Usually relegated to a supporting role, polenta claims the limelight at this Ukrainian Village nook, where it’s poured onto marble slabs and left to suffuse the table in a heavenly aroma before being anointed with sauces: venison bolognese, four cheese, and mushroom with sausage. That the venison is a touch bland is beside the point. This is the sort of communal dining experience that reminds you that half the reason for eating out is to enjoy the company and the conversation. 2144-2146 W. Division St.; 773-342-1011.
Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa