Merlo on Maple
I haven't been in many years. I generally don't recommend it, not just because of how long it's been, but also because Merlo is MUCH more expensive than almost all the other really good Italian restaurants in Chicago, including longtime favorites as well as newer places. For example, most entrees are around $40 at Merlo, whereas most are less than $30 at Piccolo Sogno, Piccolo Sogno Due, Cafe Spiaggia, Coco Pazzo, Vivere, or Gioco, all of which are terrific. I would just as soon return to any of those six than spend a lot more money at Merlo. (And for a special occasion where money is no object and I want the best Italian cuisine and service, I'd head to Spiaggia.)
Incidentally, Merlo on Maple has been around for a long time, and you can find reports on it by searching this forum and overriding the date default (posts from the last 12 months) to change it to all dates. Doing so, you'll find 11 different topics with Merlo in the title (they sort first when you display search results in Best Match sequence). The most recent one is from two years ago ( www.chow.com/topics/721016 ).
Note that Merlo previously had three locations but closed the other two in the past few years.
Thanks as always, nsxtasy. Price of entrees isn't really relevant. Two of us are veg and pastas are usually our mains. I thought the line up of pastas at Merlo sounded interesting (and were actually very well priced). That, combined with some nice apps, would make for an ideal dinner for some of our party.
I do appreciate your suggests and will look at their menus again. And thank you for the chow search info. Good to know.