Chicago >Food & Dining > Osteria Via Stato
620 N. State St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061041.892821 -87.628173
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
I come to Osteria probably once a year and every time I wonder why I'm not there more often. Mmmm...mmmm....delicioso. LEYE got it right..
If you're downtown and need a great pizza (or pasta or cocktail or seafood or... anything Italian) this is one of the places I always recommend.
You will continue to CRAVE this food, and be compelled to return. – I have never written a review before, but eating here is almost an obsession for my me & husband while we are visiting Chicago. Even amongst Chicago's endless renowned restaurant offerings, this is THE ONE we just can't help coming back to. The recipes & presentation are so honest in their approach & quality that you get an amazing culinary experience without one ounce of pretense. It is Italian food at it's finest origins (nothing overly complex and mysterious): warm crusty bread, an exceptional sampling of olives, delicious antipasto, fresh fish, well-balanced pastas. Don't refuse dessert and miss the divine gelatos, and especially the Chococello which everyone at your table will want to try once they see it! It is the type of meal you only wish your own Italian grandmother would prepare! The servers have the right balance of food & wine knowledge, and attentiveness without being overbearing. They seem to understand that the food & extensive wine list are the stars of the show, and can stand on those merits alone without a lot of fluff from their department. Regardless, they always serve with great ease and replenish your items at your simple request. You truly feel like a guest in someone's home when they serve your portions tableside right out of a tiny copper saucepan! The whole experience embodies authentic hospitality. The family dinners are definitely a value, but I highly recommend visiting for lunch as well. The lunch menu shines with some delicious lighter options (antipasto, salads, seafood crudo), which is generally unexpected for an Italian eatery. You can not help but recognize and appreciate how these meals are prepared with great passion.
Great food – This place is great. The food was good, the service was awesome. Defiantly recommend for a nice romatic dinner. The place is a little crowded, but that adds to the atmosphere.
Unpleasing Italian – I must say we were quite disappointed with this Osteria. The service was very slow,it looked as though the restaurant was understaffed. Our antipasto and salads took forever to come to the table and were nothing close to the quality you would recieve at an Osteria in Italy more like a chain restaurant. The salmon entree was soaked in oil and the pasta was just fair. Our wine tastings came out so late we could only taste one and told our waitress to stop the rest because we were half way through our main course when the second arrived. All around our experience here very unpleasant.
Excellent Wine List – I have been here twice...once for prix fixe lunch and for dinner. Both times we were all pleased with the food, wine and service. How about that wine list? The sommelier definitely knows what he/she is doing! The service was friendly and unpretentious. One night we had to rush to an event so we couldn't have dessert. When we came back around 10:30PM the place was shutting down for a private event. The manager apologized and offered as her card for a future comp. Highly recommend this place!
Nice eatery – I like the outside seating (the casual area). The food is as good as the main dining area but more laid back. On the weekends with people crowded around waiting for tables, it does get hectic. But I sometimes, a noisy evening with great food isn't so bad. All the dishes, especially the salami and the other meats were great, the salad, the pasta dishes yum!!! The coffee gelato for dessert is a nice way to finish!
Will the servers find you attractive? – First of all, the food IS wonderful. Still, I'm not sure we'd return -- the service was annoying. Our waiter rushed us through dinner -- we were in and out in less than an hour (so much for the very Italian habit of a leisurely dinner). And we noticed that the macho male servers brought the basics to our table of guys -- but managed to bring all sorts of extras to tables full of cute girls. The lame service left us annoyed.
What a great meal! – I enjoy small plate eating and this is a great Italian version of that. If anyone's heard/been to English is Italian in NYC this is just as good. I sat at the wood stove bar and got great service from the staff (couple managers, server, sommelier). You're given antipasti (veal meatballs, roasted onion with parmesan, spinach salad with pomegranate seeds) and can ask for more of anything. Next are two pastas and you choose an entree. Meal started with great bread and olive plate (server wrote down the olive names for me and sommelier did the same with the wine. Would be just as great with friends...YUM
Most Authentic Italian in the city – I just got back from studying in Italy, and I must say Osteria Via Stato is without a doubt the BEST, morst AUTHENTIC Italian restaurant in the city. I'll go back and back and back...be sure to try the Chicken Brioni, or Pescatore (seafood stew) both amazing!!!! Long wooden tables make this the perfect place for large gatherings.
Fun experience, good food, good value – The semi fixed menu was not bad - a 5 different antipasto dishes, a couple pastas, and then the choice of main. good for 35 bucks. very satisyfing and good quality. the main dishes were good (short ribs and lamb shank were very tender). Also tried the "bring me wine" option where they bring a wine for each course (3) so you get to try a few different ones. Dessert was excellent as well (not included) and reasonably priced - about 4-5 bucks each. Try the chococello - a blend of cocoa and vodka that goes great with the chocolate gelato :)
The ambience is a bit different than traditional italian restaurants - some shared tables (though there is a divider on the table), light techno ambient music - but I think it adds to up to a new way to dine italian.
One of my favorites – I have been twice-about 1 year apart. The food was consistent. It is a prefix 35$ for a multicourse meal that is excellent quality. The pastas are wonderful. They serve them in small portions but you can ask for more. The main courses are good but not as wonderful as the appetizers and pastas. Excellent quality, excellent value, friendly service. Wonderful wine list-lots of options in terms of by the glass, or half/full bottles.
I would return without question.
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