...and Then I Went to Chicago, Pt. II: Quartino

One of my favorite moments of being in Chicago this week was experiencing the food. The best part of traveling in general is discovering pieces of that city that you don't get to experience in your hometown. It's almost criminal to go out of town and eat at a restaurant that's located where you live. My boss and I did our best google searching to find a restaurant with good reviews and within walking distance from our hotel. We came across Quartino Chicago, an Italian restaurant and wine bar in downtown. There was such great energy in this place. It was pretty crowded when we arrived, so we thought we would have to wait a while for a table, but ended up finding two seats at the bar right away. Sidenote: bar seating is kind of my thing. I don't know, there's just something about it, and it's not because I'm closer to the alcohol. I just feel as if it's the most happening spot in any restaurant. You're in the middle of all the action.

We ordered a bottle of a white wine blend - Chardonnay + Pinot Grigio, chatted more than we ever have, and quietly judged the super drunk guy sitting next to us. When you're not even able to hold your piece of pizza without it falling from your hand, it's time to call it a night. Dear friends, don't ever let me get to that point.

Aside from drunk guy ruining the aesthetic, the ambiance in this place was perfect, the decor was rustic and vintage, and the food and wine were scrumptious. We both enjoyed the fettuccine alfredo, mine with shrimp. I literally daydreamed about that food days later, and regret not going back a second time while I was there.  

Check out an interview with Quartino's executive chef and founder, Chef John Coletta, by A Cook's Canvas.

Photo credit: Proud Italian Cook and Quartino Chicago's Twitter