The superb pasta of Moderno in Highland Park
The second page of Moderno’s menu holds a glorious sight for pasta fanatics.
On that page, you’ll find 10 varieties of pasta, each shape made that morning.
There are ample other temptations at the new Highland Park restaurant from Phil Rubino and John des Rosiers, of Inovasi in Lake Bluff and Wisma, which opened a French Market outpost earlier this year.
Though crisp-crusted flatbread topped with yogurt, goat cheese and spice-rich ground lamb ($15) is a worthy detour from the noodle realm, the pasta has us itching for a return visit.
Moderno employs two dedicated pasta makers; each morning, they cut sheets with a chitarra, tuck ricotta into agnolotti, and squeeze corzetti in an oak press that imprints the rounds with sauce-attracting texture.
Des Rosiers and Rubino adorn the pasta with unexpected combinations. Linguini ($14) twirls around house-cured pancetta, warm blueberries and soft sheep's-milk cheese. Chewy strands of spaghetti alla chitarra ($16) anchor veal meatballs, tomatoes and ricotta, with a dash of Thai chile providing a spicy burst. Farfalle ($14) is accompanied by smoked trout, crème fraîche and a well-placed sprinkling of peanuts.
In other words: Time to hit the road and head north.
Moderno, 1850 2nd St., Highland Park; 847-433-8600 or modernohp.com
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