It's Chicago Restaurant Week (aka the most wonderful time of the year), and that can only mean one thing: The best Windy City restaurants whip out some major bargains for some bomb food. With this in mind, I decided to dine at Formento's, a reputable Italian restaurant in the area. Normally, this place sets you back at around $60 for the amount of food on its Restaurant Week menu, but this $44 dinner deal is definitely a steal. 

I made the reservation two weeks prior to the date, and let me tell you: My stomach was already grumbling for some pasta and tiramisu. That being said, here's everything you need to know about Formento's. 

#SpoonTip: Double-check the Chicago Restaurant Week menu and see if specific restaurants are actually offering a better deal than the regular menu.

The Atmosphere

Natalie Ser

With red sofas, rustic brick walls and yellow fluorescent lights, Formento's featured a fancy and spacious interior. The lights were dim enough for a comfortably intimate meal without shrouding you in complete darkness. I enjoyed the scene and the upbeat music that played in the background.

Menu Rundown

For $44, the dinner menu consisted of four courses: an appetizer, two entrees and a dessert. Diners can choose from the two to three options in each course. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of Formento’s most popular dishes on the Restaurant Week menu.

Nonna’s Meatballs

Natalie Ser

These two juicy meatballs were so tender, each bite melted in my mouth. The freshness and tastiness were unmistakable, and the light and tangy marinara sauce helped cut through the beef’s richness. It was a meatball for the books.

Bucatini Carbonara

Natalie Ser

One of Formento's most popular pastas, the Bucatini Carbonara proved perfectly al dente. The pasta complemented the luscious carbonara sauce, and after the satisfying yolk-split, each bite was a little piece of heaven. Savory pasta lovers, this dish is calling your name.


Natalie Ser

Honestly, by this point I was already decently full, but sometimes you just have to rally. The Branzino was a European sea bass fillet, grilled to a light, crispy exterior with a bed of sautéed pea tips and crispy garlic. The juices from the charred lemon helped to balance out the natural fattiness of the fish.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Natalie Ser

A deconstruction of the traditional tiramisu, this cheesecake was separated into layers of a sponge base and whipped mascarpone cheese, topped with coffee gelato and cacao nibs. The gelato really hit home in giving the dessert that quintessential coffee kick. This was nothing short of a delicious way to top off the meal.

Natalie Ser

My friend opted for the other dessert option: Formento’s famous chocolate cake. One of the city’s most celebrated desserts, this cake layers of velvety chocolate mousse and crunchy hazelnut praline that made this cake ridiculously dreamy.

Final thoughts

With excellent Italian dishes and an atmosphere that is versatile enough for you to bring family or friends, Formento’s is definitely a crowd-pleasing and delicious option for a meal out. Not to mention, the portions were pretty generous from its Chicago Restaurant Week menu (I even left with some leftovers). So, if you’re craving quality comfort food, or if you're just someone who has a soft spot for Italian food, Formento’s is the place to be.