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Sofi Restaurant & Bar, From Former Riccardo's Co-Owner, Opens Friday

Photo: Mark Much

Another Italian spot is invading Chicago this weekend, from the same man who co-owned Riccardo Enoteca and Riccardo Trattoria, Maurizio Michi. Michi is focusing cuisine on "upscale Northern Italian," in a similar vein as Riccardo's. "I've been doing it for 50 years," he says, " it's the same atmosphere, same family."

The menu features selections of hot antipasti (artichoke mold with fontina fondue; grilled pork roll over sauted broccoli rapa oil and garlic; grilled polenta crouton topped with gorgonzola and porcini) and cold antipasti (cold veal in tuna sauce and capers; burrata with truffled carpaccio and sweet prosciutto di Parma; fresh tuna tartare with crudites, avocado and chives).

Large sections for paste (featuring fresh cavatelli in a pecorino and black pepper sauce, truffles; Tagliolini Boscaiola with vegetables julienne and truffle carpaccio; Pappardelle Anatra with duck ragout and pecorino cheese), risotti (prawn and artichoke; Milanese with saffron and topped w/spicy&sweet sausage ragout), carni (roasted deviled and butterflied cornish hen; pork chop saltimbocca; veal meatloaf with cream and porcini), and pesci (fish stew Tuscan style; sea scallops and prawns skewer with braised leeks).

For beverage options, Sofi will open as a BYOB, a full bar will open later. It will also only open for dinner, lunch hours will begin down the line. The space features 60 seats with a front patio that holds 30.

This is Michi's first solo restaurant in Chicago, although he's a vet that was literally born in a kitchen in Italy. He owned a restaurant in New York City for five years before moving to Chicago and co-owning Riccardo's with his brother, Riccardo.

He calls the split a "family matter" and declined to discuss it further. He says the South Loop "reminds him of SoHo" but says "there's not many restaurants in the South Loop that offer what I offer." Judge for yourself on Friday.
· Sofi Restaurant & Bar [Official Site]
· New Italian Restaurant Heading to the South Loop [-ECHI-]

Sofi Restaurant & Bar

616 S. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL