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Uno to jazz up its spring menu

BOSTON Uno Chicago Grill is jazzing up its kitchen with a New Orleans-themed menu for spring featuring such dishes as gumbo and Creole shrimp pasta.

This is the second year that the casual-dining chain has offered the New Orleans Jazz Festival of Flavors, which is one of its four seasonal menus.

Uno spokesman Rick Hendrie said the seasonal offerings -- which include a summer menu featuring lobster, the Fall of Surprises menu and the current Passport to Everywhere, which features various international dishes -- help Uno bring the brand beyond its signature pizzas.

“It is all part of the menu development strategy we are working on,” he said. “There is no question it sets ups apart in our quest to be more than deep-dish. To be way deeper than deep dish.”

The spring menu, which runs from April 13 through May, features food with Cajun, Creole, French and Spanish influences. One of the dishes is chicken sausage gumbo, made with smoked andouille sausage, okra, bell pepper, celery, onion and rice.

“Gumbo is one of the first things people think of when they think of Creole cuisine,” said Uno executive chef Chris Gatto.

In keeping with Uno's deep-dish heritage, the spring menu features a jambalaya pie.

"Our deep dish is a 'mix up' of chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage, a marvelous Creole red sauce, caramelized onions and plum tomatoes layered with cheese," Gatto said.

Other items include Voodoo Bones, which are smoked ribs served with a bourbon-spiked barbecue sauce, and two pasta dishes, Creole shrimp over pappardelle and blackened chicken fettuccine.

Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp., the parent to Uno Chicago Grill, includes 165 units of the full-service chain, and operates a fast-casual concept, Uno Due Go and a quick-service concept, Uno Express.

Contact Mike Dempsey at [email protected].

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