Osteria Via Stato
Location – 620 N. State (State and Ontario)
In one word – Suprising
Food – Given its touristy location, my hopes weren’t high for this place. But, I was pleasantly surprised. You get traditional Italian fare with excellent service, what more could you ask for? All in all, I was satisfied with the food. I started with the baby argula salad. I thought it was a bit too salty, but luckily they kept the water flowing at my table. Then I moved to the butternut squash ravioli. I enjoyed it, but I was hoping the roasted sage on top would be slightly crispier (but that’s just my preference). My eating partner started with their speciality cheese. That went down fast, so I guess she liked it. Her entree was the penne pasta dish, which she dug. We ended the evening with the poached pear dessert. This was a relatively light dessert served with a shortbread cookie and a scoop of gelato. A couple of notes – At the front of the restaurant is Pizzeria via Stato, which is the pizzeria part of the place. It’s a more casual and cheaper option if you want it. Also, Osteria has a filling prix fixe menu. For $40, you get all the food you could ask for. If you’re a big eater, you might want to go this route.
Drink – Like its neighbor across the street, Osteria serves wine in quartinos (glasses and bottles are available too), which is both responsible and economical. Since it was a Wednesday, we chose this more mature option. We told our server that my eating partner loved reislings, so he brought out a comparable wine which we enjoyed very much.
Service – I really appreciate good service and tha,t is what we got at Osteria. And, I love it when a server’s recommendations are actually good (a rarity from my experience). He won on his recommendations for wine, cheese and dessert. That equals excellent tip. He was cute, too!
Scene – The inside of the place is covered with brick and wood, making the place feel relatively homey. We went on a Wednesday, so the restaurant was quiet and intimate. I think the vibe would be completely different on a weekend.
Dress – I wore jeans because that’s what I do. We were surrounded by other groups who chose to dress up slightly more, I think they were coming from work. I think jeans, khakis and dresses all work for this place. You’re trying too hard if you come here in a suit.
Cost – The total cost was about $85 for two. This included salad, cheese, two entrees, dessert and wine. All in all not bad. Here’s where we got our price saver, I joined the Lettuce Entertain You Frequent Diner program and have accrued more than my fair share of points (which is very easy to do in Chicago). So we used my $25 gift certificate, knocking our total meal to $60 for two. Not bad, eh?
If you like, try…Quartino, La Madia, A Mano