Quartino Italian restaurant is about to be your new go-to for dinners out in Chicago. Surprisingly huge (up to 600 people!) and located in the Near North Side, it’s perfect for the girls’ night out carbo-load as well as a delicious option for out-of-towners where you won’t need a reservation months in advance. There’s always at least a few large celebrations going on so you know it’s tried and tested for large groups (they’ll split the bill as many ways as you need–we’ve tested it). But that’s not to say it’s loud; it’s an equally enjoyable atmosphere for date night. And the decor alone is not to be missed: cozy without being stuffy, and trust me when I say that this is the coolest restaurant bathroom that I have ever been in. Two words: dry soap.
More importantly, however, is the food. Ordering is best done family style (that is, as much as possible). The tasting app is always a crowd pleaser and a great app option for that large party you might bring here. It’s kind of like a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese platter and you would be hard put to find someone who doesn’t like that. We love that they have so many options, but don’t miss the pecorino and the salamette; they’re out favorites. The burrata salad is perfection, but make sure to ask for the toasted baguette slices to slather it on. And you can never go wrong with tagliatelle alla Bolognese; a feel-good Italian dish with flavor bursting off the plate.
The portions are fittingly generous for this kind of Italian comfort food so you might have to remind yourself to save room for dessert. The pizza menu has great vegetarian options and a gluten free menu is also available. If you’re in Chicago but have a hankering to be in an Italian ristorante, look no further than Quartino.
Price Point: $$
Location: The Best!
Reservations: Recommended (on weekends, especially for large groups)
Dietary Needs: Gluten-free menu available, plenty of vegetarian options