The shtick A slick Italian production with crostini aplenty.
The vibe The dining room at Formento’s sings on a sunny Sunday morning. Light streams in through the Randolph Street–facing windows onto yellow tablecloths and tiled floors. On the particular Sunday we visited, the dining room was more or less empty—just two other occupied tables right at noon, all nesting in window-adjacent leather booths. Perhaps it was the relative quiet, but the place managed to feel pretty comfortable. 8 out of 10
The food The plates here are definitely pretty. Unfortunately, things don’t quite taste as good as they look—most of the dishes turn out to be near-misses. The beautiful bomboloni (Italian for filled doughnut holes) come two to an order ($5), one filled with raspberry jam and the other with Nutella. But both were distractingly under-fried, with doughy insides clinging to the sweet fillings. The massive black runner beans on the tuna conserva crostini ($16) also could have done with a few more minutes of cooking. However, the accompanying breakfast potatoes were some of the best we’ve had anywhere, thanks to a healthy dose of herbs and lemon and expert-level crisp frying. 6.5 out of 10
The drinks Beverage pricing is a bit confusing. How is the (bottomless and exceptional) La Colombe coffee just $2.50 while the totally banal mimosa costs a jarring $12? A brunchtime mystery! 6 out of 10
The service Our server was affable and speedy without trying to rush us out the door. 9 out of 10
Overall With a few tweaks, this could be a serious West Loop draw. For now, it’ll do just fine. 7 out of 10