Chicago Restaurant Review: Eduardo’s Enoteca

Chicago Restaurant Review: Eduardo’s Enoteca
Interior of Eduardo's. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

Eduardo’s Enoteca in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood is a welcoming oasis just off the busy Division Street corridor and a stone’s throw from the Rush St. mecca.

The intimate space seduces you with its romantic atmosphere and semi-tropical outdoor patio.

eduardosflowersInside, warmth radiates from the 20' high rafters to the comfortable banquet seating and tables made from antique reclaimed wood that are adorned with fresh flowers.

Eduardo’s Enoteca is a lighter, trendier version of its former self--part of the Edwardo’s Natural Pizza chain.

The departure from stuffed pizzas to the thin crust Neapolitan style pizzas, artisanal cheeses and crostini is a welcome one. The food is fresh, local and authentic Italian fare-- with the menu changing along with the seasons.

The special summer menu, which debuted Friday, offers six summertime selections from grilled eggplant to a summer veggie pizza topped with a refreshing assortment of grilled vegetables, ricotta, pesto, mozzarella, asiago and lemon.

A special summer cocktail menu of seven signature creations leads off with the Strawberry Blonde--a combo of Wathen's bourbon, strawberries, ginger beer and bitters.

Whether you're looking for a glass of wine or a craft beer to have along with a light supper--or a gioie della tavola con il vino--the joys of a full course dinner with wine--Eduardo's capable staff can make it happen.

When I was there Friday for lunch, I started off with the Parma Crostini.

Eduardo's Parma Crostini. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

Eduardo's Parma Crostini. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

The beautifully presented crostini with prosciutto, Bufala mozzarella, tomato, Aceto balsamico, EVOO (a Rachel Ray trademark) was the perfect combination of crunchy, zesty, cheesy--and a bargain, priced at $6.  This or any of the other three crostini listed on the menu, along with a glass of wine, could be a light lunch for small eaters.

Not being a small eater and wanting to check out more of the menu for my review, I followed my crostini starter with selections from an artisanal cheese and charcuterie menu. The menu features an assortment of fromaggi and salumi from which to pick: 3 for $15/ 4 for $17/ 5 for $20.

The artisanal cheese and charcuterie. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

The artisanal cheese and charcuterie. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

I selected three soft cheeses and two of the six salumi choices offered. The standouts being the burrata--a fresh Italian cheese, made from mozzarella with a solid outer shell and a creamy soft middle--and the honey goat cheese which was smooth and buttery with a hint of sweetness. The third cheese, the semi soft asiago fresco was somewhat disappointing tasting bland and boring.

The braseola, an air-dried spiced beef, a specialty of the Lombardy region of Italy, along its northern border, was worth the wait--with the drying process taking up to three months--leaving a paper thin delectable cheese with a hint of juniper berries--a grand slam.

My other salumi selection, prosciuttp di parma, a dry-cured salty ham didn't disappoint. The assortment of olives and bread along with a cranberry fruit compote--that alternates fruits depending on the day or season--rounded out the platter.

Not being a quitter, I continued my feast with a selection from the Summer Specials menu--the Bibb Lettuce Salad.

eduardos1bibb

This was not just any bibb salad--the plate was piled high with fresh bibb topped with a summery assortment of strawberries, Gorgonzola cheese, almonds, green olives, honey and a light cream lemon shallot dressing that hinted at the softness of a summer day--all this for $10.

Even though I took my time throughout the courses, even I have my limits.  After all, it's just lunch. But what's a good meal without dessert--plus I was intrigued by an olive oil cake on the summer special menu.

Olive oil cake. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

Olive oil cake. Photo credit: Show Me Chicago

The cake was the consistency of a light pound cake with a moist texture, presumably from the olive oil. Topped with a blackberry and served with a lush blackberry cream--it was a magnifico finale.

Hours and location:

1212 N. Dearborn, 312-337-4490. Open 7 days a week. Hours: Mon – Fri opens 11 a.m. for Lunch, Dinner
Sat & Sun, opens at 10 am for Brunch, Lunch, Dinner.

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