Little Market's Braised Mushroom And Toast | Gold Coast, Chicago

A new neighborhood standby in the Gold Coast

The biggest problem we faced at a recent meal at Little Market Brasserie is hardly a problem at all: We wanted to order far more of the menu than propriety allowed.

Ryan Poli, of Tavernita and Barcito, says his goal for Little Market was to create a great neighborhood restaurant. In this he has succeeded.

The friendly, airy Gold Coast room is a place to go for pillowy pull-apart bread with herb-honey butter ($5.50) and an exemplary wedge salad ($9.50), smartly dressed with both red wine vinaigrette and blue cheese dressing so no fold of iceberg goes unseasoned.

Nearly a third of the menu is vegetarian. A standout dish of braised mushrooms with toast and shallot jam ($11.50) was richly satisfying. We crunched happily through a salad of shaved raw sunchokes, pear and cheddar ($10.50), too.

Poli claims that making pasta is one of his favorite things to do, and here chewy strands of chittara arrive twirled with sautéed shrimp and piquant, garlicky puttanesca sauce ($15.50). There's an admirable and unusual lobster roll (market price), as well, slathered with chipotle mayonnaise.

Plans to skip dessert were thwarted by an irresistible foe: a superlative sundae of vanilla soft serve, salted caramel and dense dark-chocolate brownies ($6).

Little Market Brasserie, 10 E. Delaware Pl.; 312-640-8141 or