Pensiero Ristorante
Pensiero Ristorante
Reviews Coming Soon

Pensiero Ristorante

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.pensieroitalian.com/
  • Phone: 8474757779
  • Hours of Operation:
    Thursday 5:00pm to 9:00pm
    Friday & Saturday 5:00pm to 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Fireplace, Full Bar, High Tea, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Pensiero Ristorante is the perfect choice for your private party, with room ranging from 8 to 80 Guests, we are able to host a variety of functions to suit your needs.
  • Private Party Facilities: Pensiero has private rooms that can accommodate any function, be it a business event or a joyous celebration and our in house event coordinator will take care of all the details
  • Private Party Contact: May Lee 8474757779

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Davis Street
  • Public Transit: We are located within walking distance of the Davis Street Metra and Purple Line EL stops.
  • Parking: Hotel Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking or use our parking lot. Directions and a map available on our website.
A word from Pensiero Ristorante
Located in the historic Margarita European Inn, Pensiero Ristorante offers contemporary Italian fare in an elegant, urban setting. Our seasonal menu is expertly prepared with locally sourced and organic ingredients, artfully presented, and served to you by a professional and friendly team. A sommelier driven wine list adds another level to your experience.

Pensiero is the perfect venue for a special occasion or just come in and enjoy delicious food in a sophisticated but relaxed atmosphere.

You might also plan an event in one of our private rooms. And, when the weather permits, enjoy al fresco dining in our cozy garden patio.

