After Capri Sun began creepily transforming people into amorphous metallic globules, wine rose to prominence, offering a similarly complex flavor profile without the threat of spontaneous melting. For $15, today's Groupon gets you $35 worth of wine and Italian bistro fare at Salute Wine Bar. Nestled in a rehabbed pre-Victorian Hennessy House on the Gold Coast, Salute pays homage to the Old Country with a well-rounded wine list and authentic Italian cuisine.
Salute's wine list offers bottles from 20 different regions. Try an Alois Lageder chardonnay from Alto-Adige ($40 bottle) or a Ca’ Tullio pinot grigio from Friuli ($34 bottle). Salute's skillful servers can help you pair your chianti classico with the flavor-packed formaggi (featuring goat, sheep, and cow's milk artisanal cheeses), affettati (gourmet meats, such as Prosciutto di Parma for $6 or Soppressata for $3), paninis ($10), and piatti piccoli (small plates) on the menu. Dominic Gaziano, a medical doctor, author, and owner of Salute, carefully crafted the house recipes to reflect his gourmet chef mother's Calabrian and Sicilian culinary traditions. Lunch on panini sandwiches such as the muffuletta with hot coppa, mortadella, Genoa salami, provolone, giardiniera, and olive tapenade ($10) or a margherita pizza ($10). Dinner (served until 2 a.m.) includes $12 filet mignon and $15 braised beef short rib with mashed celery root, blood orange, and fennel jus.
A night out at Salute isn't complete without a close look at the club's kingly stump, a tree portion the owner picked to serve as a welcoming gesture. In another era, one might have feasted on a leg of mutton while sitting around a bonfire on a log like this one. The polished wood stump, along with Salute's warm hues, cherry-wood tables, a montage of black-and-white photos of Italy, bare brick walls, and delicate silk light fixtures, charms thirsty fun-seekers more thoroughly than sleepy kittens riding motorcycles made of wishes. Patrons who prefer a more private experience can check out the Cove, a small nook situated in the back of the bar.
- Framed photos of Italian film stars, deep red booths with golden pillows and an intimate, sunken patio sport serious sex appeal, but a cheerful staff and manageable menu make this into a neighborhood destination, where—following the staff’s lead—it’s perfectly fine to don denim and non-designer footwear. – Marissa Conrad, CS
- [A glass of Kerner's 2007 Abbazia di Novacella] went perfectly with the garlicky beetroot hummus spread on warm pita triangles…The grilled veggie panino avoided cliché, but it was the shot of house-made blood orange “cello” that clinched the deal. – Penny Pollack, Chicago
- A great place to relax and enjoy a glass or bottle of Italian red or white and have something to eat. The wine and food are great in a very comfortable setting but the service is really what I noticed. Attentive and knowledgable [sic] about their product. – wrotnym8277, Metromix
Near North Side
46 E Superior
Chicago, Illinois 60611Get Directions