Osteria La Madia

When I received an invite for a private media lunch during the busy holiday season, I initially was inclined to decline as it didn't seem possible to head out for an afternoon downtown with so much on my plate already, but I kind of live by this philosophy that the best time to take a break for some enjoyment is when you don't have the time for it. Time was in short supply. Case closed. I RSVPd and didn't look back. Besides, it was a working lunch so switching gears and convincing myself to go wasn't that hard. Foodie Sister blogger, Kelly, was available so the two of us set out to see what was new at Osteria La Madia, formerly La Madia, in River North. I am so glad I didn't pass on this opportunity because lunch was beyond fantastic and it turned out to be one of my favorite spots I visited during the entire year.

This 2,000 square foot restaurant and bar got a makeover in the dining room and on the menu by chef/owner Jonathan Fox. The decor is inspired by old Italy with "reclaimed wood floors and grey-washed wooden planks" along with modern touches. The cuisine touches upon Italian classics while also including contemporary creations. Wood-fired pizzas, upgraded starters and house made pastas make up the bulk of the menu, but don't think you'll be bored with the traditional takes on these Italian dishes. Prepare to be wowed by the presentation and the incorporation of non-traditional ingredients and delicacies that take each dish to a phenomenal level. There is also an impeccable beverage menu.

Here's what our sampling menu consisted of:

Anti Pasti
Crab Arancini
Frisee salad, Citrus Aioli

Tuna Crudo Bruchetta
Arugula, Lemon Aioli

Little Gem Salad
Panchetta, Mustard Dressing

Fois Gras Meatballs

Wild Boar Bolognese

Smoked Spaghetti
Cacio e Pepe

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Sausage

Coppa Picante
Sweet Peppers, Onions

Roasted Half Chicken
Pumpkin, Tahitian Vanilla Oil

Slagel Farms Tournedos of Beef
Chianti Truffle Sauce

Fire Raosted Organic Carrots
Kress Apiary Honey

Risotto Bianco
Alba White Truffle, Parmesano

Polenta Cake
Housemade Vanilla Bean Gelato

Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake
Lemon Ginger Glaze

Jonathan Fox hosted the lunch to give members of the media an early look at the revamped menu. After 7 years, Fox thought it was time for some new scenery and new flavors.

Crab Arancini (Amazing!)

Little Gem Salad

Tuna Cruda Bruschetta 


Smoked Spaghetti

Tagliatelle with Fois Gras Meatballs (one of my favorites!)

Moroccan Spiced Lamb Sausage 
Coppa Picante

Fire Roasted Organic Carrots (I could have had nothing but a big plate of these honey infused carrots and been a very happy camper!)

 Another favorite - the Roasted Half Chicken. It was fabulous!

The Tournedos of Beef were absolutely perfect and the desserts provided a fantastic finish.

 Here are a few more shot of the outstanding meal!

The Chicago Foodie Sisters highly recommend a visit to Osteria La Madia. Put it on your dining list for 2015!

Osteria La Madia
59 W. Grand Ave.