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Segnatore - Chicago

The end of 2021 saw the opening of many Italian restaurants in Chicago; at the top of the new openings is Segnatore. Inspired by the hidden history of folk healers in Italy, the menu at Segnatore uses Midwestern ingredients to craft dishes that are solidly in the Italian culinary tradition.

There are many intriguing items on the Segnatore menu. You may be tempted to start with familiar dishes, like meatballs in sauce or prosciutto de Parma, but there are other, perhaps more creative dishes that you definitely should consider, like the Smoking Goose N'duja, a take on the traditional spreadable salami that uses the bird for unusual deliciousness, and Smoked Olives, which brings a new flavor dimension to this well-known stone fruit (that's right, olives are not vegetables; they're fruits).

Ravioli is a standby at Italian restaurants, and at Segnatore, you get Girasole Ravioli, sunflower pasta, with honeynut squash, sage brown butter and golden raisins, a different kind of ravioli. Brussels Sprouts Risotto is a veg-forward take on this traditional dish, and if your appetites tend toward the heartier dishes, you will definitely want to try the Porchetta, a boneless pork roast perked up with prune mostarda and bitter greens.

For those who prefer more veggie options, there are several to consider, and we recommend Celery and Walnut salad with Gorgonzola and apples, or the Braised Escarole with giant runner beans.

Family-style options include the Whole Fried Chicken (with taste-popping fried rosemary and grilled rosemary) and the Roasted Whole Fish with salsa verde.

To drink there is a truly extensive selection of wines by the glass. With all the flavors going on at a Segnatore dinner, you will want to try a few glasses, and mix them up, just to savor the different flavor combinations.

Desserts include a fenugreek-Preserved Squash Tart with citrus glaze and a Butter Rhum Budino with pear cardamom caramel and bruleed black Turkish figs.