Chicago: Terragusto on Armitage

Convincing cash-strapped Chicagoans to order fancy pastas is a hard sell these days (is there really anything wrong with that inexpensive red-sauce joint down the street?), so the very fact that Theo Gilbert has just opened a second location of Terragusto, his fiercely local, adamantly handmade pasta workshop, means that he must be doing a few things right. Among them are addictive cubes of polenta whose golden, crunchy exteriors conceal warm, creamy interiors. But the real stars are the pastas. Problem is, you have to go through the waitstaff to get to them, and the upselling here—servers push wine with the zeal of a dealer with too much Vicodin on his hands—can get a little intense. And anyone who dares not to go for the four-course “traditional meal” will suffer plenty of wilting glances. But for thick-skinned people who can brush that stuff off, there’s only one way to order: Go for two pastas, the briny neri, dark with cuttlefish ink and tossed with spicy shrimp; and the capellacci di zucca alla modena, pockets stuffed with a lush purée of squash and Parmigiano-Reggiano. These are dishes you’ll want to eat again and again—no prodding required.

Terragusto on Armitage 340 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago (773-281-7200;



Post a Comment
Subscribe to Gourmet