4:09 PM CST, February 20, 2012
"Here at Prosecco," our waiter intoned, "we like to begin the meal with a complimentary taste of our sparkling wine." And so he poured a little prosecco into our glasses. Just an ounce or so, really, but it was lunch — pours are a bit more robust in the evening, I've found — and the barest sip of alcohol was all our work schedule would accommodate.
Prosecco, a comfortable, faux-aged beauty, offers Restaurant Week menus at lunch ($22) and dinner ($33). The menus are virtually identical, except presumably for portion size (the lunch version of the prosciutto- and cheese-topped chicken breast seemed rather puny, though my companion still didn't finish it). If anything, there are a couple of extra appetizer options at lunch, so that's when I suggest you go.
Among starters, the nicely composed house salad with Gorgonzola cheese, pear slivers and toasted walnuts is an easy choice over the respectable but slightly gummy risotto crab cakes and the caprese salad (there's nothing very interesting in the tomato world this time of year). Among mains, the chicken breast needs a better companion than the pallid mashed potatoes on my plate; the rigatoni in tomato-cream sauce, however, bolstered by bits of pancetta and nuggets of fennel-rich sausage, is a keeper. And the torta di mele (apple tart) makes a fine finale.
Prosecco adds an automatic 20 percent gratuity to its Restaurant Week lunches and dinners. The policy is spelled out on the menu and circled on the bill, but I mention it as a heads-up to the less attentive.
Prosecco, 710 N. Wells St., 312-951-9500.
Restaurant Week continues through Sunday. To view restaurants and make reservations, go to eatitupchicago.com
Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC