2152 N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
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04/08/2008Provided by Citysearch -
I tried Il Covo a few weeks ago, and it was great. I actually bought gift cards worth $50 for only $25 from LOVE fm. It was a great way to try a new restaurant. The atmosphere at Il Covo is very cozy, service is great and food is delicious. Definitely give it a try!
02/15/2008Provided by Citysearch -
My husband and I tried Il Covo for our anniversary a few months ago and decided to go again for Valentines day. The service has always been great. The first time we went we felt the food was EXCEPTIONAL! Positively delicious. We went again last night, but the food wasn't as good as the first. My complaint was that I got the same spinach dish that I had gotten last time but this time it didn't have any flavor. It was supposed to have garlic on it but I couldnt taste any. I had to keep adding salt. Besides that, the salad was good, calamari was fried and battered just right. We will definitely go back, I'll just have to try something else next time.
08/06/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Had to check this out when we heard it was a whole new deal because I loved the restaurant itself but didn't care for the food under the previous chef. I was first of all dazzled by the extensive menu that was fat with seafood offerings, plenty of pastas a ton of salads and starters too. The carnivore with us had a lot to choose from too-lamb, veal scallipini (no osso bucco, the chef told us not until fall....) and filet + a ribeye and the veggie girl was for once happy to have some choices for once (almost all of the non seafood starters,salads and four or five pastas to choose from so we were in heaven. The plates came out fast (especially for grilled to order seafood) with tender grilled calamari tubes (not rings, how refreshing) octopus, scallops and shrimp and a fragrant caprese salad that was so simple and fresh I could have eaten the whole thing myself. Our service was really good without being overbearing. No snootiness or attitude, really kind of fun and joking with us. Our whole table was shocked to see plates that came with potatoes (roasted with rosemary-to die for) and veggies instead of the ala carte gouging I see out and about. Wine list was a little whacky but the server advised they were selling off the inventory and going strictly italian...nice buys though the Ferragamo family Pian di Nova was at a really fair price. We devoured our desserts-the creamiest pannacotta ever and a molten chocolate explosion with gelato. The fun server brought us a lemoncello on the house which was especially nice since we had a wonderful time and had no problems with our meal, service or evening. It was just a nice gesture and very much appreciated.
07/31/2007Provided by Citysearch -
We went back here after hearing it was under new management to use a gift certificate and we were very impressed by the expansive new menu-something like 15 pastas alone-as well as the nice wine list that had a little bit of everything, mostly Italian, at a wide range of prices. We were blown away by the simplicity of the dishes, the balance of the flavors and the nice vibe we felt while eating. Service was polished and professional, not pushy, more like ""sit back and relax and enjoy"". Our grilled seafood appetizer was beautifully plated with just a touch of balsamic reduction. We split a pasta (Bolognese) and it was really, truly a Bolognese, rich and hearts and just enough to coat the noodles. My grilled lamb was cooked perfect for my taste (med rare) and my partner said his salmon in white wine was ""divine"". Desserts are in a world of their own here. Obviously housemade but the pannacotta is really from heaven. And the molten chocolate cake oooozes with gooey fudge with a perfect smooth gelato on the side. Our server told us it was made by a friend of the new owners. I can't say enough good things about this little place.
07/19/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I was really surprised at the changes here, in a good way. Portions are generous (fair for the pricing) and the food is simply outstanding. We have been three times and each meal is better than the last. Lots of choices and a little something for everyone. Our table enjoyed several starters: bruschetta, grilled seafood platter, grilled veggies with smokey grilled scamorza cheese and mussels and all of it was great. Our entrees were all amazing-tilapia, risotto, grilled lamb and a steak-all cooked right. It is also really nice to be in a restaurant where they include sides on the plate and not ala carte. Our server helped select some nice wine that went with everything and it was a really fair price too.....these new people really seem to have it together from a customer service standpoint. The bread was fresh and chewy, the dessert was sinful. Try the sevada, its unusual but interesting and decadent. Panna cotta was rich and creamy and gelato was to die for. I am so glad to see an Italian restaurant that is like the ones I visited in Rome and Milan.
