Hours: Dinner: Sunday, Tuesday-Saturday
Open late: Friday & Saturday till 11
Mediterranean bistro from a quartet of fine-dining veterans.
This neighborhoody pan-Mediterranean bistro could easily be a subject of one of those "Why Berwyn?" billboards that have popped up all over Chicago to convince potential home buyers of the charms of New Svengoolieland. The four principals behind Autre Monde all worked under Tony Mantuano in various restaurants. Former Spiaggia wine steward John Aranza's nerdtastic horrorbilia decorates the bright, inviting Berwyn storefront with a long communal table running down the front and a spacious bar in the back. And the menu from Beth Partridge and Dan Pancake (ex-Cafe Spiaggia and Spiaggia, respectively) is certainly Mantuanoesque, most tellingly in a trio of ruddy handmade pastas, such as a generous tangle of tagliatelle with rock shrimp and bay scallops, a creamy sweet-pea puree that perfumes the entire dining room when it leaves the kitchen, or a voluptuous Taylor Street-style red sauce that blankets four fat pork-and-spinach-stuffed throw pillows. This is simple food, simply prepared, and when a server promises that plates are shareable, it's true—from a crock of fatty pork rillettes and pickled Rainier cherries to a pair of long crostini topped with white bean puree and thick, fresh-cured sardine fillets. Three flatbreads in particular take up quite a bit of surface area, but their crusts are light and wafer thin. Ingredients are high-quality, some of them coming from Partridge and Pancake's Ohio farm, others from the backyard greenhouse the team built. Read the full review >>
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