Just a post to thank all for their help--we were back in Chicago this week and I studied posts before we left. Stayed near the Water Tower and started off with a restaurant not mentioned in posts but suggested by concierge because of a late arrival and convenience, Francesca's (think's it's a local chain?) in the Seneca hotel--pleasant, pumpkin tortellini were quite nice. Had late lunch/early dinner at Purple Pig the next day--midweek and off hour, so it was pleasantly less noisy than it can be; beets and chicken thighs were best items of 4 we had. Next night we had a wonderful dinner at Piccolo Sogno--definitely our favorite of the trip, thanks to all who recommended it! Busy and lively on a Thurs, excellent and knowledgeable waitress who paired wines for us (and did it well). Hubby and I each got antipasti, then split the other courses. Started with beet salad (guess I was in a mood for beets this trip)--very light, actually needed a touch of balsamic from that provided on the table to make it sing. Hubby got grillia mista (my recollection of spelling is sketchy at best, but basically a seafood mixed grill on greens)--excellent. Wine pairing was a pinot bianco from Friuli, think Yermo or something like that. Next was our favorite course, pasta, stracci di farro--lots of mushrooms and black truffle flavor, wonderful but definitely rich and one to consider sharing; she paired it with a chianti reserva that balanced all the richness nicely. Secondi was short ribs--rich braised selection with pea vines amongst other things, and hubby had a different wine pairing with that. Finished with a saffron-infused panna cotta and vin santo and rolled out of the restaurant. However, after walking all day Friday, we recovered and met friends at North Pond for dinner. We enjoyed ourselves very much, but it was more the atmosphere and the company this time around, compared to the wonderful brunch we had enjoyed there just over a year ago. Nothing was bad per se, but it just didn't sing. I would still go back for brunch, but I think we'll be looking onwards next time we visit for dinner. Must also mention we went to Cafe des Architects for breakfast and enjoyed it--the crab ragout was especially interesting and yummy, the pastries nice (but wish they were warm).
Overall, another enjoyable visit--again, thanks to all for the helpful posts.
2610 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL 60614
500 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611