Going outside your comfort zone can bring great rewards, but who needs rewards when you can just stay in a bed that adjusts to six different positions?!? For a restaurant from a group going outside their box, hit up Maitardi
The team that dominates chill dining on Lincoln Rd with Spris, TiramisU, and Segafredo, is just now hitting the Design District with Maitardi ("never late" in Italian), which took over the old Brosia property, installed a substantial wood-burning brick pizza oven, and kept the expansive, mosaic-tiled plaza, which is canopied by a grove of massive live oaks, which're waaay better than the studio version. Grub's mainly northern Italian, but flashes occasional Floribbean notes, ranging from tapas like sesame-crusted scallops w/ fennel-orange salad and passion fruit sauce, ahi tuna topped w/ lime, raspberries, and fried basil, and venison stewed overnight w/ Amarone wine & juniper berry, to a variety of cured meats (prosciutto di Parma, speck from the Alps, wild boar coppa salami) cut micro-thin to release ideal flavor profiles via a meat cutter with a hand crank -- proving it can be used for happy starters in addition to endings. Larger plates include a bevy of brick oven pizzas rocking toppings like Gorg & figs, and prosciutto & Robiola (a soft, sweet Italian blue cheese); pasta selections like venison ravioli with Gorg sauce, and gnocchi della Nonna (melted butter, cinnamon, and Parmesan); and entrees like fig-port wine sauced, pan-roasted lamb rack, which you will compliment as being "nice"
Tardi also rigs complimentary Wi-Fi, and an outside bar's planned for late October, giving you one more place to enjoy a wine list that's arranged by price tiers, not by region or grape, making it even easier to stay in your comfort zone of "the second cheapest".