Located in River North, Bar Umbriago is now open to the public and is led by Chef Michael Ponzio, who was recently featured on Food Network’s Kitchen Inventors and author of Cibo: Anybody’s Guide to Italian Cooking. Bar Umbriago will provide an authentic atmosphere reminiscent of Italy’s wine shops. Chef Ponzio has taken a modernistic approach in developing Bar Umbriago’s menu, which will feature European family-style dining. Named after a character in Italian American singer Jimmy Durante’s famous song, the 160-seat new age Italian wine bar will offer live entertainment, an affordable check average and a reasonably priced wine selection. There is also an outdoor patio with seating for 30 on Hubbard Street.
Chef Ponzio has created a rustic and traditional Italian menu with dishes one might find on the island of Sicily, the foothills of Bologna, or the sidewalk cafes of Rome. Chef Ponzio will work with local farms, utilize artisanal products, practice whole animal butchery, and import specialty Italian ingredients which he hand-selected in Italy for the new menu including cornmeal, flour, custom-picked olive oil, cheeses, cured meats and more. The rotating menu of specials will feature homemade pastas, octopus, salads and authentic Italian dishes, most of which are intended for sharing.
Dinner menu items range in price from $6 – $24, and highlights include Summer Salad with lamb bacon and pecorino sardo, Crostini with whipped lardo and black truffles, Braised Rabbit with olives and polenta rossa, Cap Steak with bone marrow raviolini and tomato fonduta, Fazzoletti with lamb ragu and pecorino, and Goat Cheese Gnocchi with peas and smoked pancetta. For dessert, Bar Umbriago offers creamy, authentic Italian-style gelato made in-house with flavors like pistachio, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate. Chef Ponzio will also make sorbet in-house including basil, fennel, lemon and more.
Bar Umbriago offers over 150 bottles of wine under $100 in addition to a rotating reserve list. The bar crafts vintage-style specialty cocktails from $10–$15 like the Jack Rose (apple brandy, lemon juice, grenadine), Cherry Pop (gin, lemon juice, maraschino liquor, simple syrup), and Angel’s Tit (B&B, cream, cherry on top). The bar also makes Italian Sodas in-house with flavors varying from grapefruit, blackberry and lemon to raspberry, cherry and basil.
Bar Umbriago is located at 6 W. Hubbard Street in River North. Please call (312) 494-1200 or visit online at www.barumbriago.com for more information. Bar Umbriago is open Monday-Friday from 3pm-Midnight with the Bar closing 2am, Saturday from 3pm-Midnight with the Bar closing 3am and Sunday from 3pm-10pm.