Pensiero...Everyday Italian.
Continued
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Pensiero Ristorante reviews from OpenTable diners
  • We've been to Pensiero and
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003VIP
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    We've been to Pensiero and its predecessor Va Pensiero many times over the years. We keep hoping it will live up to our past experience, but their execution is not there. We had 3 issues - Prosecco (enjoyed in the past) that was ordered was substituted with a Chandon sparkling wine- because of a menu change (we were given an old menu) -not noted till after delivery, very disappointing. Second, the entrees were lukewarm at best. Third, the signature Tagliatelle was not prepeared tableside and was not prepared in the same manner with the same flavor - not worth the premium price charged for this pasta. I doubt we will return in the nezr future. A lot of potential, but they are missing the mark in execution.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Very, very good, not great
    JesseG
    Dined on 2/22/2013
    Very, very good, not great meal. Excellent, classic cocktails, good and interesting wines by the glass. The boar bolognese with homemade pappardelle pasta was fantastic and a pretty great bargain and the short ribs were surprisingly original with the flavor combinations involved for a place that doesn't seem built around originality. Really nice meal, all around.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Disappointing meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    I was really disappointed in my meal here. A vegan carrot soup of the day, finished with olive oil, sounded interesting. Unfortunately, it was bland and watery, and the oil had separated and floated to the top. I had a simple insalata della casa in replacement and this was ok, but there were some greens that had bad spots. The tagliatelle al tartufo is their signature dish, and was quite alright - the mushrooms, pistachios and parmesan are an incredibly delicious and decadent combo. However, the tagliatelle were a little soft and overcooked for me. The noodles were all sticking together too. I tried a housemade carrot ice cream for dessert, but there were ice crystals in it and the cookie it came with weren't good either. I won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This place is a quiet place
    Riccardo
    Dined on 2/14/2013
    This place is a quiet place for a romantic dinner. The wine list is impressive. It has excellent food. Moderately expensive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pensiero Fantastico
    FooddocVIP
    Dined on 2/9/2013
    Housed in the small Margarita European Inn, this elegant but understated establishment excels in creating a wonderful dining experience. We have dined here several times before, and each visit is a gem in itself. The food is amazing, the menu choosing high quality amd innovation over quantity of items. Our appetizers were a sausage dish and eggplant cannoli, both distinctive and terrific. My wife chose pork belly and I took the duck; both we so good, I couldn't vote one over the other. The wines are fairly priced, and there is a selection of old school classic cocktails. Service is fantastic, and everyone there is so nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great North Shore Restaurant!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 2/7/2013
    Excellent! The food delicious and the service superior. We ordered a number of recent additions to the menu. The new bet salad was not only delicious but the presentation was masterpiece. The second new salad was a variety of fresh oranges and shaved fennel, it was refreshing and again beautifully presented. We shared our entrees of pork belly and beef short ribs. Both were flavorful, hearty and were perfect comfort food for a snowy winter evening. We saved room for dessert which was a perfect ending to our delicios meal, homemade banana chocolate ice cream with a side sugar cookie. This has become my favorite quiet North Shore restaurant!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This was great. tho there
    peterlew3VIP
    Dined on 2/2/2013
    This was great. tho there is a smallish menu the choices are varied and the food is excellent!!. A lovely place and resonably priced. The reincarnation of this restaurant is completely successful. GO! .
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We started with carrot soup
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    We started with carrot soup (2) and cannoli (1 split order). Both just right for starters. There was a hint of vanilla in the soup--very nice mix of flavors. Two of us had the short ribs, which were superb, and two had the tagliatelle. The pasta was tender, the mushrooms dense and earthy. It was a very cold night, so the restaurant was not crowded. At first our server was a bit too eager to take our orders while we were busy talking, but he was perfectly pleasant about giving us more time and very informative about the menu. The menu itself is small and interesting and lent itself to some questions. Pricing is very reasonable given the quality of the food. All in all, a very pleasant experience and one we will definitely repeat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Still Great
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 1/19/2013
    We had the opportunity to dine there again with out of town friends who were staying at the lovely inn upstairs. Other reviewers were correct, it was not crowded on a Saturday night. Service was attentive and not invasive and the food was outstanding.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We did New Years Eve here.
    VisitorVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2012
    We did New Years Eve here. Good was good, and they had a nice jazz band.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We had not been to this restaurant
    Glen
    Dined on 12/24/2012
    We had not been to this restaurant in a couple of years, and truly only ended up here on Christmas Eve because we couldn't find another convenient choice for dinner that was open this evening. We are very happy to have had the chance to go and enjoy such a wonderful meal as we had. The food that three of had was all excellent, and very generous portions. The wine pairings that were presented with the meal were perfect choices. I look forward to returning to Pensiero soon.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Everything was excellent,
    kath
    Dined on 12/1/2012
    Everything was excellent, but we left there feeling it might be closing soon. The restaurant was barely half-full on a Saturday evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Complete Package
    Vincent
    Dined on 12/1/2012
    They blew me away! Great ambiance, food and service. This place is a gem. Kudos to the staff.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was quite good but
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 11/24/2012
    The food was quite good but the service was painfully slow. We felt almost ignored between courses.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • We went to Pensiero for Thanksgivin
    KandB
    Dined on 11/22/2012
    We went to Pensiero for Thanksgiving and thought we got good value for the occasion. Three choices of main course were good--turkey was juicy and hot. Disappointed that there was no 'gourmet' pumpkin pie!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Very nice for our anniversary
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 10/26/2012
    Very nice for our anniversary dinner Staff was very responsive to our special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Been here before. First time
    LifelongChicagoan
    Dined on 10/18/2012
    Been here before. First time I was disappointed in the food. My pork belly was good, but my Dad's duck breast left something to be desired. Others at my table said the salmon and pasta were good. Expected outstanding like in the past. Maybe it was just an off night.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Outstanding, incredible, memorable!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/19/2012
    My wife and I had dinner here last night... wow it was amazing! Thank you staff for giving us a memorable and oh so positive experience! If you haven't tried Pensiero, you MUST do so. Service was great and the food (all three courses) was impeccable. We will be talking of this experience for a long time, and definitely will be coming back. If you are looking to eat food in the Evanston area, do NOT miss this place.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Over priced under seasoned
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/8/2012
    Very disappointing meal. Salmon overlooked and tasteless. Bland,unseasoned and extremely over priced.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We had a small get together
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 9/8/2012
    We had a small get together there Saturday night. They seated us in a semi-private space in the center of the restaurant; a perfect spot to celebrate. The food was excellent and the service was impeccable without being intrusive. We never felt rushed and the courses were timed perfectly. two of us tried their new pork belly they had as a special and it was excellent. Crispy and slightly smoked. Our kids got a kick out of the pasta they finish table side in a Flinstone sized wheel of cheese. The desert choices are slim but they have several great ices and gelatos, the pineapple and carmel sea salt is were the best. It's worth the trip just for the gelato.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The Tagliatelle Tartufo was
