Small Plates, Long Conversations at Quartino, Chicago

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May is a great time to visit Chicago
usually the weather is perfect, the flowers are in bloom and spring is in the air!
A wonderful time to go sightseeing or just meet up with friends for lunch.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet a blogger friend of mine from Brooklyn, Pat from the blog, Millie Fiori Favoriti. We’ve been communicating for years but never actually met in person, of course lunch was on the agenda! My dear friend Mary-Alice and I met up with Pat at her hotel and we began our walk to Quartino for lunch.

Located on the corner of State and Ontario
Quartino is known for their Italian tapas, featuring modest sized plates of handmade pastas, seasonal prepared specialties, house cured salumi, artisinal cheese and an array of Neopolitan pizzas.

From the minute you walk in you’re warmly welcomed by the waitstaff.

They also have nice outdoor seating a great place to people watch, but on the day we were there it was close to 90 degrees so we opted for inside air conditioning.

I just love the casual atmosphere there, never did we feel rushed through our lunch, we lingered for a good couple of hours and talked and talked.
It was a pleasure to meet Pat, shes just as genuine in person as she is on her blog!

I have to give a big shout out to our friendly waiter Josh, he was extremely attentive to us
and when he heard I had a food blog he quickly told the manager who came out to meet us.

I’ve eaten here before with family and we have never been disappointed, the menu is fantastic the drinks divine and the prices are unbelievable!

For Pat’s visit we decided to order the Salumeria Tasting where you get to pick and choose from your favorite salumi, cheese, and a few different appetizers. We choose prosciutto, spicy sopressata, asiago and gorgonzola cheese, roasted peppers, marinated artichokes, eggplant caponata and an assortment of olives and bread. The perfect platter to munch on!

Our pizza of choice was Funghi, portobello with fresh tomato.

There’s always room for dessert! How about some hot chocolate cake with vanilla gelato?

Our waiter Josh highly recommended we also try the apple fritters with gelato, all were so good!
As a bonus we got to meet the talented chef who oversees the kitchen at Quartino, Executive Chef John Coletta, not only does he have an impresive bio, but he’s also a cookbook author.
If you’re in Chicago and you’re looking for great food, friendly service and a relaxing atmosphere to hang out with good friends consider dining at Quartino!

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  1. Sounds like a perfect afternoon with terrific food and company. Ironically I’m attempting those type of fritters tonight! LOL

  2. Marie, I was interested in visiting your blog after reading about your visit with Pat. I will be adding your blog to my blog roll because I am leaving soon for a month in Italy. We will be in Rome for 2 weeks and in Cortona for 2 weeks and every time my daughter talks about the places we’ll go and the wonderful food we’ll be eating, I think I’ll be searching for great recipes when I get home to recreate our Italian experience for the rest of the family. It was interesting to see the photos you and Pat took of the same experience.

  3. Marie,I’ve known Pat for several months and came over to visit you from her site! I know the 3 of you had a lovely time and the food at Quartino looks absolutely delicious! However, I’m intrigued by your recipes as some of the veggie ones would fit well on my better eating plan. Enjoyed my visit!

  4. Hi Marie – OK, it’s on my list next time I visit. And we’ll ask for Josh.
    I was thinking about you, wrote about Chicago hot dog today.

  5. How fun to meet Pat. I’ve been following her adventures for a long time. You sure know where to take people to lunch Marie. What a fabulous restaurant and the plates are far from modest.

    I’m a follower of yours also and the minute I read that you met Pat, I knew you were in for a fun lunch.

  6. Came over from Pat’s! So nice to meet up with a blogging friend, and share in such a delicious place! The Salumeria Tasting looks amazing, it all does!

    My first visit to your blog, I’m enjoying it!

  7. Oh what fun, Marie! The restaurant, food and friends are most impressive. I would love to visit your Windy City and eat at Quartino.

  8. I will definitely put this place on the list next time I’m in Chicago. This wasn’t too far from where I was staying when I was stranded in Chicago back in December. Wish I had known about it then! I want that salumeria tasting!!!!!

    Looks like Chicago is having a way nice spring than we’re having on the east coast.

