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Posted by Bruno on 04/22/2007
I do not claim to be an expert in the culinary arts, but I am in a business that demands a great deal of travel and, by sheer force of necessity, I have been fortunate enough to sample a wide gamut of American food, from Huate cuisine to street food and almost everything in between. Again, I am not an expert, but I do know what I like and I really liked Riccardo Trattoria. I have also noticed (and this is the case with almost any food that claims a disticnt ethnic origin) that there is clear difference between Italian restaurants and "Italian" restaurants. In my travels I have noticed some annoyingly recurring themes in restaurants that claim to be Italian. At Riccardo's there was no option to "add chicken" to a pasta dish for an extra $3. No one hovered over me in an attempt to ladle obscene amounts of parmesan cheese on my plate. I was never - not once - offered a side salad with a neet dollop of ranch dressing. Instead, Riccardo Trattoria's menu offered delightful proportionality and balance. You can actually have courses - remember those!? Some people may think my above comparisons unfair, as Riccardo Trattoria is not trying to be one of those Italian restaurants in quotes and the "Italian" restaurants certainly do not aspire to be Riccardo's. But for those of you who either live in or travel to Chicago, Riccardo's is a oasis in a desert of mediocrity and it can now count itself amongst the best Italian restaurants in Chicago. Some highlights from the menu: My dining companions and I greatly enjoyed the Pizzaccia with Proscuitto, Mozarella (unctuous, but not to the point of overpowering the flavor of the proscuitto) I cannot stress this enough, the orecchiette with wild boar sausage was amazing. In my opinion, this was the evenings best offering. The interplay between the rapini and sausage was right on. One of my guests swore by the peppered tuna and our waiter, a dapper young Milanese man, suggested a good wine.
Posted by Anonymous on 12/10/2006
Four of us agreed the food was great including appetizers, salads, main course and desert. Numerous wines (all Italian) to choose from. Early reservation, service excellent in beginning but slowed down at end. People waiting for tables as we left. Veal ravioli appetizer was perfect. Veal chop excellent, Skate excellent, Staff very pleasant. Try it.
Posted by Anonymous on 11/02/2006
Riccardo's is a gem of a neighborhood Italian restaurant. It provides some of the freshest Italian food in the city. The tastes are clean and the textures are perfect.
Posted by Vittorio on 10/22/2006
We just went back from Trattoria Riccardo and we aren't so satisfied. Parking almost impossible. Valets (8$) go to park running on unobserved streets. We reserved but we waited 1 hour before been seated. Service is very slow and distracted. They forgot all the time to remove dirty plates, to bring water, etc. Food: I'm Italian, and expert of Italian cooking, so I can really tell you. Complimentary bruschette were really bad, the bread was fusty. The supplementary bread they brought was very good and fresh. the antipasto misto was good (fresh pecorino cheese great, it was really original). Ribollita was very good, but it has 2 pieces of the fusty bread.. Fettuccine with lobster: lobster was good but too much spicy, and a good Italian cook should know that good fish is killed by too much red pepper! Orecchiette with cinghiale (wild boar) no good. Orecchiette (as linguine were fresh and good) but the sauce really bad, not fresh made, too bitter and full of oil. You couldn't really recognize the flavor of the boar (which I know well). I've been in a couple of better Italian restaurants in Chicago. (obviously I'm not going to make advertisement for them, it is not my interest.)