Weekend Planner: Quartino Celebrates 10th Anniversary, National Pizza Week, Sunday Supper at Cafe Spiaggia

Quartino Celebrates 10th Anniversary

One of downtown Chicago's most popular and enduring Italian restaurants, established years before the surge of Italian restaurants swept the city, is poised to celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend. After a decade of success, Quartino plans to give back to its customers with an event not to be missed on Sunday, January 10, as executive chef John Coletta and co. take over the entire first floor for a wine bash. For just $10, attendees will have the chance to peruse Italian wines and an assortment of signature bites, including Coletta's signature housemade salumi. He made a special charcuterie item, a Fiocci di Prosciutto Rustico, just for the event, flavored with white wine and spiced with juniper, allspice, and coriander. Other items to be served during the event include assorted Neapolitan pizzas, Gorgonzola-stuffed dates wrapped in pancetta, porcini-crusted tuna, polenta fries, penne vodka, hand-charred bell peppers, chilled shrimp with lemon-caper mayo, Grana Padano Stravecchio aged 36 months with housemade apricot-rosemary paste, and more. The party is from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.



National Pizza Week Specials at Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar

In other Italian news, National Pizza Week comes to a close at Frasca Pizzeria & Wine Bar, with some can't-miss pizza specials and a pizza-making class on Saturday, January 9. Each day of pizza week has featured a different specialty pie at this Lakeview/Roscoe Village haunt, courtesy of corporate executive chef Todd Stein. Priced at $13 each, specialty pies include a fennel sausage and butternut squash pizza on January 8 and a breakfast pizza on January 9, available during brunch from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. To cap things off, Frasca is hosting a pizza-making class at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. The interactive demo led by chef Nate Judson gets guests up close and personal with the dough, with each participant selecting the type of pizza they'd like to create. Reservations for the class are required and can be made by calling the restaurant, and the price is $30 per person, inclusive of two glasses of wine or beer.  

Sunday Supper Series at Cafe Spiaggia

This weekend is all about Italian restaurant news, because another local Italian mainstay is kicking off a new Sunday Supper series on January 10. Served in addition to the regular a la carte menu, Cafe Spiaggia's new Sunday Supper option is a four-course family-style affair, available for $45 per person. Each week, the menu will change, created by different chefs from the Spiaggia's kitchens. The inaugural Sunday Supper menu this weekend is courtesy of chef de cuisine Joe Flamm, who will be cooking up mozzarella-stuffed peperoncino, soppressata, and roasted mushrooms; carrot, pear, fennel, Treviso salad with honey and Parmesan; broccoli rabe farfalle with controne, lemon, chervil, and garlic; and pork belly porchetta with pickled apples, tarragon and pistachios. To accompany the meals, sommelier Rachael Lowe will offer a selection of a featured $40 bottle of wine. At meal's end, each guest will get a printed recipe card of their favorite dish to take home with them. Reservations can be made by calling Cafe Spiaggia. 
- Matt Kirouac