WEST LOOP — The much-buzzed, old-school Italian restaurant Formento's officially opens on Randolph this week.
Chef Tony Quartaro opens the red-sauce restaurant at 925 W. Randolph St. for dinner Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Nona's, the take-out sandwich shop attached to Formento's, opened to lunch crowds. The corner spot will serve up casual Italian-American sandwiches, salads, soups and sides, including a mortadella dog topped with salted cabbage, horseradish and pepperoncini, and a pork-and-beef meatball sandwich with mozzarella cheese, marinara and giardiniera.
Sandwiches at Nonna's are $8.50; a sandwich, chips and soda combo is $12.
At the 8,000-square-foot Formento's, Quartaro and partner John Ross aim for classic Italian and Italian-American fare grounded in tradition. The menu includes Italian wedding soup, featuring a rich chicken broth steeped in parmesan rinds; an antipasta wedge salad with provolone plicate and chicken Vesuvio, featuring a de-boned, whole Amish chicken.
As of last fall, Quartaro also planned to serve timpano at the West Loop Italian restaurant — an elaborate, pastry-wrapped pasta drum that weighs 13 pounds and can feed up to 16 people.
The classic Italian restaurant is named for Ross's grandmother, whose last name was Formento.
Formento's will seat about 130 and will open for dinner at 4:30 p.m. daily.
Nonna's, accessible via a separate entrance on Sangamon Street, will open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily. The sandwich shop will also sell retail products, including Formento's sauce.
B. Hospitality Co., the team behind The Bristol and Balena, is opening both restaurants.
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