Since opening Azzurra (1467 N. Milwaukee Ave) this fall in Wicker Park, local restaurant veterans Marty Fosse (Anteprima, Ombra, Acre) and Ron DiNella (DiNella Hospitality, Go Roma, Morton’s Restaurant Group) have transported locals and visitors to the Italian dinner table with regional, classic Italian cuisine.
“At Azzurra, our mission is to not only serve fresh, house-made Italian cuisine, but to do so in a welcoming and warm environment,” says Fosse, Owner of Azzurra. “We’ve taken inspiration from the way Italians cook, dine and interact, and brought it to Wicker Park, which we believe is an ideal neighborhood for this offering.”
Quickly feeling right at home on the lively stretch of Milwaukee Avenue, Azzurra’s staff welcomes guests into the restaurant’s cozy and approachable dining room, adorned with large-scale replications of vintage Italian postcards and furnished with refurbished tables, chairs and fixtures. Ten vintage Victrola horns, once used for listening to music in the early 1900s, have been converted into light fixtures and now hang over the tables at the restaurant.
Azzurra’s dinner menu – a collaboration between Marty Fosse and Chef de Cuisine Katie Kelly (previously of The Bristol) – is inspired by meals served at homes across Italy, and as customary with Italian home-cooking, much of the menu selection at the restaurant is fatto en casa, or house-made, including pastas, breads, sausages and artisan desserts.
With seasonality at its core, Azzurra’s culinary team creates dishes that are fresh, flavorful and wholesome, another dose of inspiration from the Italian art of cooking. Guests can choose from Assaggi e Più, shareable plates inspired by a range of ingredients and flavor profiles; Paste; and Piatti Unici, meat and seafood entrees that are grilled, broiled, braised, pan-seared and more.
Signature dishes have quickly come to include Crispy Brussels Sprout Leaves with pecorino ($5), Grilled Octopus with potatoes, red onion, chilis, lemon and olive oil ($11), Orecchiette pasta with Italian sausage, rapini, garlic, and pecorino ($13), and Chianti-Braised Beef Short Rib with Brussels sprouts, pancetta, and soft polenta ($19).
The menu also features daily specials revolving around the best ingredients available that day, providing guests with even more variety and a new taste of the season’s bounty. Check out the Full Dinner Menu.
Cin Cin! Craft Cocktails and Vino at Azzurra
At Azzurra, the expertly curated wine list features an array of Italian wines available by the bottle or glass. Guests can also grab a seat at one of the blue stools at the intimate, vibrant bar to enjoy classic Italian cocktails (all $9) like a Negroni or Bellini, or opt for a house-made Vimini made with infused Bourbon, lemon, simple syrup and Lambrusco or a Morte Nel Pomeriggio made with Sambuca, lemon, bitters and prosecco.
Celebrate New Year’s Eve as the Italians Do
For those looking to skip the fuss and prix fixe menus and relish in Italian home-style cooking in a relaxed environment this New Year’s Eve, Azzurra will offer its full dinner menu a la carte from 5:30-10 p.m. Reservations can be made online or by calling (773) 278-5959.