Location – 335 N. Dearborn (Dearborn and Kinzie)
In one word – Quartino-y
Food – To sum it up, this place is Quartino Jr. The concept is the same as Quartino. The menu is similar to Quartino. Perhaps the atmosphere is a bit more sophisticated than Quartino, but for now my preference is…Quartino. My eating partner and I decided to really sample the menu, so here’s the run-down: Mole Salame (actually one of my favorites of the night, the mole flavor really shines through), Roasted Peppers with Honey Goat Cheese (good but nothing new),Fatto a Mano Fennel Sausage Pizza (this was thin, but messy. I still prefer the Spacca Napoli pizza to this), Pappardelle with Braised Boar and Raisins (this was another highlight for me) and Rabiolo and Ricotta Cheesecake (we didn’t really dig this, very heavy). Overall it’s good and worth trying. Will it blow your culinary mind away? Not by a long shot.
Drink – I was happy with our selection. We both had the Cortaccia Pinot Nero and the Dolcetto. Red, bright and complimented our food.
Service – Off the bat, I was worried. When we walked in there were three hostesses, I was hoping that at least one of them would be civil towards us. But I understand that is a lot to ask. Luckily the restaurant redeemed itself. Our server was perfect. He knew the answers to our questions. Offered us samples of wines when we asked for recommendations and didn’t charge us for theunfulfilling dessert (because he recommended it to us). That experience gave me an overall positive experience of the place.
Dress – We went on a Friday night. The crowd was a bit older. A lot of 40, 50, 60-something couples. Also, a few groups of 30-something women, perhaps a “Girls Night Out?” I would advise not dressing super casual if you’re coming at night. Perhaps a simple dress or your best jeans with heels would work better.
Cost – For our meal (minus the dessert, plus a good tip), we each paid $40.07. Yes, it was pricey, but we indulged in a lot of food.
If you like, try…Do I even need to repeat it? Quartino