The chef and owner of two adored Italian restaurants in Lincoln Park has opened a new Northern Italian eatery in Fulton Market. Riccardo Michi launched Riccardo Osteria in late March and is serving country fare on the corner of Lake & Carpenter at 1023 W. Lake Street.
Michi is known for his Lincoln Park staples: Riccardo Trattoria (a Michelin Bib Gourmand award-winner) and wine bar Riccardo Enoteca. The Lake Street space formerly housed Vera, an acclaimed rustic Spanish wine bar and restaurant, until it shuttered in 2017.
Riccardo Osteria’s menu leans heavily toward carbohydrates with four types of focaccine (focaccia) including the “classica” with prosciutto di parma, baby arugula and truffle oil and “asparagi fonduta e uovo fritto,” asparagus, fontina fondue, and truffle carpaccio with a fried egg. Diners can expect a handful of risotti options such as risotto del pescatore with seafood and shellfish and risotto alla monzese with sausage ragout, braised onions, and tomato sauce.
The menu also features pasta of many shapes and sizes, including gnocchi with oxtail ragout and pecorino cheese, linguini with manilla clams in white wine sauce, and pork and cabbage ravioli with bolognese sauce, fontina, and parmesan au gratin. There are six different takes on veal scallopini, as well as many pesce (seafood) and carne (meat) entrees. A wine list is not available online and management has not yet commented, but the restaurant appears to have a full bar.
The large dining room is filled with tables, and a few booths line the wall behind the bar, which has a long line of backed barstools. Natural light filters in through tall windows, balancing out the dark wood furnishings and exposed brick on the wall. Diners seated toward the back can watch their meals come together in an open kitchen.
Traditional Italian osterias serve simple food with wine, but modern incarnations tend to offer more elaborate dishes with an emphasis on local ingredients and specialties. A focus on hospitality is embedded in the name: the first part of the word — oste — means innkeeper or host.
Riccardo Osteria, 1023 W. Lake Street, (312) 291-8620, open 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.