Gioia is an upscale Italian restaurant in the West Loop with great handmade pastas, like bucatini cacio e pepe, pici with ragu, and paccheri mancini prepared tableside. But one of our favorite things about this place is that it’s perfect for people who just want to have a conversation. It’s large without feeling cavernous, tastefully decorated in soothing neutral colors, and the service is attentive without being obtrusive. Plus, there’s a large bar area that’s great for hanging out after dinner, and a cute sidewalk patio with comfortable tables and chairs that don’t look like they were hastily purchased from a discount garden store. Come here for a small group dinner, or a kind-of-fancy date night.
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