photo credit: Christina Slaton

Various dishes on a patio table at Piccolo Sogno.

Piccolo Sogno


River West

$$$$Perfect For:BirthdaysDate NightDinner with the ParentsOutdoor/Patio Situation


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Piccolo Sogno is a utility Italian spot in West Town that’s ideal for a date. And not like a super stuffy, sweaty palms, nervous laugh date. One that’s comfortable and casual. This is due to some reliably solid food, but mainly because of the incredible back patio.

The menu will feel familiar—with lots of pasta, antipasti, and and mains like seafood stew and bistecca alla grigilia. Everything is fine, and nothing will blow you away. But it doesn't really need to, because the giant back patio is what makes this place stand out. It’s beautiful without being moody, and filled with trees and strings of lights. The acoustics somehow allow for a comfortable noise level that suits both a large group cracking jokes ,and a table of two playing footsie. That’s what makes it so good for just about anything - meeting your significant other’s parents, celebrating a birthday, or a date.

Large plates of hearty, handmade pastas and fresh seafood will waft by as waiters uncork bottle after bottle of whites and reds. Get one pasta, one seafood, and at least one bottle of wine. With that combination you’ll have a great night.

Food Rundown

Caprese D’ Estate

Your classic caprese. It’s not the best, it’s not the worst. Skip it.
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Stracci Di Farro

For those girls that gotta get that truffle. Pasta triangles in a creamy mushroom truffle sauce with asparagus.

Griglia Mista

Grilled calamari with arugula, lemon, and caper infused olive oil. It’s not going to knock your socks off, but we like getting a little grilled seafood to accompany a heavy Italian meal.

Fiori Di Zucca

Squash blossoms stuffed with fontina cheese. Squash? Good. Cheese? Good. Deep fried? Still good.

Pappardelle Con Cinghiale

The handmade noodles are perfect, and the spicy wild boar ragu never lets us down.
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A whole roasted fish that’s filleted table-side. It’s not always on the menu, but It’s a common special. Order it when you’ve got your wannabe big Italian family celebrating a night out.

Ravioli “Piccolo Sogno”

Four-cheese ravioli. It’s cheesy, it’s buttery, it’s a signature, and yes, you should get it. Know that the pasta portions are big, so if you’re going family style there is a great amount for sharing. But if you’re on a date or have a smaller crew, you can get a lot of the pastas in appetizer portions which we’d highly recommend.

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Suggested Reading

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The patio and BYOB policy alone are worth repeat trips, but the simple Italian food isn't a guarantee hit.

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Homey Italian food in Ravenswood.

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Charlatan feels like a designer hunting lodge. Come for the beers and pastas, stay for the pig head.

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Formento's is an Italian restaurant in the West Loop.

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