Restaurant Review: Etta

Etta=’Keeper of the hearth’

With fall weather clamoring for rustic colors and warm fireplaces, Etta, with locations locally in Bucktown and River North, is a perfect place for family to gather, celebrate, and laugh around a wood-fired hearth. Patrons of Etta will find a celebration of rustic cuisine that is thoughtful of the season. And, just as the kitchen is the focal point of interaction within a home,  Etta’s open kitchen design gives guests that same intimate experience.

Etta creates sophisticated, yet familiar dishes using expert cooking techniques. Created by the same team that designed Maple & Ash, Etta serves a frequently updated menu of wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, and farm fresh salads. 

Online reviewers raved about their focaccias and pastas. “Absolutely amazing on all fronts,” raved one reviewer. “Staff, service, and the food knocked it out of the park. I could eat a boatload of the ricotta pillows. The focaccia, either kind, is a must!”

“All pastas were fresh and made in house,” another reviewer noted. “The WOOD FIRE PIZZA was really good.”

Dinner starters include a fire-baked focaccia with ricotta and honey truffle, or a bubbling shrimp, lively when combined with ginger, chiltepin chile, smoked tomato and mint. Creative and festive salads include the Little Gem Salad, with kohlrabi, avocado, and scallions with a lemon dressing. Or the Etta Chopped Salad, a unique version of the classic, with red onion, hot smoked salmon, dill yogurt, champagne vinaigrette, avocado, eggs, grains and cheese, and everything bagel spice. 

Pastas and pizzas are sumptuous, and feature unique combinations for your palate. Try the Chitara Pomodoro, with cherry tomatoes, basil, olive oil, and burratta. Or the Pappardelle, with roasted corn, duck sausage, almond and tarragon. Their wood-fired pizzas include unusual combinations, like a sweet-savory coppa and fig, with arugula, burrillo, and guajillo. An adventurous palate may also enjoy the Fire Pie- a tasty combination of sausage, giardiniera, and chile de arbol.

Families and friends can share special memories and great food by ordering Etta’s special Wood-Fired Picnics, featuring Crispy Porchetta and fire-roasted Pork Collar, served with hearth bread, lettuce cups, escabeche, caper relish, and “refreshingly spicy things.”

Brunches, served on weekends, offer wood-fired pizzas, buttermilk pancakes with roasted berry jam and whipped vanilla ricotta, short rib hash, breakfast sandwiches, huevos rancheros, and many other tasty takes on traditional breakfast and lunch fare. They also serve a special menu of handcrafted cocktails and beverages.

Etta’s Bucktown location is at 1840 W. North Ave., Chicago. They are open daily forlunch from 12pm – 3pm, Dinner hours are 5pm – 10pm. On weekdays, excluding Friday, Etta serves a Happy Hour Pizza & booze from 3pm – 5pm. Weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays is from 10:30am-3pm. Reservations are recommended.  For more information, click here.

Alison Moran and Dean’s Team Chicago