Changes are afoot at Italian stalwart Piccolo Sogno's sibling on Clark Street in River North. Piccolo Sogno Due will close temporarily to undergo a reconcept at the end of April to become more casual and daytime-friendly under the new name Nonnina, chef/partner Tony Priolo says. Priolo and co-owner Ciro Longobardo are also bringing in a new executive chef and partner, Chris Macchia, who made his name at Italian standouts Coco Pazzo and The Florentine and most recently helmed Rich Labriola's Pizza Barra. Expect the reopening in the early summer.
Priolo says Due was doing fine but the neighborhood dictated the changes. "(River North) is very pedestrian friendly," he says, "and a little hipper." Thus, part of the restaurant will become much more casual, as ownership is changing the existing bar into a to-go counter serving items including salads, sandwiches, house-made pastas and wood-fired meats in the daytime in a section of the restaurant he says will be "like an old-school Italian shop."
The rest of the space will take on more of a modern feel, including a new bar in the existing dining room. Look for food there that is "inspired by what we grew up with," he says. Also expect photos of their grandmothers on the wall, hence the name Noninna. They're still working out the food menu in the dining room, which will still be upscale, but one new item he'll share now is timpano.
The restaurant opened in July 2012 in a prominent space on Clark Street just north of the Chicago River with Todd Stein, who is now the corporate executive chef for 4-Star Restaurant Group, in the kitchen. Look for the new concept around July 2016.