Layover in Chicago

Arrive in Windy City a day early rather than take red-eye. Blue Line from O'Hare to Printer's Square, check into elegantly remodeled Hotel Blake.

Off in search of dinner, wander northward, stumble into newly opened wine bar called Quartino. Named for Italian quarter-liter carafe. Huge, lively spot, dozens of wines, dozens of small plates.

Bar at Quartino in Chicago.jpg Chef John Coletta at Quartino.jpg
Bar scene at Quartino; Chef Coletta at the pass

Veteran chef John Coletta oversees bustling kitchen with admirable aplomb. Turns out owners also have Gibson's, the subject of an admiring Cornichon post on previous visit, in May of last year.

What a find! A Bellini ($8) with $2 cicchetti (Italian bar snacks) just like in Venice! Duck prosciutto ($4) cured on the premises! Neapolitan pizzas ($10), Italian cheeses ($4)!

Bellini w cicchetti at Quartino.jpg Duck prosciutto at Quartino.jpg
Bellini, duck prosciutto

Fast paced, high energy service, yet dishes presented with elegant, tasty garnishes. Copious portions, too. Bravissimo!

Quartino on Urbanspoon
Quartino, 626 N. State St., Chicago, 312-698-5000
Hotel Blake, 500 S. Dearborn, Chicago, 312-986-1234

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This page contains a single entry by Cornichon published on March 26, 2006 8:13 AM.

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