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Chicago's Terzo Piano

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Terzo Piano

© Photo courtesy of Bon Appetit Management Co.
Terzo Piano

When I was heading to Chicago for a long weekend, I asked friends what was a must-see. Everyone mentioned the new Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, designed by star architect Renzo Piano, which opened in May. An added appeal for me: The museum recruited chef Tony Mantuano of Spiaggia fame to open the Italian-centric Terzo Piano there. The name refers to its third-floor location, and it's worthwhile to walk up the sleek white bridge from Millennium Park for the fantastic view instead of entering by elevator inside the museum. The handmade pastas were lovely, especially the restaurant's version of spaghetti carbonara with Nueske's bacon, sheep's-milk cheese and a runny poached egg. Do save room for the cheese cart, with many of the dozen or so options from Midwest producers (my husband's favorite was an aged goat's-milk tomme from Indiana's Capriole). The restaurant serves lunch every day and dinner Thursdays, when the museum is open late (and museum entrance is free from 5 to 8 p.m.).

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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