One of our review rules is that each reviewer has 24 hours to decide on a rating, and it can’t be changed afterwards. This is one restaurant that the Blogger desperately wants to downgrade but it’s too late. And why? You can just feel its embryonic franchise-iness.
This food is neither Italian nor Italian-American, but is in the style that has become very popular, which is gratefully anchored with wood-burning ovens. (See review of Tufano’s for real Italian-American food). It might be called New Italian American cooking. You’ll find the recent trends of cheese and salumi boards and small plates here. And it certainly updates the typical pasta-pizza palate that we’re used to. Surprises on the menu like ricotta and honey reminds one of Sicily and makes you realize that the best Italian food isn’t so much cooked as it is assembled.
We ordered: Warm Tuscan Kale: the Blogger loves kale and this was no exception. Everyone else prefers it cold; Cacio e Pepe: it’s pasta, of some variety, pecorino, and pepper. The Critic is on a search for the best version of this dish. This isn’t it; Marscapone polenta and ragu of the day: the ragu was bolognese. ; pizza D.O.C. (denominazione de origine controllata is a guarantee that a product is produced in a certain region in Italy with certain methods.) This was a very, very good pizza with tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella cooked in a wood-burning oven.
Cuisine and style of dining: Italian and cozy, rustic with lovely doors that open onto the street.
1359 W. Taylor St., Chicago, IL
Visited on August 4, 2013.