Ahh, Chicago. Just saying the name evokes images of beautiful lakes, trendy boutiques, and picturesque neighborhoods filled with pleasant fat people in Will Perdue Bulls jerseys, good-naturedly gnawing on deep-fried, deep dish pizza smothered in ranch dressing and little cups of nacho cheese. But at least fat people means good food, so you should probably hit Mia Francesca.
After finding success with Little Italy's Davanti Enoteca, Chicago Italian food magnate Scott Harris is doing it again farther north with Mia Francesca, a family-style Italian eatery in a meandering space decked out with sepia-toned photos of the Old World, and featuring two dining rooms, plus a wood-topped, nine-seat bar. Foodwise, they've got starters like Carpaccio con Asparagi (thin-sliced raw sirloin, capers, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus & Parmigiano), “pizze” (the prosciutto/ artichoke/ 'shroom/ olive/ egg-topped Quattro Stagioni), or a spicy tomato-sauced Linguine all' Arlecchino, sauteed with garlic, olive oil, shrimp, scallops, and manila clams, which were probably not thrilla'd about being included. If you often wear t-shirts that say "Go big (plates) or go home", you'll be happy to know you don't have to go home, by selecting larger dishes like roasted grouper in a garlic/ white wine sauce, and a mozzarella- & prosciutto-topped chicken breast with tomato sauce and sage called the “Pollo alla Salvia”.
Because liquids beat solids in taste tests, they're rocking a hefty 70+ bottle wine list, as well as 15 craft cocktails like the rum/ apricot brandy/ apricot preserves/ lime/ honey Apropos and the JD/ black raspberry liqueur/ bitters/ sweet ginger/ lemon/ orange/ honey Bucktown Jack, also how a cabbie at O'Hare will respond if you ask him, "Where around here are people living really, really large?".