers and an all Italian wine list boasting over 300 labels.  Join us for brunch, lunch or dinner for warm Italian hospitality and a sense of la dolce vida!