Piccolo Sogno Restaurant
A consistent choice, during Chicago Restaurant Week, is Piccolo Sogno. As its moniker implies in the English translation “little dream,” its conception began as a “G-rated” fantasy of executive chef and owner Tony Priolo. For almost two years, Mr. Priolo’s ‘big thinking’ has become a reliable source for Italian classics in River West – West Town, such as: four cheese ravioli, gnocchi, and sea bass when available. Piccolo Sogno Restaurant | 464 N. Halsted St. | Chicago IL 60642 312 421-0077
Dining wise: The prix fixe menu is an exacting representation of the delicious signature dishes generally found on the menu of the Chicago restaurant.
Wedged between Loyola University and the AIG Café resides a new French bistro, aptly named: Bistronomic. During the first week of Chicago Restaurant Week 2011, the Gold Coast restaurant turns two and a half weeks old (Born on February 4, 2011) . Exuding rich-hued walls, clad in sepia-toned photos of Paris, a casually posh dining space is analogous of the executive chef’s, Martial Noguier propensity for creating memorable victuals.
With winners, such as the oxtail ravioli, short ribs, grilled cheese and others, Bistronomic tops the list for Chicago Restaurant week in the way of French cuisine merged with influences of global gastronomy. Bistronomic | 840 N. Wabash Ave. | Chicago IL 60611 | 312 944-8400
Dining wise: As an alternative to the Bistronomic prix fixe dinner, inquire whether the kitchen is preparing its other sized dishes (which come in small, medium and large).
For Yakatori lovers, venturesome carnivores, and—not to be confused with a sushi restaurant, chef Harold Jurado shares a daedal approach to a Japanese pub: Chizakaya. The Lakeview-based Chicago restaurant is such an organic concept that it seems to cover every component of living green. All the produce is from local farmers. A laid back décor even exudes sustainable design elements, without feeling pretentious or austere. And only free-range livestock qualify for food preparation at Chizakaya.
Mr. Jurado translates the Japanese concept of ‘washoku’ (the harmony of food) into a balance of libations, attentive service, and quality cuisine. In other words, imbibing alcohol and palate satiation are highly endorsed at Chizayaka and key to the harmonious experience.
Best wonders include the puffed pig ears, Kakuni pork belly with egg or the yakitori (skewered grilled chicken, meat and vegetables). Chizakaya (Harold's Restaurant) | 3056 N. Lincoln Ave. | Chicago IL 60657 | 773 697-4725
Dining wise: If pork rinds or puffed pig ears are not for you, opt for the black edamame (soybeans that reached maturity on the stalk).
Perhaps, it’s been a long day at the CBOE. Then, slip into a lavishly refined respite. IPO is the latest fixture at the W Hotel. The Chicago restaurant amid the financial district draws on contemporary American fare, prepared with local organic produce. Executive chef, Trevor Hoyt tends to prepare unusual combinations with tasty outcomes (i.e.: polenta, popcorn and pappardelle)
Dining wise:Skip the prix fixe menu, and try the shared items, like the braised pork belly, blue cheese polenta cake and tempura shrimp).
What does one consume when the culinary traditions of Oaxaca and Veracruz influences merge? The answer is certainly indelible feasting at Mercadito in the River North. The caveat is that the prix fixe menu, which is being served during Chicago Restaurant Week, is so habit-forming that most are addicted within the first visit to the Chicago restaurant dubbed as “the little market.” And, three people are to blame—its creators, the Sandoval Brothers: Alfredo, Patricio and Felipe. (Most menu options satisfy, immensely.) Mercadito | 108 W. Kinzie | Chicago IL 60654 | 312 329.9555
Dining wise: For the best service experience, check out Mercadito on a weeknight when the restaurant is not as hectic.
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By Holly Bentz © fruitionMedia.net 2011
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