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photo credit: John Ringor

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Il Milanese Ristorante

Italian

North Center

$$$$Perfect For:Drinking Good WineCasual Weeknight DinnerDate Night
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Housemade pasta, good wine, and a dimly lit space that’s cozy enough for a date but large enough for a birthday—Il Milanese has all the makings of a great neighborhood restaurant. But in reality, this North Center Italian spot ends up feeling more like a place you settle on rather than a go-to spot. The housemade pastas (like pappardelle and duck-filled ravioli) have a great texture. But a snoozy tomato sauce or too-rich porcini cream sauce both end up overshadowing the pasta. Other dishes fumble at the one-yard line too, like a perfectly cooked osso bucco that comes with salty risotto. But while the food misses the target, the long bar makes it a great spot to hang out for a glass of wine—especially if you’re waiting for a seat at the busy (and fantastic) ramen spot next door, Menya Goku.

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