Best Refined Italian Place to Take Out-of-Towners

Anteprima

Critics' Picks

You have a bunch of friends in town, several of whom have never been to Chicago. All of them are really into food, but they're not that into the scenier aspects of eating out (it takes a certain amount of imperviousness to go there—and no one wants to endure that on vacation). There might be a vegetarian among them. And while you don't want to be subjected to a club soundtrack or four-inch heels, you don't want plastic tablecloths or bad lighting, either. You want the most comfortable yet stylish of restaurants, the kind that puts the "class" in "classic." And so you go to Anteprima, a bit selfishly, because a party of eight will allow you to conquer a good number of the appetizers (can't decide between the grilled octopus with potatoes or the calamari with fregola? You don't have to!), which you typically want to make an entire meal out of. A large party is also cause for an extended pasta course, meaning you can sample both the stinging nettle risotto with preserved lemon and goat cheese and the bucatini with sardines, fennel, and bread crumbs. And the table can just go ahead and order each of the seven entrees, because the more time you spend here, the better. It's vacation for you, too.