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January 3, 2007
From journal Chicago Anniversary Romantic Retreat
May 15, 2003
Petterino’s, at the corner of N. Dearborn and W. Randolph, harks back to the golden age of the supper clubs, with wood panelling, soft lighting, and fine service. Petterino’s is named for Arturo Petterino, long-time maitre d’ of the Pump Room during the heyday of stars and socialites –- and the restaurant pays homage to celebrities of Chicago, past and present, with caricatures of past and present local celebrities adorning the walls.
The feeling that you’ve slipped back to a 1940’s supper club starts the moment you walk in the door, but continues as you pick up the menu and see a list of "mixed cocktails" that used to be much more de rigeur at dinners: Grasshopper, Brandy Alexander, Side Car, Mimosa, to name a few. The wine list is well crafted and includes more than half a dozen champagnes.
Their appetizers include traditional hors d’oeuvres like smoked salmon and toast points, or shrimp cocktail, but their soups shine here, with special note to their tasty red snapper soup au sherry, which has a rich broth and chunks of fresh snapper.
Luncheon specialties include "The Robert Falls" club sandwich, classic chicken pot pie, fried fisherman’s platter, and stuffed peppers.
Petterino’s menu is firmly in the "comfort food" zone, with traditional favorites like filet mignon, NY sirloin, and chicken parmagiano. There is nothing too wild here, but perhaps that is what makes Petterino’s stand out so nicely: sometimes you need a break from all the cutting edge cuisine out there and need the warmth offered up by the timeless American cooking classics -- things like chicken, steak, fish, and pasta prepared just like Mom would. The food is not complex, but the quality is quite good, the portions hearty, and the atmosphere makes you feel like you have found a favorite neighborhood restaurant, instead of a place right in the heart of the Loop and the Theater District.
Open for lunch Mon-Fri; Dinner Mon-Sat; closed Sundays.
From journal Chicago for the Non-Tourist