Antico Review (Updated): Bucktown’s Coziest Trattoria Needs a Touch of Pizzazz

In this café-restaurant, leave the roasted chicken, but take the fried zeppole.

photo: courtesy antico

Antico’s quaint exterior invites guests in from its entrance on N. Leavitt St.  

Antico. 1946 N Leavitt. Bucktown. 773-489-4895. Italian.

(one star)

$$

’Tis a gift, it’s been said, to be simple. And at this cozy little coffeehouse-turned-trattoria in Bucktown, Brad Schlieder continues to showcase the milder side of the Italian table, eschewing bombastic red sauces and cheesy standards for lighter, more delicate fare.

The results are a mixed blessing. Choose wisely—say a classic veal milanese or a breezy Bolognese sauce set over handmade tagliatelle—and you’ll walk away singing Sinatra. But the platings, frustratingly austere and unimaginative, deserve more passion and pizzazz, as do the bland roasted chicken and salmon offerings.

Happily, the fried zeppole and the red wine caramel panna cotta make bold finales.

Dishes We Liked: Housemade sausage with braised cabbage and mostarda ($9), tagliatelle Bolognese ($12); pork tenderloin milanese with arugula ($24), panna cotta with red wine caramel ($8), zeppole with powdered sugar ($5)

New restaurant reviews, updated to reflect critics’ recent visits, appear each month in Chicago magazine, in Dine, as well as on our website. Listed restaurants are rated from one to four stars, where one is good, two is very good, three is excellent, and four is superlative. This review appears in the October issue, on newsstands now.

 

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