Ward Off That Winter Chill
Now the sub-Antarctic chill is stubbornly settled over Chicago for the coming months, even the healthiest of bods begin to shun worthy food and spritely outdoor pursuits in favour of something that will fill the belly and warm the cockles! With that in mind, seasoned restaurateurs Marty Fosse (Anteprima, Acre) and Ron DiNella (Go Roma, Morton's) bring us Italian eatery Azzurra EnoTavola, a cosy 80-seat room in Wicker Park which more closely resembles an Italian grandmother’s parlour than a fine-diner, with its warm yellow and dark red walls lined with old postcards, reclaimed mid-century furniture, and Victrola hats delightfully repurposed as light fixtures.
Chef Katie Kelly (The Bristol) has composed a warming seasonal menu with a fashionably sustainable focus on market-fresh, local ingredients. As expected, antipasti like crispy-fried brussel sprout leaves sprinkled with salty pecorino, and gorgonzola-stuffed dates wrapped in crispy pancetta top the bill, followed by heartier bites of wild boar sausage, stuffed rainbow trout, and handmade pastas including black linguine with shrimp and a warming spicy tomato sauce. Meanwhile, brunch offers an Italian calories-be-damned spin on the American comfort classics, like spicy Italian sausage frittata, focaccia benedict, and polenta griddle cakes. The wine list has been hand-selected by Fosse and is Italian-centric, from Venetian Prosecco to Sicily’s Nero d’Avola. Winter chill begone!