After a long day of walking and shopping, I worked up an appetite. I had a taste for some Italian food (this is a must if you come to Chicago by the way), so I did a little research and found this place called Bice Ristorante. It was only a short walk from the hotel, tucked away off of the Magnificent Mile on Ohio Street. The patio was lit with candles and wine glasses, but since it was about 63 degrees outside, we decided to grab a table by the window inside… same great view of the people walking back from the Fireworks at Grant Park (in which there were 3 shootings I may add… thank God we decided not to go).
Our waitress was so nice! That always helps out when going to a new place, she was very knowledgeable of the menu and was willing to answer any questions we had. As soon as I sit down and open up the menu, I check out the antipasti to see if they have calamari. This is a requirement for me when going to an Italian Restaurant. I can truly judge how the entree will taste after I have some of the calamari.. For example Carabbas has awesome calamari, and happens to be my favorite Italian restaurant Chain.. Amalfi has killer squid and is my favorite authentic Italian restaurant in Norfolk.. However, Olive Garden has truly sub-par calamari, and therefore all I get from Olive garden is soup, salad, and breadsticks..
Back to this restaurant and the calamari. Bice does this Italian staple with a twist… Fried calamari, Prawns and Zucchini! This menu choice was a no brainer! By now I already knew I wanted the risotto, and my sister wanted the pasta with clams, so we placed our entire order. When this divine appetizer approached our table, my face lit up in anticipation… WOW!! The calamari was superb! The prawns were great, and the zucchini had just the right amount of seasoning. After essentially licking the platter clean, I had to find room to enjoy the risotto.
The risotto was cooked very well. If any of you have ever watched “Hells Kitchen” or “Top Chef” then you know that it is difficult cooking risotto because there is a fine line between being undercooked and overcooked. The only thing I can find as a negative was that the risotto had too much chopped asparagus in it. The entree was “asparagus risotto with scallops,” but I just wasn’t expecting so much asparagus.
At this time I was so full that I couldn’t even think about trying out the dessert, after all, it was 11pm Eastern Time in my head, so it was time to lay of the carbs and calories for the night.
My server saw me taking pics of the calamari and she said she would google Avenue Swank, so if you did actually come visit the Ave, I definitely enjoyed Bice Ristorante and would recommend it to anyone coming to the Chicago Area. Whats so funny is that when I got back to the room today, I was watching a “Chicago Buzz” station that showcased some of the best in Chicago, and Bice was on there! Talk about a good choice!! Bravo!