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What to Eat at Bar Toma, Officially Open Today

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The last time you saw the inside of Bar Toma, it was still under construction, but moving full steam ahead toward its opening. Now, about three weeks later, Tony Mantuano's new casual 250-seat Italian eatery is officially open.

The restaurant, divided into various stations—pizza, espresso, gelato, mozzarella and more—opened its doors this morning at 7 a.m. Mantuano, who realizes a longtime dream of having a place that reflects a typical central meeting point in most Italian towns, tweeted that the first purchase was a cappuccino and a cornetto, an Italian pastry often filled with ingredients like Nutella or ricotta and honey.

The menu focuses on the wood-burning oven pizzas done "Bar Toma" style, according to Mantuano. The pies are both light and crispy at the same time, with a variety of toppings from the pillowy Bomba topped with prosciutto to the Calabrese with Becker Lane sausage and Calabrian chiles.

But don't ignore the other sections—Bar Plates (Tuscan chicken liver spread; rock shrimp polpette; Bar Toma baccala carpaccio); Roman Style Fritti (sweetbreads; panzerotti filled with tomato and mozzarella); Mozzarella Bar (mozzarella di Bufala; whole burrata with extra virgin olive oil and Sicilian sea salt); and salads (don't miss the Christina with poached shrimp, diced green olives, avocado and greens).

With prices generally ranging between $5 and $17 (save the mozzarella bar tastings, which can go up into the high $30s) and a diverse yet edited fantastic Italian wine list (with two wines on tap), Bar Toma is a perfect spot for a quick bite or a longer stay—and it lets you taste Mantuano's food the Obamas fell in love with at Spiaggia, but on a more approachable level. And whether you sit at one of the intimate tables, a communal table or grab a spot at the full bar on the east side of the restaurant, take a moment to enjoy one of the housemade cocktails like the Spreetz (Prosecco, house bitters and orange) or the Tomanata (a refreshing blend of genever, sage and honey lemonade). Watch for the expansive outdoor sidewalk patio in the late spring. If you do want to check it out today, think about buying a ticket to the party there benefitting Green City Market. You'll get to taste through many menu items and support a great local cause.

Bar Toma Menu

· Get a Sneak Peek at Bar Toma, Set to Open Nov. 29 [~EChi~]

Bar Toma

110 E Pearson Street, Chicago, IL 312 266 3110

Spiaggia

980 North Michigan Avenue, , IL 60611 (312) 280-2750 Visit Website

Bar Toma

110 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL

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