Davanti Enoteca – Taylor Street in Little Italy, Chicago

Chicago has no shortage of Italian restaurants.  Since the weather was pretty crappy last night, I decided to stay on the south side of the river.  So, I hopped the CTA Blue Line and headed over to Davanti Enoteca in Littly Italy.

 

Davanti Enoteca entrance

Corner of Taylor and Loomis in Chicago’s Little Italy neighborhood

Davanti Enoteca is located

1 1/2 blocks west and 3 blocks south of the Racine ‘L’ stop. The #12 Roosevelt Rd. bus also stops nearby.

 

Racine 'L' stop near Davanti Enoteca

 

Open since 2012, Davanti Enoteca is one of the latest ventures from Chef Scott Harris (Francesca’s).

Executive Chef Jaysen Euler is in charge of the kitchen at Davanti Enoteca here.  His menu is a terrific mix of Italian antipasti and shared plates. Here’s how my dinner went down:

I began with the escarole salad with Gala apple, Pecorino cheese, celery, toasted hazelnuts and black pepper.  It was dressed with a generous amount of really good quality olive oil.  Hallelujah to Chef Jaysen for not being afraid of using a proper amount of olive oil!  I cannot tell you how happy he made me.  My skin is glowing 🙂  This salad had wonderfully fresh, crispy, buttery, toasty, creamy and peppery ingredients which stood up to the fruity olive oil.  I loved this salad. Despite its large size, it was not at all too filling.  So, I had room for another dish.

 

Davanti Enoteca's gala apple saladEscarole salad with Gala apples, Pecorino cheese, celery, toasted hazelnuts, black pepper and ample amount of olive oil

 

Davanti Enoteca's salad

 

Davanti Enoteca's apple hazlenut salad

 

I admit that I had a tough time choosing between a spicy rigatoni entree and one of the meat dishes.  Then, I spotted the veal marsala on the “specials” menu and my mind was made up.  I am a sucker for anything made with marsala wine.  Chef Jaysen made this dish with red bliss potatoes and asparagus.  

In keeping with traditional rustic fare (and “Goodfellas”), the garlic in this dish was sliced razor-thin.  Loved it!  My mom used to make chicken marsala all the time. Since it is Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to honor her memory.  Great choice 🙂

 

Davanti Enoteca's veal marsala

Veal Marsala with roasted red bliss potatoes and asparagus

 

Davanti Enoteca's veal marsala and asparagus

Veal Marsala with oven roasted red bliss potatoes and asparagus

 

The space at Davanti Enoteca is rustic and cozy.  There are a few high top tables near the bar and tables in the back near the retail wine area.  I sat at a 2-top near the window looking out onto bustling Taylor St.  It was the perfect spot for a solo meal.  Big shout out to my server, Jodi.  She was very attentive, happy and knowledgeable about the menu.

 

Davanti Enoteca's bar

 

Fun Facts:  Davanti Enoteca offers daily specials such as Wine Wednesdays (25% off select bottles) and seasonally-infused vodka on tap.  They have earned many critical accolades.  

 

Davanti Enoteca's wine specials

One of the daily specials at Davanti Enoteca – Taylor Street

 

Davanti Enoteca is located at 1359 W. Taylor St.  Click here for more information. 

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Blue Line to Davanti Enoteca.  Save on gas. Avoid traffic, road rage and parking.  Reduce pollution. Don’t drink and drive!