Marty Fosse, the owner of the Andersonville trifecta Anteprima, Acre, and Ombra, sees blue skies in Wicker Park for Azzurra (1467 N. Milwaukee Ave., no phone yet), a rustic, Anteprima-esque collaboration with the former Morton’s CFO Ron DiNella set to open October 29.
Named for a particular shade of blue worn by Italians in competition, Azzurra will highlight house-made ingredients such as pastas, lamb meatballs, guanciale, veal sausage, and the breadsticks called grissini. Fosse also promises arancini made with farro instead of rice.
“In my world, what could replace potato chips? Crispy Brussels sprouts leaves,” Fosse asks and answers. A Chianti-braised short-rib dish benefits from the remaining Brussels-sprouts hearts. Desserts will include Anteprima’s panna cotta and “not anything overly, overly sweet, but one full-frontal chocolate,” he says.
Old Victrola-horn light fixtures and a pressed-tin ceiling feature in the decor of the 70- to 80-seat restaurant.
One last dish Fosse told us about is panelle, a Sicilian street food consisting of fried chickpea-flour polenta triangles with herbs and pecorino, as well as a secret ingredient: lemon.
“Can we tell the world about the lemon?” we asked Fosse.
“Only if the world promises not to tell,” he answered. World, you are on notice.