  9. Grandma? Really, Marie? Could’ve fooled me – you look so great! I’ve tucked Quartino’s away for our next Chicago visit. Looks wonderful!

  10. Well..I think this is the FIRST time I’ve actually seen YOU Marie!! So good to see you standing with the excecutive chef btw…what a nice honor.

    This post was fabulous, looks like an amazing place to dine…don’t know if I’ll ever get to Chicago, but if I do…I’ll look this place up for sure!


  11. What a beautiful spread, it all looks so good, I’m now craving that pizza but I’d definitely have to go with the Salumeria feast.. “Yum”
    How fun to have met Pat too!!

  12. Thanks for another great suggestion, Marie. When I was in Chicago last month my daughter and I went to Danny’s and Caputo’s and loved them both! Isn’t it fun to meet fellow bloggers? It looks like you had a great day.

  13. It’s such an experience to meet other bloggers who are as passionate about food as you are!!!!

  14. I’m a small town on no town kind of guy, but I like the things that the big city offers – restaurants, the corner bakery or butcher shop, etc. But I hate the traffic and crowds and wish I could just be beamed to the spot and bake. You’ve posted some great looking dishes over the past month or so – I especially liked the baked rigatoni and your easy marinara.

  15. OK my east coast girlfriends, when are you coming? I’ll be waiting!

  16. Ok, that does it. I am drooling over that antipasto platter and wishing I could have been with you two that afternoon. i’ve got to get to Chicago this year – and that’s all there is to it – then again, Pat doesn’t live all that far from me and we still haven’t gotten together. I’ve got to make the effort. you look beautiful, by the way, grandma!

  17. How fun! I wish we had places like this in Monterey. The pizza looked so good, and the desserts! Mama Mia!

  18. Love Quartino. His pasta bolognese is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. I can’t go without having it. Love the platters of antipasta too. Such a great place to go with friends for a raucous meal. I always eat too much! BUT, if you get a chance someday, try Osteria Via Stato directly across the street. The chef is David DiGregorio and he too is amazing. A different style of eating, a little more refined but a great place for a romantic dinner because it is quieter and darker. He does a hand-rolled cavatappi with wild mushrooms that is so delicous. The pasta gets a little toasty and chewy (in a good way from direct contact with the pan.) Seasonal menu, fantastic salads, pastas, lovely meat courses and a great wine list. I always eat too much there too! Try it Marie!

  19. I am so happy that two of my favorite bloggers got to meet!! I only wish I could have been there!! That restaurant looks fabulous, I always wanted to go to Oprah’s show, too late for that, but I still want to visit Chicago one day. xo,

  20. Thank you for sharing. My sister is coming in town from the boonies of Minnesota and I just know she will love love the place.

  21. Awesome shots of Chicago. I’m making it a goal to come back sometime in the summer. Also, loved the apple fritters looked and sounded delish!

  22. Coming to Chicago Saturday. You can bet I’ll be eating there. And yes, Pat is as genuinely lovely as her blog tells us.

  23. OMG…. I was salivating just looking at the PICS… I bet it smells good too.
    Love, Lorraine

  24. PS you look 25 yrs old! That ain’t no grandma in that photo!

  25. This is my kind of place! The only thing missing was ME! How wonderful that you met Pat.
    I swear, I am getting to Chicago this year.

  26. We’ll be in Chicago Labor Day weekend visiting family. It’s our home town and I always love going there. Michigan Avenue is my favorite spot. Thanks for the suggestion!

  27. I am so glad you met PAt…I’m sure one day I’ll be back in wonderful Chicago and beautiful New York…. and I’m going to meet you!!!! Chicago is in my heart…. what memories….. and your pics made me dreamt….. I didn’t go to Quartino’s (we usually don’t go to Italian restaurant out of Italy), but I really really love your city!!! Hugs, Flavia

  28. It was so wonderful to meet you Marie and Mary-Alice, and enjoy this fabulous lunch at Quartino! Everything we had there was so fresh and delicious and it was such an elegant and relaxed atmposhere.

    Chicago is a beautiful city and my husband and I had such a good time sightseeing and enjoying it this weekend. I’m so glad my eye problem cleared up enough so that I didn’t have to cancel my trip! We’ll definitely return for a longer visit next time.

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