Chicago >Food & Dining > Coco Pazzo
300 W Hubbard St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.890195 -87.635845
Mon-Thu 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm
Fri 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm
Neighborhoods: Near North Side, Central
Chicago's authority on Tuscan, Italian cuisine, owner Jack Weiss and Chef Chris Macchia create a seasonal menu abundant with both traditional and contemporary dishes. The plentiful display of antipasti and a wood-burning oven are the first things you notice in this splendid loft space. With soaring ceilings, velvet drapes and a fifty-foot antique bar, comfort is key at Coco Pazzo. In harmony with the menu, co-owner and Wine Director, Tamra Weiss, has created an all Italian wine list that boasts an unique selection of popular, and small production wines by the bottle, or by the glass. Based on quality and value, the wine list has been praised by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast year after year.
Good food and nice atmosphere – The ambiance at Coco Pazzo is quite lovely. The restaurant is casual, comfortable and bustling but still chic enough for a nice evening out. The food was well prepared and fresh. The rib-eye might be a little too marbled, but the flavor was wonderful and it was cooked perfectly. The seafood stew and squash blossom appetizer were both fantastic. The service did seem a little hurried at times, but as soon as they realized we were in the mood for a longer meal they slowed down a bit. They did forget to bring a dessert drink, but remedied right away after a little reminder. Overall a great pick for a nice Italian dinner.
Ups and Downs – Went on a Friday night, reservation was for 7 and got there at roughly 645. The man in the suit at the front (assuming he's the manager) seemed irritated at the fact that we were there early, and was not friendly whatsoever. The waiter was nice, attentive and helpful for the first half of the evening, and once it got a little crowded, he sucked. Not really his fault, he may have been assigned too many tables at the time. The food was pretty good, but nothing really stood out or was "to die for." (and we tried an appetizer, two salads, and two different entrees). I've not eaten at many italian places in Chicago, but If someone asked me about this place, I would say there has to be better italian food in Chicago.
Tuscan treats--including homemade pasta--continue to garner praise at this Northern Italian hotspot. – Nestled into a former furniture factory with a dim-lit, loft-like feel, this wood-beamed dining room with cream-colored walls and imposing velvet drapes enjoys a who's-who, repeat following. With seasonality in mind, Chef Chris Macchia crafts memorable plates, from a first bite of pear, taleggio and speck tart to housemade wild boar sausage alongside lentils and watercress. More substantial main courses could mean osso buco sprinkled with gremolata or stunning wood-grilled, tableside-sliced Bistecca alla Fiorentina for two. Eggless panna cotta is a sight to behold.
Yum! – We love this place. The food is always exceptional. The wine list is varied. The service is always really great. And the ambiance is warm even though you are surrounded. Though the main room is huge and open it doesn't echo like so many do because of the drapes. There is a nice buzz to the room yet you can hear your companion easily. And anywhere that drills a hole in a potato to use as a bud vase gets a thumbs up in creativity from us.
Exceptional Restaurant – Coco Pazzo was a complete delight! The service was right on time and overwhelming. When you plates came out there would be a number of staff that offered you pepper, cheese etc. The manager checked on us twice to make sure that everything was just the way we wanted it. The restaurant is extremely open with no real view blocked. The interesting thing was that the sound level was overwhelming and we were able to carry on normal conversation. The wine list was spectacular with pages of Italian wines. We started the night with Fughi Arrosto & the Risotto di Giorno (1/2 order) which was prepared with Pumpkin and Pancetta. The Fughi Arrosto was absolutely outstanding with intense and succulent flavor. My main course was gnocchi with veal in a cream sauce which was very light and flavorful.
I will most definitely be eating at Coco Pazzo again!
High Quality Dining Experience – What is good:
Very attentive wait staff
Focaccia Bread and chef's humus muse
Food is very good, but perhaps not memorable
Valet and self parking availability
Wine list had a nice selection and $ range
Great noise control with draperies
Gracious owner who talked to us at our table
High class patrons
What is less than the best:
No 1/2 bottles of wine
I've Had Better, But It Was Alright – The service was awful. The waitstaff ignored some people at the table when taking drink orders, simply because they hadn't been the one requesting the wine list. They also had a habit of constantly rearranging drinks of the table so that they were sitting perilously near the edge. No matter where you set it, it would always be moved back to where your arm could hit it. It was almost comical to our group. Very odd. Drinks ordered as dinner was served didn't arrive until after dinner was finished. Won't return, just because there's too much out there.
We Love It! – We go there every visit - this restaurant is also Our first stop. Great Italian food and an excellent value. It can be noisy on warm summer nights after work - if you want romance, go on a weeknight, not during Friday happy hour! Love the dessert wines...
Tasteless in every way – When the waiter came over and said that he bet "we were wondering what the table with food was doing when we first walked in," I knew we were in trouble. I've been to many Italian restaurants, and yeah, some have antipasto tables set up. So when the waiter said that, I knew we just stepped into a tourist trap. The tacky, gold wedding factory chairs totally blew the cool, loft ambiance (not to mention the over 70 crowd). Now the food...tasteless. The rack of lanb was so overpowered by the sauce, I couldn't tell if it was lamb or skirt steak. All in all, a truly tasteless experience.
Disappointed – We had been fans of Coco Pazzo, using it for business as well as personal dining. Until last night we considered it one of Chicago's better restaurants. Last night the food was good at best but the service was fair at best. We had to ask for bread, pour our own wine and wait for the entree. The worst was being seated next to the wait station which in itself was not terrible but the wait staff's use of it was. Leaning over my shoulder to get plates instead of going to the other side, throwing silverware into drawers and talking loudly around it were just a few of the problems. Needless to say we have written the restaurant off our list.
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