Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Alimentari Osteria

Location: 621 W. Randolph
Cost: Probably about $30 per person (without drinks)

There's a new Italian spot in the West Loop called Alimentari Osteria, and I was invited to try out some of their menu items the other night. It took me a while to make a reservation between my interview schedule and away rotations, but I finally made it out there one rainy night last week.

Logistics
Alimentari has plenty of space and a pretty cool feel on the inside. There's a large bar with lots of seating. We got a table along the side wall. They take reservations, and although we got away with it in the middle of the week during a thunderstorm, I'd suggest you make one on a potentially busier night.

Our waiter was very knowledgeable about the menu options, and we decided to let him pick our meal. He coursed things out nicely, and the timing was smooth throughout the meal. Although this meal was comped, I can still give you an idea of the prices. Appetizers are sub $10 while most pastas and entrees are in the mid teens.

The Food
Our first course included an Olive Tapenade, Grilled Calamari, and a Roasted Eggplant dish. The tapenade was smooth and salty. The calamari was topped with arugula and northern beans. I thought the beans added a bit too much graininess, but otherwise it was a solid dish. The eggplant was my favorite appetizer and came doused in a creamy tomato sauce.

The Olive Tapenade

 The Grilled Calamari

 The Roasted Eggplant

Course number two was a Lamb Sausage Pizza and a Asparagus and Endive Salad. The pizza crust had a balanced burn. There was a thin layer of cheese. The real focus was the lamb sausage, and there was plenty of it. The salad had a light dressing and let the asparagus play the starring role nicely. It might have benefited from some cracked pepper.

 The Asparagus and Endive Salad

 The Lamb Sausage Pizza

We were pretty full at this point, but there was no stopping our waiter from bringing out his favorite dishes, the Lobster Ravioli and the Braised Short Rib. The raviolis were slightly al dente and came with a thick cream sauce that clog even the widest of arteries. The short rib fell apart and had this slightly sweet brown sauce. I would recommend both of these entrees when you get a chance to check Alimentari out.

The Lobster Ravioli

 The Braised Beef Short Rib

For dessert we got to try out the Panna Cotta. I'm no expert with this dish, but the texture seemed right, and the raspberry sauce wasn't overpowering.

The Panna Cotta

Overall
Alimentari has a navigable menu full of well executed items.  My favorites were the short rib and the lobster ravioli. Like with my other sponsored posts, there won't be a Pearl rating this time around. Still, I think you'll enjoy giving Alimentari a go.

Alimentari on Urbanspoon

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