CHICAGO, IL – MARCH 15, 2016 – Il Porcellino, a rustic everyday trattoria from partners R.J., Jerrod & Molly Melman and chef/partner Doug Psaltis, is opening Thursday, March 17, at 59 W. Hubbard Street. The rustic Italian menu focuses on housemade pastas, vegetable antipasti, focaccia pizzas and the signature dish, il porcellino, with heritage Berkshire pork and wild Umbrian cicerchia beans.
“We’ve had a long-time vision of opening a casual trattoria with dishes that showcase the more rustic side of Italian cuisine which pays respect to the great Italian home cooks around the world,” adds Psaltis. “These dishes are a culmination of our entire teams’ travels and serve as inspiration for the spirit of il Porcellino.”
The menu is a collaboration between Psaltis and chef de cuisine Aaron Martinez—formerly of San Francisco’s Quince restaurant and Intro’s third visiting chef.
“Chef Doug and I have the same sensibilities on how we approach food—by using the best of the best,” says Martinez. That means sourcing only the highest quality of ingredients from the finest farmers and purveyors, like Marigold Hill Organics in Illinois or the family-run Giachi olive oil from Tuscany, where some of the oil is pressed and bottled specifically for il Porcellino.
Award-winning mixologist Julian Cox rounds out the il Porcellino team. Previously named one of the 10 most influential bartenders of the past 10 years by Food & Wine magazine, his cocktail philosophy is simple—a blend of classic old-style bartending mixed with modern technique. One aspect of the menu highlights bespoke cocktails, giving guests the opportunity to “create” a unique drink with the bartenders based on their individual tastes.
The wine program is Italian-driven and features small producers handpicked by sommelier Richard Hanauer. It encourages sharing and offers different sizes and styles of bottlings, including a reintroduction to great table wine with fiasco del giorno selections presented in those familiar Italian wicker baskets.
Il Porcellino, named after the 17th-century Florentine bronze statue that is thought to bring good luck and a return visit to the medieval city, will be an all-day neighborhood trattoria. The restaurant is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. – 1 a.m.; and Saturday, 4 p.m. – 2 a.m. Reservations will be available starting Wednesday, March 16. For more information, please visit ilporcellinochicago.com or call 312-595-0800, and follow along on Twitter and Instagram at @ilPorcellinoChi.