Monday, October 8, 2012


Location: 1401 N Wells
Cost: About $30 per person

I went to see Bobcat Goldthwait do a standup show the other night at Second City with my friend Carli. Thankfully he only spent so much time doing his Zed character. So before the show I wanted to get a bite somewhere on Wells so that the walk over would be pretty quick after. Crowds were building up at a few spots, but Orso's was able to make room.

Orso's is this older looking Italian joint down a little bit on Wells. They have two narrow seating areas and some bar spots. Like I said before, there was no wait, but I'd imagine as the night went on a little one built up. Parking is a real pain in that part of town, so I suggest you not drive yourself.

Our server was a little out of sorts and inefficient when it came to taking our order and the bill. He was friendly enough, but there was a time crunch to make the show. The cost is pretty standard with most entrees floating in the mid teens. Pasta is on the cheaper end of the spectrum while veal goes the other way.

The Food
We ordered the Caprese salad to start. It was a standard, clean presentation. The tomatoes were low on flavor for being relatively in season. I understand getting a bland, watery tomato from the grocery store in the middle of winter, but this was a surprise.

For the main course Carli got the Special Chicken Dish, and I got the Eggplant Parmesan. The chicken dish was like a breast only vesuvio with a variety of seasonal veggies and potatoes. It had a real nice tangy bite, but the chicken itself was a little tough. The eggplant parm was a mess. It was unbelievably mushy. With a heavy helping of melted cheese on top, it was as if the eggplant was being squashed underneath. A little crispy semblance would have gone a long way.

Note: Sorry for the lack of pictures. I was in a rush and forgot my camera.

I was not impressed with Orso's. They performed poorly on a dish I love, and there are a ton of alternative restaurants in Chicago with fantastic Italian food. Even on Wells you have at least three other options. I'm giving them 1.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Orso's on Urbanspoon


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