1851 W Addison St
Chicago, IL 60613
I love Italian food. I love crazy weird Italian wine. I love to eat Italian food with this crazy Italian wine. It may be genetic, but I don’t fight it. Bring it on…food ecstasy with my very favoritest wines. I want a tummy full of yum right now. Thus, I am highly recommending that you try your hand at BYOBing at Terragusto. Do it now. Call for a reservation first, but do it now.
The place is itsy. The ambience is rustic, in a loud and warming kind of way. The use of space and the setting is very fitting, considering that Terragusto is all about eating, drinking, and engaging in a Tuscan sensory overload. This restaurant is incredibly affordable, intimate, and BYOB…no corkage, but you pitch in $1 bottle recycling fee per drinker. The kitchen is within sight, and smell!, of your table. The ingredients are super season and fresh, mainly local, and primarily sourced from sustainable farms. If ramps are in season, than ramps are on your plate! Toss in delicious homemade pasta and rock on…life is really fantastic. The servers are eccentric and interesting, but apparently a bit inconsistent. Just have another glass of wine and get over it. They are knowledgeable about their products and may be freaky foodies just like you!
So, as you may have guessed, I like to be intellectually stimulated by my wine. I want to taste it, think about it, try it alone and again with food, talk about it, taste some more, and then drink it. Terragusto is a great place to play with your wine…BYOB it up with a wild range of wine from Lush (‘cause we are just down the street and love it here!) and definitely get the chef’s menu or 3 course tasting menu. And, share with your dining partners!
Although I haven’t visited since the winter, I am seriously craving earthy, well constructed, outrageously delicious Italian food. Check out www.terragustocafe.com for the seasonal menu BEFORE you go so as to better plan your wine selections. I would suggest bringing a range of light, crisp, and refreshing whites to wine with a bit more stuffing, spice, and tannin. Although Amarone is tempting, be careful on getting too heavy and overpowering your yummy dish. Pink is nice, as well as sparkling. Stick with minerally, acidic wines, but do experiment with a bit of oak or cream if you feel adventurous. And remember to drink what you like!
I have scouted the menu a bit and listed a few wine options for y’all. Enjoy! Tell friends, take friends, and show up hungry AND thirsty! Your table will be laden good food and drink. Promise.
Antipasti Forte (Strong Appetizers…like She-ra!)
baked polenta with asparagus & fonduta fontina
organic polenta served with farm-fresh asparagus & creamy truffle-scented fontina cream sauce
*2007 Almondo ‘Bricco Ciliegie’ Roero Arneis, Piedmont, Italy
Oh my goodness, this is my most favorite wine right now. Bright, floral, lush orchard fruit and citrus blossoms mingle well with crispy acid and a long peachy, minerally finish. Clean, fresh and focused. Amazing with food or a porch swing. $22.75
Primi Piatti (1st course; Pasta)
ravioli con salvia e noci
pasta stuffed with 4 cheeses, tossed in brown butter with walnuts, sage & ricotta salata
*2006 Bruna ‘Le Russe Ghine’ Pigato, Liguria, Italy
You can seriously taste the steep cliffs and crashing ocean in this wine. The area is impervious and steep, located near the coast, where the mountains run down into the Ligurian Sea. The vines lie in very narrow terraces and it is very hard to work in the vineyards. Pigato is closely related to Vermentino, and native to the area. The grapes have red reflection on the skin when ripe, and the wine usually has prevalent minerality and often marked acidity. As the wine warms up in the bottle and in the glass, some tropical scents of papaya and pineapple pop up, followed by refreshing and charming notes of white peaches. The juice keeps on changing up…river stones, petrol, and a finish with some balsamic scents of mint leaves leave me perplexed and certainly intrigued. Firm, unique and quite lovely. $30
Secondi di pesce e carne (2nd course; Fish or Meat)
organic free-range pork loin, Gunthorp Farms
š each selection is rubbed with our own herbed sea salt & roasted in cast iron,
then presented with baked polenta, the season’s best vegetables & a drizzle of extra virgin finishing oil
*2004 Bisci Rosso Fogliano, Marche, Italy
Traditional, yet very innovative, versatile, and food-friendly, this little blend of Barbera, Sangiovese, and Cab Franc does it all. Brilliant ruby red in color with an intense, fragrant, and fruity nose with notes of ripe blackberry, black cherry, and herbs. On the palate, it is dry and fresh, with soft tannins and a persistent finish. Take to your next BYOB – it will go with just about anything! I particularly love it with pesto. $17.25
always made with organic flour, local eggs, grass-fed whole milk, real butter, pure fruit, wild
honey & premium nuts – classic seasonal flavors combine for a satisfying finish to your meal
honey-scented panna cotta w/blueberries
*NV Cascina Chicco ‘Arcass’ Roero Arneis Vendemmia Tardiva, Piedmont, Italy
Difficult to grow because of its delicate skin, ‘Arneis’ in the regional dialect means ‘whimsical.’ The nose on this late harvest selection reveals intensely clean, elegantly refined aromas of quince jam, raisin and apricot jam followed by hints of candied fruit, almond, vanilla, honey, citrus fruit peel and lavender. The palate mirrors the nose, with initial sweet notes balanced by a lovely crispness and a silky, round body. The finish pleasantly lingers with intense flavors of quince jam, candied fruit and apricot jam. $47.50