06/26/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I can't say enough good things about this place. We went on Friday night and were seated immediately. The service was top notch, friendly, savvy and fun. We were overwhelmed at the selections as we had been here once before and found the menu to small and kind of weird for Italian. Beautiful Caprese Salad and arugula salad. Risotta Pescatore was rich and cooked perfectly and loaded with fresh seafood, a piece in every bite. Linguine in Pesto was so lovely, the smell of the basil practically seduced me. We split a Tilapia and found it to be really well prepared, seasoned gently and so tender we cut it with a fork. For dessert we told the waiter to surprise us and what a surprise it was. He brought a platter of things from the dessert menu-tiramisu, gelato and a torte along with some fresh fruit. Its not on the menu but if it was it would have been called heaven in Italian. Everyone was super friendly to us from the minute we stepped out of the car till we walked out the door. The room was bustling but not earsplittingly loud and we found that the courses came up pretty quickly, even though we took forever to order because we couldn't decide. I hope they keep it up because this is a beautiful place with great food at decent prices.
After reading the reviews we were leary but our friend chose this for a birthday dinner last night and the only thing I can say is WOW! Contrary to what we read this was a really friendly and authentic Italian restaurant. As it turns out, new people have taken over but I would say RUN! DON'T WALK! Before the word gets out. It reminded of of my recent trip to italy with mussels simmered in a light broth with crusty bread to soak up the sauce followed by a insalata tre colore. Linguine in Pesto was so fresh and flavorful we ordered a second to share with the table. Our entrees were generous in portion and cooked perfectly. I had a filet with roasted potatoes and vegetables (all included-not ala carte like some places!) and my friend had the fettucine in meat sauce that was really rich and hearty, Tilapia and salmon were perfectly seasoned and tender with great flavor. We couldn't have been happier with our very funny and charismatic server. The desserts were obviously homemade and whatever you do, try the tiramisu (it is the real deal, just like Florence!) and the pannacotta with the homemade caramel drizzled on it. We also tried a few flavors of the gelato which our server said is handmade by an Italian friend of the new owner. The pistaccio is to die for.
Overall I found the place vibrant and friendly and the food outstanding but even the server said it was not always this way and that the place was recently taken over by some charming Italians and a scene queen...whatever that means! We had a nice bottle of Vermentino which I've never tried before and it was a nice crisp white wine, perfect for the kind of alfresco (the whole front window opens) seating we had. Like I said, I never was before but I was knocked out by the friendliness, the food and the overall vibe of the place. I wish them luck in overcoming the negative image of the last regime but trust me, its is a great little place.
06/15/2007Provided by Citysearch -
This the real deal. A real italian restaurant. I don't know what it was before but whoever took over is doing something right. Food was flavorful and expertly prepared, homemade gnocchetti sardo, carpaccio di manzo, grilled calamari. Entree choices were a little overwhelming, seven fish?? But we went with the Pollo Sarda which was juicy, tender and flavorful and the grilled lamb tenderloin. Again, grilled to perfection and seasoned with a careful hand. Our server was wonderful, cheerful and fun and the wine list had lots of offerings in Light, medium and Big in both red and white. The chef came out and spoke italian with us-apparently they just took over two weeks ago but they are from Italy and came from one of my other favorite places Pizza D.O.C (surprisingly, there is no pizza here). They seem to really have it together and the room is really swank. It seems like a neighborhood place as all the tables seemed to know each other which kind of added to the charm. We had the zabione for dessert that was like nirvana. Great coffee too, what you would expect from Italians! We will be back, often to work our way through the giant menu and back.
04/23/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I enjoy fish. I had a salmon pasta dish here that tasted more like salt-cured canned fish than anything I'd expect in a place with a staff that acted as though it was my priviledge to be in their presence. My son became physically ill later in the evening after eating the tortellini. The recommended chicken dish eaten by another guest remained 3/4 uneaten when we left. A HUGE disappointment - a wasted 1-1/2 hours, to say nothing of the bill. Manager nowhere to be found.
