For my birthday this year Kevin took me to Piccolo Sogno for dinner. Piccolo Sogno is not new to the Chicago restaurant scene, but has been on my restaurant bucket list since I first moved here. Known for their stunning outdoor space and authentic Italian cuisine, everything about our experience at Piccolo Sogno was nothing short of wonderful.
When we arrived we were pleasantly greeted by the host and seated outside on the gorgeous patio. Their outdoor space is truly an urban oasis lined with beautiful trees, ivy, and strung lights. You would never know you were right on the other side of a busy city street.
Upon being seated our waiter brought us an assorted bread basket served with the restaurant’s own olive oil imported from Sicily and 15 year aged balsamic vinegar. The nutty flavor of the olive oil paired perfectly with the sweet, thick balsamic and tasted wonderfully on the warm bread.
We decided to share a bunch of different dishes for our meal and the kitchen thoughtfully split all of our plates ahead of time which was a nice touch. To start, we ordered a salad that was on special for that evening which was a mix of arugula, strawberries, and blue cheese with a balsamic glaze. The salad was light and fresh and a perfect starter.
Next we ordered the Griglia Mista which is an antipasti dish consisting of grilled calamari, shrimp, octopus and arugula dressed in a lemon and caper infused olive oil. This appetizer was good, but only had one small piece of octopus which we would have liked more of.
For our next course we tried two appetizer portions of their handmade pastas. The first pasta we ordered was the Gnocchi Di Ortica which is spring nettle and potato dumplings, oven dried tomatoes, braised chicken, peas, leeks, and parmesan. The flavor of the oven dried tomatoes in the sauce were bold which paired nicely with the light pillowy dumplings. We both agreed this is the best gnocchi dish we have ever eaten.
We also tried the Papperdelle Con Cinghiale which is wide flat pasta with a spiced wild boar ragu. This pasta was also delicious and the texture of the noodles were perfectly al dente. The ragu was very filling so we were glad we ordered the appetizer portions of both.
For our main course we ordered another special for the evening which was the branzino. The fish of the day was a sea bass served with lemon and roasted fennel. The fish was prepared whole and brought to the table to show before the waiter took it back to filet for us.
The sea bass was light and flaky and topped with a blood orange and caper sauce that was delicious on the fish.
Since it was my birthday we decided not to pass on dessert. We split a piece of the ricotta and orange cheesecake with mixed berries. The cheesecake was super light and much less dense than a traditional cream cheese base. It was the perfect ending to an already incredible meal.
Piccolo Sogno is the perfect restaurant for your next date night or celebratory dinner. Their patio is the best in the city and the food is some of the best Italian fare I’ve tried. Do yourself a favor and make a reservation as soon as possible!
Piccolo Sogno is located at 464 N. Halsted St. in Chicago’s Fulton River District