Sono Wood Fired gets its name both from meaning “I am” in Italian and for being located in the “Sono” area of Lincoln Park (just south of North Avenue in the Clybourn Corridor). So by visiting, you can learn a new phrase in Italian and visit a new area of the city… Oh, and eat some really delicious pizza.
Sono sits just about 20 feet from the North/Clybourn Red Line stop. With its close proximity to all the stores that line North and Sheffield Avenues, Sono is a great spot to grab lunch or dinner (and if you’re of age, drinks) after an afternoon of shopping and pretending to be richer than you actually are.
With dark woods, lanterns and the glow from the pizza oven, Sono is the perfect mixture of elegant and casual dining. You wouldn’t look out of place dressed up, but you don’t need to wear your best going-out attire.
At around 7:30 p.m. on a Thursday night, I walked in with three other people and we were seated right away. Our waitress was personable and very knowledgeable about the food — she walked us through the specials for the night and suggested items from each area of the menu, as none of us had ever been there before.
The menu is broken into antipasti (appetizers), meats and cheeses, bruschette, salads, al forno (a variety of more meat and potato dishes), pasta, pizze rossa (with red sauce) and pizze bianche (with no red sauce, just olive oil).
To start, we split the fresh made-to-order mozzarella ($10) which came with perfectly toasted, wood-fired crostini and a fruity toscano olive oil. The cheese, garnished with a little bit of black pepper, was creamy and still warm from being made. The waitress portioned it out onto the four crostini for each of us, a nice gesture that made sharing the appetizer much easier. I would have liked to have split my portion of cheese onto two crostini instead of one, though, just so I could savor it a bit longer.
After the appetizer, it wasn’t long until our pizzas arrived. The waitress said she could eat a whole pizza if she was starving, but with an appetizer and drinks, half of a pizza would be enough for each person. I ate about half of the 14” pizza and was stuffed.
We tried the margherita ($14) from the pizza rossa section and the speck ($16) from the pizza bianche section.
The basil and cheese on the margherita were fresh and filled with flavor, and the sweet tomato sauce with a touch of acidity balanced with both the basil and mozz. The crust was the best part though, with crispy, slightly charged edges, but still foldable in the middle.
The speck pizza features smoked prosciutto, mozzarella, charred onions and radicchio. The prosciutto (dry cured ham) was simply amazing, but while it looked like there was a fair amount on the pizza, I could have used some more. The bites with the prosciutto were the most balanced flavor-wise, but without prosciutto the charred onions and bitter radicchio overpowered the subtle mozzarella.
We were too full to have any dessert when I went, but when I return to Sono I would love to try one of their six gelato flavors and other menu items such as the house-made gnocchi with vodka cream sauce.
Verdict: Sono is a great date night spot for dinner or for a tasty lunch in between stores. While the prices may be a bit high for a student’s budget, the two-for-one pizza deal on Tuesdays is a steal that gives us the perfect opportunity to taste the great flavors coming out of Sono’s oven.