5 Must-Try Dishes at the New Labriola Ristorante & Cafe

By Sarah Freeman  |  January 28, 2015

Labriola Ristorante & Café, opening tomorrow on Michigan Avenue tomorrow, is the newest property overseen by Rich Labriola of Labriola BakingThe three-tiered restaurant features a bakery, bar and a full-service Italian restaurant helmed by executive chef John Caputo (formerly of Bin 36 and A Mano). The 300-seat space combines urban elements such as subway tiles, dark wood and leather with sophisticated touches such as deep jewel tones and marble accents. A 60-seat sidewalk patio off the cafe will open later this year.

The bakery component will mirror the restaurant’s sister location in Oak Brook, with a menu of sandwiches, pastas, salads and pizzas in addition to freshly baked breads, pastries and Stan’s Donuts, which Labriola also owns. The bar emphasizes craft beer, wine a few classic cocktails, including takes on the Last Word and Ruby Red Daisy. The restaurant itself will focus on modern Italian flavors, which means housemade pastas, thin-crust pizzas, seasonal lasagna and an ever-changing selection of salumi and cheeses.

So go ahead and upgrade your sandwich or dig into one of the five must-try dishes previewed below. Labriola Ristorante & Café is open Sunday though Thursday from 10:30 AM to 11 PM and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 AM to 11 PM. The bakery opens daily at 7 AM with pastries and Intelligentsia coffee.

535 N. Michigan Ave.; 773-955-3100

  • Baked Clams

    Bacon butter and garlic-anchovy green breadcrumbs

  • Grilled Head-On Patagonian Prawns

    Charred eggplant puree, smoked tomato-braised chickpeas, lobster butter, mint, and pistachio

  • Braised Short Rib and Caramelized Onion Sandwich

    Truffled taleggio fonduta and housemade giardiniera

  • Pan Roasted Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola-Mascarpone “Busta”

    Pancetta green beans and brown butter

  • Squash & Wild mushroom Lasagna

    Smoked Gouda, ricotta and squash bechamel