As we slowly emerge from hibernation and attempt to tuck our down-filled coats in the back of our closets, it’s time to venture beyond our usual haunts in search of new and interesting food and drinks. This month is filled with worthy contenders, with Stephanie Izard bringing you goat belly lo mein, the crew behind Dusek’s breaking in a new drinking den, and River North providing a club for playing ping pong(?).

il Porcellino

River North
Lettuce Entertain You continues its restaurant opening streak with il Porcellino, a home-y Italian trattoria the occupies the former Paris Club Bistro & Bar space. The rustic menu, a collaborative effort between chef/partner Doug Psaltis and chef de cuisine Aaron Martinez (recent chef-in-residence at the group’s Intro) keeps the emphasis on house-made pastas like rigatoni alla vodka and ricotta tortellini, focaccia pizzas, antipasti like fried Brussels sprouts and endive and parmesan, and bomboloni with whipped mascarpone, while an Italian-driven wine program, “multiple choice” Negroni, and a short-but-sweet craft cocktail selection complete the experience.