Taylor Street's newest Italian restaurant--Davanti Enoteca--is also its most exciting.
The menu is speckled with classics, like spaghetti cacio e pepe, in which pasta, pasta water, Pecorino and black pepper meld into a sum that's richer and creamier than its parts.
But other dishes, like roasted hearts of palm with chervil and slices of marinated lemon, are more unusual.
Our favorite--ricotta with honeycomb ($4)--is a bit of both: simple and familiar, but with a few twists that make it stand out.
Chef Jonathan Beatty whips fresh ricotta with olive oil, salt and pepper to smooth the curds and incorporate air. The result is a luxuriously creamy version of the mild cheese, served in a small mason jar with crusty, airy, grilled Puglia-style bread and a hunk of honeycomb from Michigan's Bloomfield Hills Farms.
And here's the best part: It's remarkably easy and inexpensive to make at home (click here to download the recipe).
Beatty made his own when Davanti first opened, but the business of a new restaurant got in the way. He currently brings in fresh ricotta from Caputo Cheese Market, which he seasons and pulses in a food processor before serving.
But the homemade version is almost as easy. Keep it savory, or go sweet by swapping honey for the olive oil.
Davanti Enoteca, 1359 W. Taylor St.; 312-226-5550 or davantichicago.com
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