Bar Ombra

Last weekend my friend R from and I went out to dinner in Andersonville in Chicago. We wanted to step out of the bounds of our usual spots and try something fresh and new. We decided on Bar Ombra which was featured in Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2012. Because R is a vegetarian this place looked like it had a lot of menu items that would be fitting. And it was a tapas place so we could try a much of their delicious looking dishes!

The place had a great ambiance with walls dressed with old newspapers, chalkboards displaying the menu, wooden booths and leather seats made out of old leather jackets!

We started out with a bottle of red Pratello Rebo that was smooth and tasty!

Next we moved onto the Cicchetti part of the menu for little tastes of different vegetarian dishes. They served this to us all on a clean white plate and we dug in…

Clockwise from the spoon we ordered:

Charred corn with tomatoes and watercress pesto (our fav!)

Tomato, watermelon and rind salad with feta

Cabbage with golden raisins

Grilled summer squash and peppers with red wine vinaigrette (waiter’s suggestion…don’t know why he’d suggest such an average dish)

Roasted apples with pecorino cheese, walnuts and balsamic

….We thought of this as an appetizer because the dishes were not very big but gave us a great taste of what their menu had to offer. Like i said the corn was our favorite! We probably got the last of the summer’s fresh corn and the pesto that went along with it was a great complement to the dish. I also really enjoyed the roasted apples but it only came with one apple that we had to split. The tomato and watermelon salad was a winner but we both tossed aside the rinds that were in the salad because they were a little too watery and firm. The cabbage was cole slaw-like and the golden raisins were a nice touch (I’m going to steal that for the next time I make cole slaw!)

Next we ordered from the insalate, panani, fritti, pizette, bruschette and fromaggi parts of the menu. First we got the Pecornino cheese platter that came with sliced baguettes, jam and mustard. The cheese was phenomenal and we mostly ate it without the pairings.

Then was the beet salad with watercress, gorgonzola and walnuts. Beets are always a favorite to me and this salad in particular was awesome. Needless to say I gobbled this one down.

The bruschetta with peaches, almonds, goat cheese and chives was next. This was something on the menu I was anticipating to be my favorite. However it was a bit of a disappointment. The goat cheese was put on so heavily that it overwhelmed the whole dish. I couldn’t even taste the peaches which were not as juicy as I had hoped.

Next up was the arancini neri, the black rice balls. These were really yummy and it was a nice touch that they used black rice for the inside. Just wish the marinara they served it with was smoother so I could dip it more easily!

Last of the main course(s) was the margherita pizza. Can never complain about pizza made from scratch…delicious!

We ended our entire meal with coffee and tiramisu then went out on the town with extremely full bellies! Needless to say I would recommend this place when you want an upscale meal with lots of choices! Even if you do leave a little too full to move!



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