Cocello | River North | Italian | Restaurant
This location has been flagged as "Closed".
The former Dillman's has undergone an overnight transformation into Cocello.

The former Dillman's has undergone an overnight transformation into Cocello.

Andrea Bauer

Brendan Sodikoff's Italian spot.

Our Review

Housed in the barely redesigned space that was once home to the ill-fated Jewish deli Dillman's, Brendan Sodikoff's Italian spot is firmly focused on handmade pastas, with smaller groups of salads, antipasti, meat and fish entrees, and the now-requisite offerings of crudo. Standards such as grilled fish and Tuscan-style steak are among the larger plates, as is an occasionally available and oddly bland osso buco that cries out for an accompanying starch. A chicken cacciatore is a surprise, the juicy bird wallowing in a sauce of its own reduced juices. A thick slab of porchetta perfumed by rosemary is an irresistible contrast of meaty pork loin and gloriously fatty belly. But do not fail to order the roasted octopus, served with giant capers and a spicy Calabrian spread called neonata, made from tiny preserved fish. The tentacles are charred in such a way that the beast's skin crisps and separates like chicken skin as it bathes in the umami-concentrated sauce. The things that make Cocello stand out among its fellow Italians are its pastas, eight handmade varieties served in appropriately moderate portions, as simple and lovely as ascacio de pepe, a mound of thin, flat tentacular strands covered in shards of Reggiano, or linguine and clams, its broth punched up with vermouth and chile. Among the desserts, a tall slice of warm olive-oil cake beats all with its beautiful simplicity. Read the full review >>

Mike Sula

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Price: $$$

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