5310 N. Clark St.;
- Chef: Carlos Ysaguirre
The funky, overloaded room—think repurposed-leather-jacket seats, sepia Italian newspapers, and communal-y booths—is not for everyone. But the food is. It’s hard to imagine not finding something to like on Ysaguirre’s cheapo Italian bar menu, whether it be a generous $3 bruschetta zucca layered with silky butternut squash or the perfectly fried $7 arancini neri, crisp rice balls oozing warm black rice and Parmigiano-Reggiano on homemade tomato sauce. The tables are crowded with tramezzini, cicchetti, panini, and salumi (i.e., little Italian foods you’re supposed to share but won’t want to). Drink your Bellini and play nice.
¢ … under $20 | $ … $20 to $29 | $$ … $30 to $39 | $$$ … $40 to $49 | $$$$ … $50-plus