Piccolo Sogno vs. Piccolo Sogno Due?
Mrs. Brewer and I have a quick getaway to Chicago at the end of May. House-made pasta is one of Mrs. Brewer's passions, so it sounds like Piccolo Sogno should be on our short list for dinner. If the pasta menu is our primary interest, is there much difference between PS and PS Due? (I'm familiar with Due's greater emphasis on seafood.)
Right now, even a month out, weekend reservations for dinner at PS are slim pickings. If we don't lose anything by choosing PS Due over PS, we would be able to snag a much more civilized time for dinner :-)
Thanks for your help, Hounds!
>> If the pasta menu is our primary interest, is there much difference between PS and PS Due?
No. The pasta at both is excellent.
>> If we don't lose anything by choosing PS Due over PS, we would be able to snag a much more civilized time for dinner
Then choose PS Due. You won't be losing out on anything by doing so.
PS has probably the most beautiful outdoor patio seating area in the city, while PS Due is all indoors. This is why reservations are so hard to get @ PS during the summer months. If you enjoy al fresco dining, I highly recommend PS over PS Due. I cannot stress enough how beautiful and enjoyable the outdoor space is. Here's a link to a picture of the space: http://piccolosognorestaurant.com/wp-...
nsxtasy strongly disagreed with me about this a while ago, but I must say that I found Due pretty disappointing in terms of the quality of the food compared to the original location. If pasta is your concern, everyone at our table had issues with our dishes that led us to not finish, send back, or order a simple salad—all of which are things that at least 3/4 of us never do.
FWIW, the 4th diner works just a few blocks away and she mentioned at the end that her big firm has backed off holding business meetings at Due after repeated problems with the food. I would hazard that's the reason the original is harder to book on weekends?
I would guess that it's harder to book the original because that's the one that established its reputation first, so it is more well-known than Due, which only opened relatively recently. Also, as noted above, the outdoor patio at the original is larger and more well-known, so those seeking al fresco dining are more likely to go there.
Sorry to hear that you had one bad meal at Due. I've had half a dozen meals split between the two locations, and all have been superb! (I'd also note that there are many other terrific Italian places in the greater downtown area, including the Florentine, Vivere, tesori, Coco Pazzo, and Café Spiaggia, so there's no shortage of alternatives.)
That's fair about the patio and of course the original location people always assume is "the one."
Everyone has different opinions and the goal here is to help everyone be happy. So I don't mean to criticize nsxtasy's standards, since s/he posts a lot on this board and others. But if Brewer's wife has traveled extensively for her passion, I want her to be realistic about about the pasta options in and around the Loop. For me, this is kind of like telling someone who is well-heeled from Kyoto to temper their expectations for the kaiseki menu at Next or Katsu (I thought both were great, but still).
I lived in Bologna and Florence basically just learning about the local cuisine and have spent months visiting almost every region in Italy for both famous and unknown restaurants. So while the places listed above are not bad, none serve the kind of dishes I dream of. Even the food at Spiaggia and the original Piccolo Sogno, which I would put slightly above the rest, are not particularly memorable (and I would say the same about many of the well-known Italian places in San Francisco).