Recently on a business trip to Chicago, we went to a nearby restaurant – Carlucci’s Restaurant and Bar. An Italian joint, nestled inside an office building, it is a perfect combination of class and style. With wood burning ovens, lively car area and expansive patio (unfortunately was not yet open this day) appeared to be similar to outdoor cafe’s in Italy, with fountains and music.
Our waiter, Christian, was fun and very informative. We had a great time talking to him and listening to his great recommendations. I insisted on getting his name so I could give him (and his company) the proper shout out he deserves.
We started the evening with some drinks, ordering a bottle of Red Zinfandel, which I tasted, but did not drink. My first (and only) complaint of the evening was the tiny little drinks that I was served. I know that makes me sound like a lush, but I ordered my new fav, Jameson and Ginger, and it was served in a small (maybe 4 oz.) low ball glass. With the amount of ice that filled the glass, I had literally about 2 small sips. Not cool for what was probably an $11 drink. I had to order like 3 to equal one normal drink elsewhere. Frankly, unless you are ordering straight whiskey on the rocks, a low ball glass is simply not appropriate.
Ah, I digress. I am just passionate about my booze. Or lack thereof.
For dinner, I ordered the 4 oz. filet which was served with angel hair pasta, and shrimp stuffed with lobster and crab. Interestingly, 3 of the 5 of us ordered the same dish. My pasta looked “undressed” while anothers looked covered in a lemon butter sauce and capers, while another had the butter sauce with lots of tomatoes. Weird. 3 meals, all ordered the same looked all three completely different. Almost looked like made by three different chefs. I was forced to order more sauce for the pasta, since I believe they just forgot it on mine. Opps, another (small) complaint. The waiter asked “soup or salad” to which I said salad. While contemplating my options, the waiter finally said “oh, by the way soup and salad are ala carte extras”. How I was asked implied it came with it. When he posed that same question, my co-worker gave her order, to which a $9 Caprese salad, as big as the table was brought out. We all graciously helped Jessica eat her giant salad.
My filet was butterflied, which I suppose you have to do with a 4 oz. steak to make it appear bigger than it is. A 4 oz. non butterflied steak is about the size of a quarter. The steak was cooked perfect and tender. No complaints there at all. Didn’t even need it bigger and the rest sure filled you up. The pasta was good. Once I added the extra needed sauce. The shrimp were tasty and satisfied any seafood craving you may have.
They are famous for their Linguini Bobonato Con Parmigiano, served table side, tossed with prosciutto, fresh basil tossed in a Parmesan wheel, which makes its own cheesy sauce. The table next to us got it and it looked amazing.
We decided to order a couple deserts to split, which turned into 5 since everything looked so good. Cannoli, Spumoni, Tiramisu, Turtle Cheesecake and creme brulee. I have to say, it was all delicious. We kind of grabbed 5 spoons and set in, trying each and every one. The turtle cheese cake and creme brulee were my favorite.
Overall a great experience. Easy to get to, they even have a shuttle that can pick you up and return you safety to your hotel. I didn’t get the shock of seeing the bill, but I bet it was large. I would recommend you visit while you are in the Chicago area, especially if staying at the Weston, which was right across the street.