Fine dining and culinary pyrotechnics come in such abundance in Chicago that sometimes a restaurant with casual ambience and faff-free, honest-to-goodness food can offer welcome respite to weary palates. Enter Reno, the new Italian spot from the team behind Telegraph and Webster’s Wine Bar, where the warm bare brick and dark wood furnishings, paired with chefs Johnny Anderes and Elliott Green’s humble, delicious fare, remind us that oftentimes, less really is more.
The day begins with wood-fired breakfast bagels and sugar-topped pastries, then as lunchtime approaches, you’ll find sandwiches like ‘Pine’ with chicken thigh, dill pickles and hot honey, and ‘Gaupo’ stuffed with tuna, artichoke and grilled peppers on the menu (along with an irresistible brownie sundae that should really come with a waistline-destroying disclaimer). As night falls, opt for the hearty ‘Hog’ pizza with pork belly, salsa verde, rajas and cotija cheese, or the rich, orange-infused fusilli bucatini with lamb-neck ragu and crispy eggplant. The drinks menu may come sans cocktails, but sommelier Jeremy Quinn’s wine list, a smattering of craft beers, and a vast liquor selection from Luke LeFiles will have even the most avid martini-lover eschewing the Beautiful Drink. Good food, good vibes, Amen to that.