Formerly Ballo, the latest installation by Rosebud owner Alex Dana is definitely the place to be after work. A 21st-century twist on classic Northern Italian cuisine, Rosebud Trattoria's energy is intensified by the color red, which can be found everywhere, from the booths to the walls to the heat lamps above the in-your-face kitchen (read: you can watch the chefs work their magic). A disco ball in the center of the room adds to the fun and casts off any worries about a stiff, where-are-your-table-manners dining experience.
The wait staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the food they serve. Each server brings a bowl of bread to your table and personally hand-grates parmesan cheese into a saucer of olive oil for your dipping pleasure.
Though the entree menu isn't lengthy, it includes some excellent choices, such as gourmet pizzas, fresh salads and seafood selections. However, heavy reading awaits with the antipasto and wine menus. The antipasto bar includes ample veggies, cured meats and cheeses, and the wine lists contains by-the-glass domestics and Italian imports available by the bottle. I'm not much of a wine drinker myself, so I give my props to the Bacardi and Diet Cokes which, for being such a simple drink, are extra delicious. Rosebud Trattoria also offers outdoor seating, a 30-person wine room and a full bar. And with an average dinner price of about $15-$25, you'll have reason enough to get up and dance.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Centerstage Chicago Staff