Il Posto Cafe
WHY IT’S NOTEWORTHY
Il Posto is as much a scene as it is a restaurant. With a menu of Italian-style salads, sandwiches, and soups, it also functions as an upscale coffeehouse–the kind of place where a ground of young adults show up after school or work, or where friends meet to hang out over a meal that’s not quite a full meal.
The ingredients–particularly the breads and cured meats–are of excellent quality. Cheeses are sourced from St. James Cheese Shop–and you can’t get better than that. The preparations are good but uncomplicated. The most difficult menu-shopping will concern what you want in your panini. There’s not really an entree on the menu, other than salads or sandwiches. Breakfast offers bagels, pastries, juices, and hard-boiled eggs. On the other hand, specials add to the possibilities.
Owner Madison Curry operated a place a lot like this in New York before returning to her hometown in 2007 to open Il Posto. She has a family connection to the restaurant biz: her stepmother Pat Morrow started Restaurant Des Familles down in Crown Point. (No common themes there.)
This part of Uptown has numerous small businesses scattered among the predominant residences, and Il Posto is on one of them. It’s a block and two block respectively away from Charlie’s Steak House and Pascal’s Manale, two ancient eateries that could hardly be more different from Il Posto’s sleek, modern environs and hip menu. The room is cool and quiet, with a coffeehouse feeling and the aromas of Italian salumi and savory vegetables–very appealing. The tables on the sidewalk may get more use than those inside. Live music, sometimes.
Bagels or toast (with a variety of fillings)
Hard boiled eggs
Italian tuna salad, avocado, tomatoes
Beet, walnut, gorgonzola salad
Bresaola, greens, parmigiano, lemon herb vinaigrette
Soup of the day
Bruschetta, tomato, basil
Capri (tuna salad, lemon, thyme, tomato, red onion)
Lox on toasted multi-grain bread, caperberries
Bresaola, mixed greens, lemon-herb dressing
Egg salad, greens, tomatoes
Proscuitto San Daniele, tomato, basil pesto
Tuna and white bean salad
Peperoncino (roasted red peppers, basil pesto, mozzarella)
Proscuitto (roasted peppers, basil pesto, mozzarella)
Milano (sopressata, Fontina, tomatoes, balsamic)
Caprese (tomatoes, basil pesto, mozzarella)
Bologna (mortadella, Fontina, roasted peppers, balsamic)
Italian hero (sopressata, mortadella, Fontina, tomato, balsamic)
Grilled cheese (several variations)
Cheese and cured meat plates
Chocolate hazelnut bruschetta
FOR BEST RESULTS
Don’t come here really hungry. Even if you order a lot of food, it’s not the kind of food to gorge on. (This is a good thing.) The ingredients are top quality, but the prices are commensurate. I can’t seem to come here without spending $20 per person.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT
They seem to be a little overboard on creating variations on grilled cheese. Although many of the sandwiches are grilled and heated thoroughly, some of them would be better at room temperature. They’ll make anything your way.
FACTORS OTHER THAN FOOD
Up to three points, positive or negative, for these characteristics. Absence of points denotes average performance in the matter.
- Dining Environment +1
- Consistency +1
- Value +1
- Attitude +1
- Wine & Bar
- Hipness +2
- Local Color +2
- Sidewalk tables
- Good for business meetings
- Open Sunday lunch
- Open all afternoon
- Quick, good meal
- Good for children
- Easy, nearby parking
- No reservations