Riccardo Due

A little sister for a neighborhood Italian favorite

For simple, low-key Italian, Lincoln Park's Riccardo Trattoria is often our pick. 

But we're not alone in this predilection, as the restaurant's frequent waits and oft-filled reservation books attest. 

Now there's another option: Owner Riccardo Michi has opened Riccardo Enoteca across the street. The smaller, slightly more casual space feels like the lively, quick-bite bar room of its calmer, made-for-lingering sibling. Its menu holds a number of Riccardo classics, including seafood carpaccio and eggplant Parmigiana, but replaces Trattoria's lengthy pasta menu with pizzaccia.

That olive-oil-rich pizza-focaccia hybrid emerges from Enoteca's wood-fired oven with a wonderfully caramelized crust. It's thick enough to carry toppings of substantial weight, like sautéed mushrooms with tomato sauce and mozzarella ($16), or Gorgonzola with Parmesan, walnuts and pears ($14).

Roasted meats and hearty pasta dishes are blitzed by the oven's heat, with besciamella-laden lasagna Bolognese ($14) as a standout. It's a staggeringly rich dish, one to order when feeling nostalgic for winter's comfort food.

Counter it with fava e Pecorino ($7), warmed fresh fava beans tossed with Pecorino cheese and truffle oil–a classic Italian taste of spring.