Why it’s this week’s Best Bite: This is one of those restaurants that’s been in the back of my mind since I moved to Chicago, but still had yet to try. The day my roommate finished her second Chicago Marathon was finally the right opportunity to make plans for celebratory pasta and wine. As expected, the pasta was excellent. The wide, toothsome pappardelle noodles stood up to the hearty boar ragu, with the spiced, carrot-forward warmth that’s so comforting in a slow-cooked sauce. Getting to dine outside was what really clenched it, though – Piccolo Sogno (Italian for “little dream”) is nearly as well-known for its back patio as it is for its food, and I now see why. The atmosphere is nothing short of magical, its fairy-tale trees stretching over to ivy-covered walls to form a lush, softly lit hideaway. Come spring, I’ll be back for more pasta under the stars.
The details: Piccolo Sogno, 464 N. Halsted St., Chicago.