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View Map5304 W. Devon Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 467-2000
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Editorial Review of Piatto

Piatto may be a trek from the city proper, but the combination of genuine Italian hospitality and divine nutrimento will leave you with no regrets. Don't be surprised to be immediately greeted by a lovely Italian hostess who will make a point to inquire as to whether this is your first visit; the guarantee, when you nod your head, is that, next time and all of the times after, you will be remembered. The warmth of Piatto is the stuff of tucked-away, candlelit European eateries bordered by cobblestone walkways. The feeling of being welcomed and cared for is apparent from the first step into this Edgebrook trattoria. Linger for hours over one of Piatto's excellent sulfate-free organic wines (available by the bottle, glass, or half or whole carafe) with no fear of being rushed.

Seating in this romantically lit locale is diverse, from large tavoli (tables) to homey booths to intimate, tall circular tables alongside the sleek bar. In warmer weather, French-style doors open for a breezy, alfresco feel. The fare nears perfection, beginning with the sun-dried tomato tapenade hors d'oeuvre set alongside warm bread. As a main course, the organic pasta is impeccable and diverse: from orecchiette to tortiglioni to whole wheat durum farfalle, smothered in Portobello mushrooms and goat cheese. The exotic gigli ("lilies" in Italian) is worth ordering purely for its gorgeous flower shape. Meat lovers will rejoice in dishes like the vitello forestiera (pounded veal with creamy mushroom sauce) and braised rabbit chunks atop the housemade pappardelle.

One weakness would be desserts, which are slim in offering; and the tiramisu is a bit on the watery side. Overall, though, Piatto is a sure bet for groups or intimate rendezvous; in either case the overwhelming sentiment is of old world-meets-organic gastronomic satiation. Average entree price: $19.

Average cost: $10-$20

Centerstage Reviewer: August Evans

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5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday

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chicago, metromix