Animale - Chicago
Restaurateur Aldo Zaninotto has found much success in Osteria Langhe, his Piemonte region-inspired eatery in Logan Square. So it makes sense to open a sequel, and he does so with Animale, which is situated in Bucktown.
Animale is much more casual than its predecessor, yet it maintains its dedication to signature dishes made in-house. There's the hand-pinched ravioli called plin. Diners will also find house-made spaghetti, gnocchi and cavatappi on the menu. What's unique is that guests may order the pastas by weight (four ounces, eight ounces, one pound), then choose the sauce, which includes such delights like ragu di carne (mix of Italian sausage and beef chuck, mirepoix, herbs, tomatoes).
There's a hearty selection of offal dishes, from rabbit liver to blood sausage. Breakfast selections (lemon ricotta pancakes, 12-hour steel cut oatmeal), paninis (burgers, caprese) and arancini of fried saffron gorgonzola risotto balls filled with pink peppercorn basil cream are also on the menu.