[Chicago] Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar
Just steps away from the Loop, Charles and I went to Quartino Ristorante & Wine Bar for lunch during our visit in Chicago.
We arrived at noon on a Saturday and the patio was packed with diners sipping wine and enjoying pizza and pasta.
We had the dining room all to ourselves because everyone was outside to enjoy the warm weather and nice breeze, with a hint of cigarette smoke :p. The interior of restaurant was a bit old school, but it was simple and rustic.
Every table had a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil for the complimentary bread. There was nothing special about the bread…
We started with the veal meatball slider with pomodora sauce & giardiniera. The slider was tiny but so delicious. The pomodoro sauce was light with a hint of fresh basil. It went really well with the fresh tender arugula and perfectly seasoned and succulent veal meatball. The bun was toasted so the inside was warm with a crusty exterior. We wished we ordered two of these sliders instead of sharing. Charles and I didn’t care too much for the giardiniera though.
Charles had the tagliatelle alla bolognese traditional meat sauce. The fresh pasta was cooked to a perfect al dente and the bolognese sauce was flavourful. It was a solid dish but I would not call it outstanding.
I had the shrimp risotto with zucchini and sun-dried tomatoes. I’ve never had risotto with sun-dried tomatoes before but it added a nice tang to balance out the sweetness of the zucchini and light broth used in the risotto. The shrimps did not taste anything special. Actually it was slightly overcooked…
Not only was the restaurant interior old-school, the bathroom looked really old-school too! It also had some strange powdered hand soap like laundry detergent.