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Critics Agree: Nico is Off to a Hot, Hot Start

Nico Osteria
Nico Osteria
Photo: Marc Much

Nico does a little bit of everything well and its dishes are "simple in conception but are elegant in flavor." The rustic Italian menu includes a "lovely" escarole and gem lettuce salad, "big, meaty" king crab legs and a "comforting" dish of Neapolitan ragu with braised pork belly, swordfish, pork meatball and risotto ball that's "rich and filling."

Amy Cavanugh is also "crazy about" the chinotto and fior di latte affogato dessert from Amanda Rockman and says "you won't find better pastries" than the slice of chestnut coffee cake served during breakfast. As for the beverage program, "you won't want to miss out" on Matty Eggleston's "perfectly pleasant and easy to drink" cocktails like the chestnut bourbon concoction. [TOC]

Phil Vettel is equally impressed with Nico, writing that everything about the restaurant has "justified the eager anticipation." Pancetta-wrapped sweetbreads with royal trumpet mushrooms is a dish Vettel "could enjoy every day" and the crudo selection such as the Hawaiian madai "would be the envy of any sushi bar in town."

A grilled octopus fettunta is "familiar and simple to the eye, deep and complex on the tongue" while the turbot whole-roasted fish is "firm, buttery and absolutely delicious." And leave room for the grapefruit meringata—cinnamon and rose water-infused segments of grapefruit with shards of meringue. [Tribune]

Nico Osteria

1015 North Rush Street, , IL 60611 (312) 994-7100 Visit Website