A few weeks ago the boyfriend and I ventured out for a post work + running errands dinner. I love mid-week date nights, especially when they are impromptu as this one was. I had visited Osteria via Stato once before and loved it. In fact it was my very first blog post (crazy, right? so much has changed on the blog since then that it is funny to look back on). This is one spot that is ridiculously close to my house but for some reason I could never convince my boyfriend it was a must try. Finally on a gorgeous Fall evening in Chicago, he was convinced by their outdoor patio area. To say he was impressed is an understatement, he loved his meal, and I once again loved mine. This time I actually took photos of the food for you to see so let's get to that.
Restaurant: Osteria via Stato
Neighborhood: River North
Ambiance: I have now dined inside and outside of the restaurant, and I have to say I love the feel of both. The inside is dimly lit and super romantic, while the outside is a bit more on the casual side, but still lovely.
Things You Should Know:
1. As I mentioned during the warmer months they do have outdoor seating, which is always a plus in my book.
2. The service is fabulous. Both times I have been there the wait staff really knew their stuff. As a guest this helps makes your experience a great one. I love when the waiters can go into detail on their menu items and really give you an honest opinion on what they care for vs. what they don't.
3. They do have a nice bar area to sit/hang around at while you wait (if you have to).
Our Menu Picks: The restaurant starts you off with a nice basket of fresh bread and a tasty roasted garlic, oil, and balsamic dip that is to die for. Both times I have been there I couldn't get enough.
We were pretty hungry and since it was my boyfriend's first time at the restaurant we decided we should start off with an appetizer. We ended up ordering two because everything sounded so good. The first (on the left) a cheesy spinach dip with toasted bread that was delicious, and the second (on the right) were the mini lamb meatballs in a simple tomato sauce.
While they were both great, I have to say I definitely loved the meatballs a teensy bit more. I'm not sure my boyfriend would agree, he was all about the dip. For our meals he ordered one of their specials (pictured left) a bacon and corn risotto that was awesome (of course I had a bite). I ordered another one of their ravioli dishes (pictured right) with butternut squash and sage. It was also quite tasty.
Favorite Bite: I really did love everything. All of their food, including the dip they start you off with is phenomenal. (I really need to recreate this at home, I know it can't be that hard.) If I had to pick a favorite bite...I think this time I would probably go with the mini lamb meatballs. They were very tasty.
Final Thoughts: I am happy to report that my second visit was just as great as my first. This is a spot I would absolutely recommend checking out if you live in the area or if you are visiting. The food is great, the atmosphere is cozy, and the service is wonderful. It has all of the qualities that make a restaurant one you want to go back to again and again.