For a friend's birthday recently, I joined a few lovely ladies for wine and small plates at a River North favorite, Quartino. I had been to the Italian tapas restaurant once before, but I was excited to try it again with a group with diverse tastes.
First of all, the wine at Quartino is served in carafes by the 1/4 liter, 1/2 liter, liter, or by the bottle, if you're feeling conservative. I must warn you, it's very difficult to control your wine intake when you're drinking from the tiniest wine cups known to man!
|Liter of sauvignon blanc & those tiny wine glasses|
The first plate to arrive was dates wrapped in pancetta. Believe it or not, I had never tried a pancetta-wrapped date before so I was excited to try it. I have to say the texture of the date was unexpected, but I liked the blend of sweetness with the smoky flavor of pancetta. Apparently the dates were stuffed with gorgonzola, but I didn't taste any, sadly.
|Dates wrapped in pancetta, stuffed with gorgonzola and topped with honey|
|Pizza with house-made mozzarella, tomato and basil|
|Mushroom risotto with fresh mushrooms, mushroom puree and pork stock|
|Orecchiette with fennel-sausage ragu|
|Mmm look at that cheesy goodness!|
|Crisp calamari with organic tomato sauce|
|Beef short ribs with salsa verde|
We all came to the consensus the panino could have been stuffed with a lot more Nutella, but it was still quite tasty. The sandwich tasted less like the bread that held it together, and more like a chocolate covered waffle.
|Nutella panino, a grilled dessert sandwich filled with chocolate hazelnut spread|
626 N. State St.
Chicago, IL 60654
Reservations at OpenTable.com