Nando Milano Trattoria ( 2114 W. Division St.; NandoMilano.com ) is on a stretch of Ukrainian Village populated by other eateries such as Takito and Folklore. Nando is a charming and worthy occupant of said stretch.
A gorgeous Chicago evening recently provided the opportunity to sit inside or outside ( in a similarly gorgeous area that was cordoned off on the sidewalk ). Either way, it was an incredible way to savor some of the mostly northern Italian cuisine that Nando ( named after Chef Allesio Vullo's dachshund ) offers.
We were treated to items such as arancini ( filled separately with spinach, proscuitto and beef raguwith all being delicious ), a wonderful pappardelle "San Marco" ( sausage with baby spinach and sun-dried tomato saute in a white wine sauce ) and a crab-stuffed branzino. If one dish was a bit weak, it was the much-anticipated lobster ravioliand that was only because the server accidentally put parmesan cheese on it, obscuring some of the flavor. However, my favorite dish had to be the saltimbocca alla Romanaa tenderized Berkshire pork loin topped with fontina cheese that somehow managed to taste even better two days later.
The general manager briefly mentioned to me that it's hard for mom-and-pop restaurants to survive in the big city. ( Another Nando Milano recently opened in Champaign, Illinois, where there's less competition. ) Here's hoping that the cozy and inviting Nando survivesand thrivesin Chicago.
ROOF ends up in Ibiza
The summer dayclub event ROOF on theWit ( at theWit, 201 N. State St. ) wrapped its travel series Sept. 2-4 with an Ibiza-themed offering.
Among the traditional Spanish fare were herbed fries, calamares ( pimenton aioli, grilled onion crema, pine nut, parsley ), brochettes de camarones, patatas bravas ( sweet potato, pimenton aioli, charred tomato crema ), Spanish chicken sliders, Ibiza summer flatbread andone of my favoritespan plano de jamon flatbread. My friend especially liked the crab dip.
Dessert items included macaroons ( six different flavors! ) and shaved-ice sundaes. Cocktails include tasty ( if potent ) offerings like sangria blanco.
DJs Steve Smooth, Flipside and Spryite provided high-energy dance music.