04/15/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Despite reservations, my wife and I waited 90 minutes at the bar before we were seated on a recent Saturday night. The bartender was clearly unequipped to handle his job and while we waited for a table, we also waited for our drinks. Once seated, we immediately placed our orders...and guess what happened next - we waited! It took an hour before we were served our caprese salad and pasta dishes. The only thing that prevented us from leaving was the thought of writing this review. While the caprese salad was good, the pasta dishes were difficult to choke down. The spaghetti and veal was extremely greasy and the pasta and salmon dish had to be a mistake - it tasted like overcooked fish jerky in a burnt red sauce. Throughout this grueling expereince, it was clear the wait staff was unhappy - largely because they may have been understaffed and because the clientele was unhappy. The couple sitting next to us both sent their pasta dishes back - the woman's lasagna was cold in the middle. Overall it was a very uncomfortable dining expereince and I would not go back if I was paid to. My impression was that the restaurant lacked the proper management. I will be very surprised if this place makes it through 2007.
02/18/2007Provided by Citysearch -
We went there for valentines day and the ambiance was very inviting and seamingly friendly. Once we sat down the nightmare began. Although the restaurant was not busy it took a long time to get our order taken and for our food to come. The risotto I had was awful, it was undercooked which they tried to claim was ""al dente"" and the tomato sauce on top seamed as if it came from a spaghetti o's can. In addition the mussels which can on top were extremely fishy tasting and the overall dish was cold. Another entree, the gnocci, was nothing to write home about, it was extremely bland in a rich creamy sauce. Our waiter was nice, but he was trying to be bartender and wait on us at the same time, which obviously didn't work. The other waitress which assisted him with the food was inappropriately rude and had muffled snide remarks everytime she came to the table. Overall, this was a bad experience, if you are considered this restaurant you are probably better of going to Nick's Pit Stop down the street or even a hot dog from 7/11 would be a better treat.
02/16/2007Provided by Citysearch -
The people leaving positive remarks about this place must be the owners or friends and family. A really bad experience from start to finish, they need to make a TON of changes. Pretty pricey and not too good. The risotto couldnt have been worse, tasted like chef boyardee sauce, with WAY under cooked rice. Sent the risotto back explaining why it was bad and the waiter actually said, "" lots of people say that! "" WTF? Do something about it then or get it off the menu. Meals didnt all come together and one member of our group waited almost 10 minutes for his food after the rest of us were served. Stay away from the mussles unless you like ones that taste like a fish that has died and washed ashore. Waitstaff was not very friendly and one waitress was actually offensive. Not the worst dining experience but right up there. If you have to go to this place have drinks and apps only! Make sure you bring plenty of cash!!! Parking is also terrible and valet took over 10 minutes to take my car. Im pretty sure Il Covo wont be around too long after my experience and seeing what other people are saying. Chipolte a few blocks south is a MUCH better option.
02/14/2007Provided by Citysearch -
I don't even know where to begin with this place. To be fair, everything leading up to our visit including speaking with the manager and chef had me feeling very optimistic about our visit. Then we pulled up. Valet parking was a mess with only one guy working on what would obviously be a busy Valentine's Day evening. They were grossly understaffed and the staff that was on hand were condescending, unprofessional, slow, and generally lacked the skill and attitude that is required for even an average dining experience. We decided to do a group outing of six couples - all married and in our early to mid thirties. Among the group were a CEO, COO, dentist, MD, and two national sales managers. All in attendance were well educated, well travelled, and dine out quite often. General consesus was it was the worst dining experience that we all have encountered in some time. If it weren't for good company that don't get to get together often, cold drinks, and the fact that we all have a good sense of humor, this place might have been able to completely wreck our evening. Highlights - our server was also our bartender and coat check guy. He also refused to look you in the eye and refused to acknowledge requests although after asking a second time was very snide in pointing out that he heard you the first time. I only took one semester of mind reading class although if I had to read his I think it was saying that he was too good for the job of waiting on others. Waitress from hell. Not our server but abrasive, pouty, outwardly angry. At one point screamed ""where the f%#* is Shawn"". We had a contest on who could make her smile first. No winner. One missing entree. Two horrendous rissotos which we sent back - this from a group that rarely sends back. No apologies. No discount. Not even a free dessert. Not saying that's what it's about and I do realize that crowds and mistakes happen. It's how you deal with them that matters. And Il Covo failed miserably.
