Preview: Chicago's Terzo Piano

By Kate Krader Posted April 29, 2009

Although I'm a New Yorker, I, like most Chicagoans—i.e., Barack Obama—am a huge fan of Tony Mantuano and his Spiaggia restaurant. So I am counting down the 17 days until his excellent, modern Italian Terzo Piano opens in the Art Institute of Chicago on May 16 (it will be located in the museum's new Renzo Piano–designed Modern Wing). We previewed the menu for the 220-seat place in January's Food & Wine with a recipe for their outstanding mixed-greens-and-mozzarella frittata sandwich. I've just gotten a look at the entire menu, and it's awesome and focused on premium local and sustainable ingredients: olive-oil-whipped smoked Lake Superior whitefish with rosemary potato crisps; tagliata of midwestern beef. (An exclusive look at the entire menu follows.)

Mantuano's been working feverishly on Terzo Piano for months, but this week he's out of town, and for good reason: The town of San Martino in Molise, Italy, is giving him an award for serving authentic Italian food to President Obama at Spiaggia.

TERZO PIANO

APPETIZERS
*Soup of the Day
*Recco-style focaccia stuffed with Capriole Indiana goat cheese
*Terzo Piano Antipasto: assortment of American salumi, prosciutto, and marinated vegetables
*Olive oil whipped smoked whitefish with rosemary potato crisps and three color Cerignola olives
*Tomato flatbread with California burrata and zucchini
*Crispy fried smelt, arugula, and caper berries

MAIN     COURSE     SALADS
*Spring salad of local peas, pea shoots, pea tendrils, crispy La Quercia guanciale, aged Wisconsin sheep’s milk cheese
*Mache salad with avocado, artichokes, asparagus, baby leeks, fava beans, sprouts, raw cashew ginger dressing
*What Came First salad: Hard boiled organic chicken egg, chicken breast, shaved celery, celery leaves, arugula, house made celery salt, lemon vinaigrette

SANDWICHES
*Yuppie Hill Farm crispy boneless chicken thigh with Chef's Garden bow tie arugula, roasted Kinnickinnick Farm tomatoes, sesame semolina bread
*Local spinach and broccoli rabe frittata on brioche with Mozzarella Company fresh whole milk mozzarella, mixed wild greens
*Uno, Due, Tre Burgers: An assortment of naturally raised piccolo burgers:
• Illinois Piemontese beef burger with Wisconsin Widmer aged brick cheese
• Pinn Oak Farms Wisconsin lamb burger with Capriole Indiana goat cheese
• Shrimp Burger with dried tomatoes and arugula

PASTA     AND     ENTREES
*Sesame crusted Lake Superior whitefish with tahini, organic cucumber salad
*Crescenza cheese filled ravioletti with ramps
*Hand-made spaghetti with morel mushrooms, house-made lemon ricotta
*Tagliata of prime Midwestern beef with spring vegetables, polenta
*Illinois quail spedino with Italian sausage, onions and ciabatta
 
 

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