Letizia and Fabio Sorano opened Enoteca Roma with the vision of bringing a little slice of old Rome to the busy streets of Chicago. Focusing on the simple cuisine of the Italian capital, Enoteca Roma is an ideal eatery for acquainting yourself with rustic, fresh Italian classics.
With a menu structured for tasting and sharing, Enoteca Roma offers an assortment of antipasta, pasta, polenta, risotto and pizza. Popular pasta dishes like boscaiola (whole-wheat gnocchi with crimini mushrooms, Italian sausage, baby peas and cream sauce) and cervo (campanelle pasta and venison Bolognese sauce) are offered up in appetizer or entree portions and range in price from $10-$18.
For light eaters or snackers, the Italian restaurant offers salumi and formaggio plates along with an extensive list of bruschetta (served in flights). Diners can choose four from a list of 10 bruschetta with toppings ranging from hazelnuts, eggplant and strawberries to capers and brie. Pair it with one of Enoteca Roma's wine flights for a surely satisfying meal. In addition to its flights, the wine bar offers 30-40 wines by the glass as well as a list of more than 50 bottles.
On the weekend, Enoteca Roma serves a brunch menu including Italian breakfast goodies like rana nel buco (toad in the hole), bacio hotcakes (with chocolate and hazelnuts) and val badia (two eggs on a bed of polenta with shaved parmesan, a side of sausage and seven-grain toast).
Enoteca Roma accepts reservations, and you may want to make them. The small, warmly-lit dining room fits only a few tables for two with additional seating at the bar. However, on Thursday-Saturday evenings, Enoteca's neighbor, Letizia's Natural Bakery, opens its doors to provide additional seating for the crowds.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Katie Piepel