Davanti Enoteca - River North Location
My impression on our one visit is that it felt exactly like what it was: A hotel version of a very cool restaurant. I have also only been to the Little Italy location once, and loved that experience. Our trip to River North served our purpose, but did nothing to encourage us to return, especially if we were unfamiliar with the franchise. Granted, it was within a few weeks of opening, and it showed. We stopped at the bar for a couple of drinks and snacks prior to a work event. My husband and I shared the kale salad and a pizza. As we were eating, we liked the flavor but forgot the details, and asked the bartender/server what cheeses were on the pizza. She said she didn't know, and offered to bring us the menu so we could check. Given that they serve much food at the bar, one would have thought she would want to learn, but it seemed she didn't see this as her problem and had no reason to look herself. Not a big deal, just not the service touch I would expect here. Speaking only of the food, I would consider it worth a stop if in the (large and popular) neighborhood and in the mood for Italian small plates and sharable dishes. (Edited to correct a typo)
A work colleague took me there - I had never gotten to the Little Italy location - and it was enjoyable but I"d second the "hotel version" comment. I'd go back - it worked well for an after work meal and drinks but would not be a destination for me with all the other Chicago options.
I went opening night. It was not my pick as I never like to go to a restaurant on opening night. We had a great server (borrowered from the Little Italy location). Some of the food was good, some was not. We had a large party and I think the most memorable dish of the table was a burger that many fell in love with. My steak was forgotten and we waited almost 30 minutes for one to come out. It was ordered mid rare so really no excuse for that wait. The entire table was done eating and I just took it home. Definitely felt like we were in a hotel restaurant and I would probably go back, but I probably wouldnt suggest it as an option.