02/10/2007Provided by Citysearch -
Went to Il Covo with my our family of 7 to celebrate my wife's and mother's birthdays. We had heard that the restaurant was a ""hot"" new place and very trendy. Well, that may be true but it comes as the expense of food and service. Our waiter tried very hard but could not cover or make-up for the food. The food is overpriced, bland and probably the worst Italian restaurant we have eaten at in the city. We could not understand, aside from the intimate ambience, what the hype was all about. The appetizers were poorly prepared, bruschetta and panzanella salad were bland, dry and tasteless. The panzanella is made of the same bread that is served at the start of the meal. The pastas were very undercooked, there is al dente and then there is raw. The sauces had no salt and no flavor. The ravioli was cold inside and was served in a white cream sauce that also had no flavor. Deserts were OK, nothing to write home about. We were not even offered the option to order coffee or after dinner drinks. After calling the waiter, we ordered coffee for 4 of us. 2 of them arrived, cold, and 20 minutes later the other 2 were served and were watery. Overall, perhaps the most disappointing dining experience we have had in the city of Chicago. With so many better options in the city, spend your time, money and leisure time elsewhere.
11/24/2006Provided by Citysearch -
Wow what a difference. We heard the guys from Pizza D.O.C. were taking over so we stopped in and what a pleasant surprise it was to find a really authentic Italian restaurant that is moderately priced. We started with the Grigliantina Mista which was nicely grilled seafood platter that was enough for the two of us. I had the most amazing carpaccio followed by a Pollo Involtini which was a chicken breast rolled and stuffed with all kinds of great things. My husband had the tilapia which was perfect, tender and flavorful. The service here was outstanding, very warm and welcoming. I've eaten here before and there is nothing left of the old menu which is probably a good thing according to the other reviewers. Our dessert was out of this world, old school panna cotta and tiramisu, simple yet perfect.....Wines were very reasonably priced by the glass and the bottle and oh about the bread-crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Ironically, no pizza here anymore, but may be that is a good thing as the menu is so full of great new items (can't wait to come back and try the pastas!) I would really recommend this for a nice night out in a comfortable setting at decent prices.
11/10/2006Provided by Citysearch -
I live in the neighborhood and was so excited to have an Italian restaurant in walking distance, I was greatly dissapointed. We went on a Wednesday night, there were 4 other tables seated, we got seated promptly but there was no atmosphere. Starting with the wine list, not a great selection however the wine was the highlight of the meal. We ordered the caprese and the brushetta, the tomatoes in the caprese were not ripe, the mozzerella was good but the flavor wasn't there in the dish. The brushetta tasted like something you could get at a chain reataurant or the grocery store. I ordered the scallops they were flavorless except for all the salt and overcooked. My friend ordered the ravioli, which was sitting in a bed of oil, he said it was the worst ravioli he had ever tasted, I agreed. The only positive thing I have to say is that we had a very nice waiter.
10/25/2006Provided by Citysearch -
A bad experience from the beginning. Very loud and hard to carry on a dinner conversation. I think they hired every warm body they could find as waitstaff - very unprofessional and definately NOT polished. After our waiter dropped our food he did not return until it was time to leave us the check. The salads and appetizers were the only good part of the dinner. We waited over an hour to get our entrees ( after we got our appetizers). Pizzas were average. Salmon was soooo salty we couldn't eat it. There are so many better restaurant choices in the area. If you think Olive Garden is fine dining then you will love this place!
10/19/2006Provided by Citysearch -
Okay, went back for the first time in a few months and what a pleasant surprise! It says under new management and it is very clear that things have changed-first off, delicious and tasty bread basket appeared immediately and the menu has sooooo much more to choose from. We were so happy because before the menu was a little lean on the fish offerings before. Ejnoyed the calamari fritti and the involtini zucchine for an appetizer. Beautiful marinara sauce! For entrees I had the veal scalloppini which was tender and flavorful while my date enjoyed a perfectly cooked filetto with tender asparagus and whipped potatoes. Delighted to hear tables speaking Italian, felt like I could have been in Rome except for the Damen Ave bus driving by. We devoured the creamy panna cotta and the tiramisu. We were pleasantly surprised that the cost of such a wonderful meal with wine was so reasonable, the server congenial and the vibe comfortable. I don't know who is running this place now but whoever you are, keep up the great work, we were amazed by the changes and will be back often!