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30 Under 30: Tony Quartaro, the One Who Got Away

By Sarah Freeman
March 31, 2014

In addition to revealing Chicago’s 2014 30 Under 30 honorees, we wanted to take a moment to sing the praises of a few outstanding people who were just a few days too old to qualify for the list. Tony Quartaro missed our age cut-off by 20 days - happy belated birthday, Tony - but that doesn’t mean he’s not worthy of recognition.

When he’s not riding his bike, listening to music, reading books or traveling with his wife, Nora, Quartaro works as the sous chef at Balena, under former 30 Under 30 honoree and executive sous chef Joe Frillman. Prior to moving over to the rustic yet refined Italian restaurant, Quartaro worked at its sister spot, The Bristol. As chef de cuisine, he developed a passion for whole-animal butchery and pasta making, which he'll be putting to use at his next job: executive chef of Formento's, a classic "1950s red-sauce joint" opening later this year.

Quartaro’s culinary career has also taken him to kitchens around the country, from Nopa and A16 in San Francisco to Fedora in New York City.

Places Mentioned


Italian • Lincoln Park

Food26 Decor25 Service24 Cost$56
The Bristol

American • Bucktown

Food26 Decor22 Service23 Cost$41

Californian • Alamo Square

Food27 Decor23 Service24 Cost$51
A 16

Marina District

Food24 Decor22 Service22 Cost$53

American • West Village

Food22 Decor20 Service21 Cost$63
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