Ahhh Quartino. If you’re reading this, chances are you're familiar, but we are here with a review anyway to further strengthen this relationship. If you don’t know, whether it’s because you’re new to Chicago, or don’t often frequent the depths of River North, then here’s some info on a downtown standby that caters to a number of needs.
Quartino is Italian food done simply and in small plates form. You can dabble in everything, including pizza, pasta, salads, and meats, and make it as filling or snack-like an outing as you please. It’s this concept that allows Quaritno to be a casual and reliable spot without ever being an awe inspiring meal. And it’s also what makes Quartino ideal for feeding a large group with different tastes buds, including that picky friend or family member who won’t ever try anything new. F*ck that person for being so difficult, but also we’re sorry if that person is you. On the positive side, you’re welcome, because you should request all group dinners be at Quartino if it's not already your move.
You should never walk away from Quartino thinking it was amazing, but it’s consistently enjoyable, affordable, and a lively time. Couple in the fact it’s got a nice little patio right off State Street, and it makes for an ideal people watching spot on a nice day.
Needs aside, nothing says OMG, I just LOVE going to dinner with my besties more than Quartino. That usually means for the ladies we know in our life, but we’ve seen more than our fair share of fellas packed around a table here too.
If you’re with a group of at least six or more, get some pizza involved. Having a small slice or two is all you need with a mix of other items, because you don’t need to come here solely for pizza. We are fans of the D’Anitra with duck prosciutto, onion, and arugula.
Basically an Italian hummus. We love the simple white bean spread with a bit of olive oil and garlic.
Like candy to us. Dates and cured meats are the best kind of salty and sweet.
Potato dumplings with green beans and some arugula pesto. A nice little pesto sauce that goes well with the gnocchi.
Our other usual pasta move with pappardelle noodles and a braised beef tomato sauce. The wide-set noodles are ideal for picking up the meaty goodness.
Little shrimps with a mix of garlic, red chili, white wine, olive oil, and lemon. The chili flakes and garlic gives the sauce a bit of a kick, and we like these little baby shrimps even though it’s a pretty small dish.
Osso Bucco is often a big commitment. But being a small plates joint, Quartino’s $14 option is a great way to get a little fix without it being overboard.