Donatella's Mediterranean Bistro | Evanston | Italian, Mediterranean | Restaurant
This location has been flagged as "Closed".

Our Review

Donatella Majore's late, lamented Cucina di Donatella in Rogers Park had both fans and foes, and the same is likely to be true of Evanston's Donatella Mediterranean Bistro. The postage-stamp storefront, with marble tables, mod metal-and-plastic chairs, Italian-themed art on yellow walls, and Murano-glass light fixtures, feels more like a coffeehouse than a restaurant, and it's noisy even when only half full, making the sidewalk cafe an attractive option. The laid-back, leisurely service adds to the casual vibe, and the hands-on way Majore works the room will please some patrons but put off others. Given the setting���and for what you get���prices are surprisingly high. Our puny $13 portion of the much-touted lasagna (a signature from the previous restaurant)threatened to push me into the detractor camp. The sort of pasta home cooks prepared by the party tray in the 50s, it was a blob on a plate, with no discernible layers, an ooze of meat sauce, and loads of crumbled cheese. But equally homey lamb tagliata turned out to be a better entree and better value. Grilled seafood���beautifully cooked sea scallops, overdone shrimp, slightly chewy squid���was simply served with a wedge of lemon and a little spiky arugula. Mushroom-truffle pasta and fish kebabs are among the other dinner entrees, while lunch choices include salads and the three Ps: panini, pasta, and pizza by the slice. On Fridays and Saturdays after dinner service, the cafe serves as a wine bar, offering small plates from 10:30 PM to 1 AM.

Anne Spiselman

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