Last week I met some ladies from my church small group for dinner at Charlatan. Charlatan is a new restaurant on the Chicago food scene that debuted its menu last October. Charlatan is the brainchild of the owners of the popular Little Italy spot, Three Aces. The concept of this new spot is to “bring locally sourced, modern Italian inspired fare – with local brews, hand-crafted cocktails, and an Italian and American wine list to West Town”.
When trying to decide which restaurant we wanted to dine at, we knew we wanted something new with a laid back atmosphere and good food. Since we had a larger sized party, I knew we would need a reservation. When it comes to making reservations, I always use my OpenTable app. Not only is the app easy to use, it’s a great resource for finding new restaurants. You simply put in your location, the date/time, and your party size and every available restaurant will appear in a list. I was able to find Charlatan through OpenTable and I am so glad I did.
For starters we ordered the Grilled Octopus which was paired with Beef-Braised Baby Carrots, Marrow Fried Pan Gratato, Parsley, and Romesco. This dish blew my taste buds away! The octopus had a great smoky flavor from the grill and the carrots and romesco sauce were absolutely delicious! I would definitely go back for this dish alone.
We also tried the Meatball with Marinara, Ricotta, and Basil. The meatball was very moist and the sauce was slightly spicy which I liked.
Our waitress informed us that they are especially known for their pastas which is what we all ended up ordering for our entrees. The menu is constantly rotating based on what is in season and the menu had just changed over to their spring selections a couple of weeks prior to our visit. The pasta dishes are all available in half or full size orders which is a nice feature.
The first pasta we tried was the Black Kale Spaghetti with Kale and Walnut Pesto, Kale Chips, and Hard Blue Cheese. I loved everything about this dish! The pesto was light and flavorful which paired nicely with the pungent blue cheese. I definitely recommend ordering this pasta!
Next up was the half order of the Mushroom Rotolo which had a Mushroom and Ricotta filling, Sugar Snap Peas, Black Garlic, Carrot, Pecorino, and Smoked Poppy Seed. I did not try this particular dish since I don’t care for mushrooms, but as you can see the presentation was stunning and I heard great things from the others at my table.
The last pasta dish that made its way to our table was the Black Pepper Rigatoni with Wild Boar Ragu, Parmesan, and Crispy Kale. My friend who ordered this dish ordered a full size intending on having leftovers for lunch the next day, but it was so good she ate the entire thing.
We were all too full to try dessert, but if it is anything like the rest of our meal I’m sure it is delicious.
Charlatan is a great neighborhood spot that is perfect for a girls night out, date night, or drinks after work. I highly recommend checking out this new Chicago gem.
Charlatan is located at 1329 W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago’s Noble Square neighborhood
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