I think Italian was on my mind for restaurant week this year. I checked out another restaurant in Wicker Park off of Division Street called Nando Milano Trattoria for dinner. As soon as I walked in I knew I was in for a treat. The owner, who opened up the restaurant a few years ago is from Italy, and he greeted me immediately and took a few minutes to get to know me. He asked, Was I Italian? How did I hear about the restaurant? Was I celebrating any special occasion? His charismatic and personal demeanor set up for a true Italian dining experience.
The restaurant itself was beautifully decorated, dim-lit with Italian wine decorating the walls. The bar only fits a few people and there are about a dozen or so tables, making for a very intimate dining experience.
I started with some fine Italian wine which was recommended by the owner. I am not well-versed in Italian wine, so if you are in the same boat as me, they’ll help you decide what you might like if you aren’t familiar.
There were multiple (versus typically about three) options on the restaurant week menu for both the appetizer and the main meal. To me this is more ideal so someone can really experience a new restaurant their way. Their portions for restaurant week were also very good – you may even have leftovers to take home to your sweetie! I started with a polenta cake covered in prosciutto. Yes, it’s as amazing as it sounds. I could have it every day (while eating lettuce for every other meal). For my main course I got the seafood risotto, which was creamy and had a variety of shrimp, octopus, and clams.
For dessert I ordered the ricotta cheesecake. Can you say slap you in the face, melt in your mouth fantastic?! I would say one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had.
Overall, the dining experience was top-notch and I’ll definitely be back….with my Italian boyfriend.