Should we go to Anteprima?
I haven't been there, so hopefully those who have, will respond.
The question I would be asking myself is not whether it is good - I've heard a few people praise it - but whether it's worth the trip to Andersonville. If you're on the far north side anyway, I'm sure it's worth checking out. But if you're staying in downtown Chicago, with all the great Italian places nearby - Cafe Spiaggia, Vivere, Coco Pazzo, Cibo Matto, and Piccolo Sogno, just to name a few of the best - then I'm not sure what's so different or better to justify traveling all the way up to Andersonville.
Nsxtasy is correct. A lot of great Italian around town depending on where your at. My wife and I ate there just a month ago and really liked it. Would I travel there if the above mentioned places were closer? No.
Please write again and let us know what you picked and how you liked it.
Lastly, if your wife wants to go there, perhaps you should!
As with many of the more recent Italian restaurants in the area, Anteprima has a market-driven, interesting menu, with a commitment toward freshness and quality ingredients, That being said, there are a few elements distinguishing it from the downtown restaurants, #1 being that it is a neighborhood restaurant and has a casual, neighborhood ambience, whereas the downtown restaurants, with the possible exception of Piccolo Sogno which I haven't been to, are, well, downtown restaurants. In particular, if you can score a patio seat on a pleasant evening, it should make for a relaxing and memorable experience.
In addition, on weekdays and Sundays Anteprima usually has a reasonable prix fixe ($29 if I recall correctly), and couple that with a relatively inexpensive wine list and you might have a reason to visit Anteprima more frequently than elsewhere if it appeals to you.
5316 N Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
464 N Halsted, Chicago, IL 60622
>> it is a neighborhood restaurant and has a casual, neighborhood ambience, whereas the downtown restaurants, with the possible exception of Piccolo Sogno which I haven't been to, are, well, downtown restaurants
Actually, that's not really true - not of all of them, anyway. Piccolo Sogno and Coco Pazzo are both neighborhood restaurants with a neighborhood feel to them, and a large percentage of their customers live in the surrounding neighborhood. My friends who live in River North refer to Coco Pazzo as their "special neighborhood place". Even a place like Vivere, with its gawdy decor and located in the middle of the Loop, has a large percentage of "regulars" who have been dining there before the theater for many years.
If you're interested in moderately-priced Italian restaurants with a neighborhood feel, there are plenty more located all over the city and suburbs. Depending on where you're coming from, Trattoria Riccardo in Lincoln Park, and Campagnola in Evanston, are both very neighborhood-ey and casual in style, serving locals who live nearby. I'm not sure about Pensiero Ristorante in Evanston because I haven't been there since its recent re-opening under Alan Lake's tutelage, but it had previously been largely serving the community, although it was a bit more upscale in style (and more expensive) than Campagnola.