Comforts of Rome

Your New Cove for Red Wine and Pasta

You're not one to follow the crowd. So when everyone busies themselves being Irish, you'll probably go in a different direction. Toward Little Italy.

Lucky for you then that Aldino's, which is like a romantic, sepia-tinted postcard from Little Italy's halcyon, red-sauce-slathered days, opens Thursday.

Near the edge of the neighborhood, it's a stone's throw from the UIC Pavilion—meaning, of course, that you won't have to go all the way to Taylor Street to get the full-scale Italiano treatment. And, just as importantly, you'll finally have that civilized place to dine after a particularly brutal roller derby.

Swing open the heavy wooden doors, and your first impression will be that it has everything you want from an Italian joint: bottles of Barolo piled to the ceiling and big, heavy wine goblets on the tables, ready to receive them.

But before you and your date settle into one of those brown leather booths for an evening of unbridled Bucatini Amatriciana, unrestrained Squid Ink Chittara and rampant Sausage-Stuffed Porchetta, we urge you to check out the comfortable-looking room on the side. Here you'll find a granite-topped bar, low lights and a place where you just might spend the whole evening lost in conversation, fizzy pink prosecco bubbles or maybe something from the lineup of local beers.

It is nearly St. Patrick's Day, after all.

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