For my birthday dinner with my family I knew I wanted to go somewhere extra special, some place where I wouldn't normally go (and couldn't afford!). I made a reservation two months ahead of my birthday at Piccolo Sogno in the River West. Most of the appeal of this restaurant was the gigantic patio behind the restaurant that made you feel like you were in Italy, not the Windy City.
The restaurant itself is quite small, so they certainly make up for the lack of seating with the large patio. Unfortunately on our trip it was a stormy Sunday. We were seated near the entrance of the restaurant, which I was not too happy about but what could I do? It was literally the last table inside since all of the outdoor patio parties were moved indoors due to rain. However, the restaurant was gorgeous inside as well, complete with sweeping chandeliers and warm-colored walls.
|Entrance to the dining room|
|Our vino for the evening- chef's suggestion|
|Beef carpaccio with dijon, mixed greens and parmesan|
|Fava salad with fava beans, aged pecorino, “Piccolo Sogno” extra virgin olive oil, and arugula|
|Piccolo Sogno's own imported balsamic vinegar..to die for!|
|Caprese with oven dried tomatoes, basil, and imported buffalo mozzarella|
|Peach salad with peaches, baby arugula, lemon oil and goat cheese|
Next, it was time for the main course. My sister chose one of the daily specials, a plate full of hand-formed ravioli in a butter sauce topped with a generous portion of shaved truffles. If you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying a truffle, you know the intense flavor each of these little fungi is capable of producing. This was the dish I secretly wanted to order, but hoped someone else would since I didn't think I could handle a full portion of the rich pasta. Fortunately, my sister was in a sharing mood so I was able to sample a bite. The truffle flavor was immediately evident, as was the velvety sauce on those pillows of pasta. This was truly a delicious pasta experience!
|Ravioli special with butter and shaved truffles|
|Flattened grilled cornish hen with rapini and lemon|
|“Straw and Hay” green and white ribbon noodles, veal ragu|
|Piccolo Sogno's prized outdoor patio|
|A sweet birthday chocolate cake|
All in all, we managed to turn a stormy Sunday into a culinary experience with a happy ending. The service at Piccolo Sogno was exceptional and I can't thank them enough for allowing us on the patio for dessert. I recommend trying one of their pasta specials and gorgeous salads to accompany a nice bottle of wine. For a special occasion, or just a scenic dinner, Piccolo Sogno's outdoor patio is a must-see in Chicago! Just make sure you dress to impress! Piccolo Sogno gets four stars for its attentive service, fresh ingredients and picturesque patio.
464 North Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60642
Reservations Strongly Recommended