Italian BYOB Valentine’s Day Dinner in Chicago: Trattoria Ultimo 

Italian BYOB Valentine’s Day Dinner in Chicago: Trattoria Ultimo 

Romance is Italian food at an intimate restaurant with New York City flare and Parisian vibes. Add some flowers and some Beivuma wine because it’s BYOB. That place is Trattoria Ultimo in West Town. 

I recently went to Trattoria Ultimo for a Galentine’s Day preview organized by one of my favorite Chicago bloggers, Once Upon a Dollhouse. 


There’s a number of antipastas at Trattoria Ultimo. My personal favorite was the prosciutto di Parma with Buratta because prosciutto and fresh mozzarella are two of my favorite Italian foods.

My second favorite dish was the asparagus and white mushrooms. If you are going to order the cheese platter with dessert, I suggest starting off with the asparagus.

Prosciutto di Parma with Buratta 

Chicken Liver with Crostini and Peach Mostarda

Baccalà Mousse and Polenta

Razor Clams with Fresh Calamari and Fajioli and Arugula

Vitello Tornnato with Roasted Vegetables and Capers

White Mushrooms and Asparagus with Parmigiano Reggiano

Cleanse Your Pallete:

After appetizers, you want to cleanse your palette for the main dish. We had Celery Apple Sorbeto. It tasted like cucumber ice cream. Like it’s the kale chip of ice cream – you originally think it’s disgusting, but it surprises you. If every time a guy ghosted me and I turned to cucumber ice cream I would be in better shape.

Intremezzo: Celery Apple Sorbeto

Main Dish:

The main dish is probably the best dish. At this point, I was on my second or third glass of red wine and had tasted dishes I’ve never experienced before. I was ready for staple Italian dishes like chicken and pasta.

Trattorio Ultimo surprised us and brought out risotto. There are plenty of good dishes to choose from like the hearty gnocchi and bone marrow or the perfectly seasoned asparagus with hay chicken, but I was partial to the creaminess and flavor of the risotto. I’m usually impartial to risotto like the crab risotto I had in Seattle. But, this risotto was cheesy and well balanced with fig mustard and crispy prosciutto. Again, I love prosciutto.

Risotto with Tellagio Cheese with Fig Mustard and Crispy Prosciutto

Ravioli Tartufi Contrario with White Truffle Sauce

Gnocchi with Beef Short Rib and Roasted Bone Marrow

Hay Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

Branzino with Broccolini Green Beans and Haricots Verts in a Wine Herb Sauce


At the time dessert was called, we had tried twelve Italian dishes and my table was opening up a fourth bottle of red wine.

But still, they put a platter of cheese – fine, creamy, dry, and hard cheese all on one plate. It didn’t even need crackers. 

We couldn’t say no to dessert – especially homemade chocolate truffles – chocolate so different from Godiva or Fannie Mae, though both are good, Trattorio Ultimo’s milk chocolate is refined and delish and unique like the chocolates at Katherine Anne’s in Logan Square. 

Cheese Platter

Almond Cookies, Medieval Almond Cookies, Coconut Macarons and Chocolate Truffles with Taragon

I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day and if it’s a table for one or two or a dozen, I hope you treat yourself to a beautiful, authentic meal and slip into a little red dress. Don’t waste this one springtime Chicago winter. Go out and look beautiful and dine like the princess you are.

Bon Appetit.

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