464 N Halsted St (312-421-0077)
Inside the ivy-covered walls of this two-year-old Italian oasis, it’s as lush and romantic as a fairy-tale forest. It’s hard to complain about Tony Priolo’s (the chef-owner, formerly of Coco Pazzo) light, simple Italian dishes, but the food doesn’t stand a chance against the perfectly balanced setting, bathed in warm, golden light. Antipasti and something from the enormous, reasonably priced Italian wine list is all you need for a perfect summer evening. Plus, it’s one of the rare gardens that takes reservations.
FOOD 8 (out of 10) There can be misses, but never far from the mark.
DRINKS 10 A wine-lover’s delight, with tons of fun stuff by the glass
CROWD 9 Civil and wealthy
VIEW 9 It’s you, the greenery, the sky and a few unobtrusive low buildings.
SPACE 10 Understated garden-party elegance