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View Map1401 N. Wells St., Chicago
Tel: (312) 787-6604
Fax: (312) 787-3027
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Editorial Review of Orso's

Settled on the corner of Wells and Schiller, Orso's is an Old Town gem hidden in plain sight. A classically cool Italian eatery, Orso's stained glass windows, dark wood and enormous chandeliers mix it up with red leather and heavy, gold-framed pictures and mirrors. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin lend their voices to the restaurant's soundtrack, and whole tables of people have been known to join in the singing "That's Amore" (or maybe it was just our table).

For the cool cats seeking a drink or a bite to eat, curling up at the ornate bar or in a private booth is ideal. The full bar features an extensive wine list and serves reds and whites by the glass, half bottle or bottle. Shrimp cocktail, caprese salad and thin-as-a-dime pizza piled with fresh toppings keep guests company.

A separate dining room accommodates sophisticates looking for a more formal meal, complete with proper tables and white tablecloths. While white seems like an impractical color when you're ordering the likes of lasagna Bolognese, ravioli and filleto all orso—filet mignon sauteed in red wine sauce and topped with mushrooms—apparently staining the linen is perfectly acceptable, even for the refined. For dessert, enjoy slabs of tiramisu and tartufo.

When the weather is warm, the Wells Street sidewalk patio offers prime people watching, and the secluded garden out back allows guests to enjoy lunch or dinner while keeping it cool under a grapevine overhang. So smooth.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: Albrey Nuss

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11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday

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