A face lift can go in two directions, making something worn down look more striking, or striking fear into anyone who once looked like Meg Ryan. For an old restaurant with a fresh new face, Francesca's Forno.
Completely overhauled during a whirlwind six-week shuttering, the new Forno has taken a turn toward the rustic with weathered, reclaimed wood, old lantern-style fixtures, and a massive brick wine wall that's taken the place of the original bar, which's moved up front near new windows opening up onto the Six Corners intersection, so you can watch Willy and the Poor Boys hilariously be confused as to where to get down. The new menu's headed toward small plates, including noshes of grilled lamb meatballs with pomodoro/ watercress/ lemon, an olive oil-poached potato with lemon aioli and crispy prosciutto, and mussels in a broth of fennel, tomato, garlic, and Prosecco, far superior to Amatuersecco, which'll never make it if it just sits there and wines. More substantial shareables include 'zas like a bechamel-sauced clam/ pork belly/ potato number, fresh handkerchief-esque fazzoletti pasta w/ blue crab, brown butter, asparagus & peas, and summer beans, also a movie in which Rowan Atkinson is hilariously stupefied...while on a Crocodile Mile!
To wash it down there's a 50-strong wine list that highlights its numerous biodynamic, organic, and sustainable vintages via an easily discerned legend, which sadly no longer describes Ol' Catface Ryan.
Published: July 18, 2011 at 4:00am EDT
1576 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Be the first to know about the newest restaurants, bars, & events in your hood.