GIOIA RISTORANTE & PASTIFICIO
We were so excited to check out Gioia, located in the West Loop on Randolph. This spot is perfect for date nights and dining with another couple. Decorated in neutrals, Gioia hits all the marks for upscale modern Italian. The dining room is warm and intimate.
We love to order a few dishes and split them amongst the group. We started the meal off with Moeche & Zucchine, crispy soft-shell crab, zucchini blossoms, stracciatella and colatura. The dish was very flavorful and light. Who doesn't love a burrata!? Gioia serves theirs with tomato confit, rapini frittelle and oregoano pesto (not traditional) but very fresh and light. The Branzino Alla Griglia (Mediterranean sea bass) was grilled and flavored with oregano lemon oil and served with caponata, a mixture of veggies.
The entrée was certainly the Belle of the ball. We ordered the Gioia Nei Paccheri which is pasta prepared tableside in a fresh tomato sauce with 22-month aged Parm. Prior to the pasta being served, the staff drapes everyone in a cloth cover (clever way to keep the pasta off your new date night outfit!) We split this dish amongst the four of us and the portion size was perfect. Great wine and a great time was had by all!