Friday, June 17, 2011
Sono Wood Fired
While pizza of all types is popular, there has been a recent trend in Chicago to explore the different regional styles. As Naples is the birthplace of pizza as we know it, there have been several restaurants that have explored the style with Sono Wood Fired being the latest. Sono Wood Fired is the sister restaurant to Burger Bar Chicago and is, in fact, located next to it although as one place does really good burgers and the other Neapolitan Pizza there is little obvious overlap. Both spaces are high ceilinged and the tables are far enough apart that the place is easily navigable. The ingredients are also very fresh although I will get to that in a minute. The walls to Sono are yellows and browns and are variously brick, painted, or mosaic tile (around the oven in the back corner) with the front wall being a large window as the Burger Bar's is. The design is very welcoming. We (my brother, Marty, and I) came here after I had biked 100 miles and was ready to eat anything. I left very satisfied. We started with crisp artichoke chips that were served with a spicy aioli sauce. The artichoke chips weren't quite as crispy as potato chips but I think the right spot between crispy and chewy was hit. It was a very simple start but simple done well as this was is still very good. We then moved onto the bruschettas. My brother and I ordered one each and split them and were very satisfied with both. The one that I ordered had fig and pear and some sort of white cheese. I wish I could be more specific about this but it is not listed on the online menu and I can't remember. What surprised me was that I liked all of it. People that know me know that I don't like pears but they also know that I am not afraid to order things that I could potentially not like. This was really good. The crispness of the bread and the sweetness of the fig both helped with the pears and everything got along marvelously. The other bruschetta was carmelized cipollini onions, Humboldt Fog goat cheese, and lavender honey. Everything about this sounded really good with the crispness of the bread, the sweetness of the onions matched with the with the sweetness of the honey and the slight tartness of the cheese.
Finally we came to our pizzas. We both ordered Bianco Pizzes (white). My brother ordered the Funghi which was a mushroom pizza with wild mushrooms, most of which were trumpet mushrooms, crispy sage, toasted garlic, and fontina cheese. My pizza was the Pancetta which was covered with a layer of arugula and some cherry tomatoes. The cheese was Provolone. Both pizzas had a nice char on the crust and the ingredients were really fresh. In fact, the arugula really reminded me of the arugula that I had sampled at City Farm. As it is just down the street from Sono and it sells to local restaurants, and Sono promotes the fact that they use fresh and local ingredients, there is a very real possibility that the arugula did come from City Farm. I was very satisfied with my meal at Sono. The food and service were both very good and I would be happy to return.