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Real Red Saucer

July 13, 2015
The Windy City certainly has no dearth of stellar Italian restaurants, from alfresco bambino Piccolo Sogno to Piemontese wine-n-diner Osteria Langhe to white-linen institution Spiaggia. But for those who prefer to take their tagliatelle in the kind of old-school, saucy surrounds you might expect to espy Al Capone there’s new kid on the West Loop block, Formento’s.

The slick, dim-lit diner could have comfortably served as a set in The Godfather, with its worn terracotta floors, polished red leather booths, long curvaceous bar and plenty of private nooks for ‘doing business’.

Meanwhile, the food coming out of the kitchen, courtesy of chef Tony Quartaro (formerly of SF’s A16 and NYC’s Paulino), serves to elevate the scene further, taking classic southern Italian cookery to an inventive new level. Try the Canestri with Sunday Gravy (big juicy meatballs and fennel sausages swimming in a rich tomato sauce) and a Saltimbocca where veal is swapped out for sage-rubbed quail and smoked cauliflower.

And the wine list? Rest assured that with more than 600 varietals from around the globe, it will please any Sangiovese-loving mobster. Sounds like an offer you can’t refuse.

925 W Randolph St / West Loop / +1 312 690 7295 / lunch Mon-Fri, dinner daily /