On the Road Exploring Restaurants Inspired by Great Chefs
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Quartino in Chicago
Chef Coletta Great Host
We were all out for our annual kickoff in Chicago and the team all met at Quartino Ristorante. Quartino's is not my typical pick but I will tell you the food was very good and tasty and for a large group they offered small plates so everyone got to try everything family style. First of all Quartinos is a family style eatery it is warm and comfortable thus it is a place to enjoy yourself and have fun. The staff was very good and attentive and the young lady that took care of us was terrific and I hope she has a great trip in NYC. So we had Bob, Asher, Terry, Gene, Jay Scott and Mark all ordering off the Italian Tapas Menu. The Chef is John Coletta who has created a menu that features many dishes from the regions of Italy.
For example everywhere I go people are serving Octopus and I have just avoided it because I could not figure out why anyone would want to eat something so chewy and tasteless. Not so I had their Baby Octopus with Red Chili flakes and it was delicious, it was tender, smoky with a little bite and unfortunately there was not enough. So we ordered Pizza, Pasta, Meatballs, Eggplant Parmagiana and Calamari.
The Pizzas were all good my favorite was the Margherita I know that is boring but let's focus on quality thin crust light sauce just the right amount of cheese, the Soprano this takes a dish I did not like by itself Veal meatballs and makes it the star on a pizza with basil and red chilis. The result is yum!! So I am a Meatball judge and these were too dry. I think they were overcooked or did not have the required fat content to make them moist enough. The pasta dishes were all very good the pasta was fresh and the sauce was very good. The Eggplant Parmagiana was excellent everyone at the table thought this was one of the the stand out dishes with the Octopus. All in all I think all of us had a great dinner except for Asher but he does not eat Pork or Shell Fish kind of tough in an Italian Restaurant.