Normally wine bars and kids don’t mix. But parents can have the best of both worlds at Quartino in downtown Chicago, where fresh seafood, gourmet pizzas and homemade pasta dominate the extensive menu.
- 626 N. State St., Chicago
While there is no official kids’ menu, there are plenty of options for kids, and the friendly waitstaff is happy to customize orders to please finicky eaters. Hesitant at first to bring along our 6-year-old twins, I was relieved to see two other tables with little ones when we popped in for an early dinner.
If you are a fan of olives, definitely start with the assortment appetizer, which includes samples of Gaeta, green pasola and Sicilian oil cured olives. The thin-crust pizzas for which Quartino’s is known are divine. There are about 20 different options, from classics like pepperoni and sausage to adventurous flavors such as the Soprano (veal meatballs, basil and red chilis), the Proscuitto d’Anitra (onion, duck proscuitto and wild arugula) and the Melanzane, topped with grilled eggplant.
Traditional Italian desserts include hot Italian doughnuts drizzled with honey or dark chocolate, biscotti and the tantalizing namesake, the Gran Coppa Quartino: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry gelato buried under mounds of berries, whipped cream, biscotti and roasted hazelnuts. Kids will have fun with the chocolate fondue.