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Wicker Park outpost of the Lincoln Park trattoria, with patio seating and an expanded menu.

Our Review

What exactly, these days, does "rustic Italian" mean? Besides, that is, having an excuse to charge $8.00 for fried cheese? I wish I knew, for this is exactly what Via Carducci La Sorella, the northwest-side outpost of Via Carducci, is doing. I suppose this could be the food one gets at mama's table, but at these prices it seems like the lady of the house is pissed off at someone. Linguine with seafood was utterly flat, the seafood vulcanized--chewy mussels, cooked-to-death shrimp, and calamari with the texture of inner tubes. A special, lobster-stuffed pasta, was better, though not so lobstery and not so special as one would expect for $20. One beautiful dish was a baked red onion with seafood and Parmesan, our waiter's favorite, though the baby octopus took a while to chew through. Fortunately, the wine list is extensive and inexpensive, and desserts are divine: cheesecake with caramel topping was breathtaking, tiramisu luscious. And the dessert martini! Chocolaty, warm, and wondrously alcoholic, it was almost worth the long, slow slog through the menu.

Chip Dudley

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, MasterCard, Visa

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