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 9/7/2012
    The Tagliatelle Tartufo was amazing - best I have had outside of Tuscany.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I am not sure why this restaurant
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/1/2012
    I am not sure why this restaurant isn't jammed. Italian food is excellent, service good, small friendly bar, cool old building in a historic Inn.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Pensiero is a lovely restaurant
    Leonard
    Dined on 8/30/2012
    Pensiero is a lovely restaurant with fine food, excekllent service, and reasonable prices. In contrast to many restaurants that are "conversation challenged," Pensiero is quiet, beautifully decorated, and located in a residential section of Evanston where there is even street parking.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • It was a good restaurant.
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    It was a good restaurant. The courses were very good and not scanty. The food was well prepared. Unfortunately they did not tell me that for that night it was a fixed price for a five course menu. We had people in my party that did not want to get the full 5 courses and subsequently did not eat all 5 courses. I had made the reservations a long time ago and I do beleive they should have told me that when I made the reservations.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The night we went, they had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 6/16/2012
    The night we went, they had a 5 course fixed priced menu. There was something for everyone to chose from. Food was terrific! We had great service as the restaurant was not very crowded the night we went.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Lost its way
    NickKVIP
    Dined on 5/25/2012
    Wow. What a shame. From all appearances, this place is about to close. Why do I say this? Restaurant was nearly empty at 8:00 p.m. on a Friday night. Bartender who made classic drinks: gone. Servers are all seniors in high school or freshmen in college. My $12 Italian sausage appetizer had six small bites to it. My wife's chicken dish was bland. Waited about 10 minutes for our dessert (when we were the only patrons in the restaurant) which consisted of....ice cream.
    • Food
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    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Couldn't be any better
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005VIP
    Dined on 5/25/2012
    Wow, go while you can. The memu is short, but every bite is worth eating. The service is great and for reasons I do not understand it is never crowded. We went for our Anniversary and there were only two other occupied tables when we arrived and only 7 when we left. Still the staff was on their game and everything was perfect. I highly recomend this excellent restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The food was exceptionally
    nledVIP
    Dined on 4/20/2012
    The food was exceptionally good. The service was exceptionally bad. It was almost comical how no one seemed to know what to do or how to do it. We were good friends celebrating birthdays so we didn't mind sitting and talking - but we were annoyed at the lack of professionalism and service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Easter Brunch
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004
    Dined on 4/8/2012
    We have dined here several times but this was our first time for brunch, specifically Easter brunch. The food was as good as always, the service a little more casual. They served a limited menu and were out of one of the main course options, even though it was relatively early in the day. However, this is still our favorite place for special occasions. So glad that when Va Pensiero went out of business, it was reincarnated as Pensiero with a similar menu and ambiance!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was our first time to
    LunchMomVIP
    Dined on 3/17/2012
    This was our first time to Pensiero and we will definitely be back. The food was great (although the beet salad could have used more goat cheese) and the service was excellent. We ordered the chicken, a pasta and a steak and all the meals were excellent! The room was nicely decorated and quiet - we could actually have a conversation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • This was the latest of many
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 2/17/2012
    This was the latest of many visits to Pensiero and the food and service are better than ever. Highly recommended
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Mixed review
    FooddocVIP
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    No drink order taken for 15 minutes; needed to ask for bread; needed to ask for utensils twice; felt overlooked for much of the evening...having said that, the food was fabulous, and I will blame the substandard service on it being Valentine's Day and a rookie server (I hope he was!) On a positive note, interesting drinks and a great wine list; squash soup and eggplant cannoli were different preparations and excellent; the short ribs and the chicken were in good portions and delicious; but an appetizer of 3 lobster tortellini and one scallop for $19??? Tasted good, but not $19 good!! Overall, I'll cut them a break and come back on a weeknight to get their specials, or at least on a non-holiday.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We were put in the room that
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 2/14/2012
    We were put in the room that is rarely open when we have been before. It was nowhere as nice as the regular side. It needed 2 more tables in the center to complete the room. It did not look good. It looked like an after thought with all the extra chairs by the walls. Plus the stage had a table with a table cloth all messed up it should have had a beautiful floral arrangement on it. It would have helped finish the room. This is our second Valentines day there and not sure we will go next year. The food was ok. We have had much better there before. The servers several times did not getthe app or salad plates from the tables before the food sever came out with very hot plate as he stated so we picked up our plates for him.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We went for the special $22
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 2/12/2012
    We went for the special $22 two course meal with a glass of wine. Definitely a good value and the pasta was good but the sauce (I had the lamb) was a little too salty. The regular menu looked very interesting.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Wonderful food and charming setting
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 2/11/2012
    The food was great! The chef uses simple ingredients to make great dishes that are innovative and very tasty. I would have no problem bringing any of my foody friends to try this place. Additionally, the atmosphere is charming. The restuarant is in a historic building and the room in which we dined had beautiful windows and a fireplace.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • We usually like Pensiero,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 1/21/2012
    We usually like Pensiero, but we were very disappointed. The tagliatella in the parmesan bowl was delicious as always, and, as always, overpriced for pasta with mushrooms. The main course of "pasta rags with lamb" was an insult. The "rags" turned out to be huge flat pieces of pasta, like lasagna noodles, with about a tablespoon of shredded lamb--certainly not the great lamb dish described on the menu. On the other hand, the duck with cherries was wonderful and generous. The desserts were either unappetizing, e.g. "smoked buttermilk" panna cota or cold, eg. gelati. It was freezing outside: a nice warm dessert would have been welcomed. Just a plate of biscotti and fruit would been nice.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food good, service slow
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 1/18/2012
    Food good but service slow. Overall just OK. Much better in every way on earlier visits, so perhaps this was just an off night Value remains Quite good.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • We went for a friends birthday,
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 1/15/2012
    We went for a friends birthday, we were seated promptly. They had two different menus, one was two course for 22$ the other 4 course for $32 . Both had appealing options. I had caesar salad and pappardelle boar. Caesar was very spicy, heavly peppered. The pasta was underwhelming, on a positive note they did hand prepare the noodles. I wasn't wowed with the whole experience so I would probably not go back.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • very disappointing - hard
    fodyVIP
    Dined on 1/15/2012
    very disappointing - hard to mess up pasta but they did - twice - had to send back because of oversallting -- replaced with soggy salty pasta. Used to be a favorite restaurant.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • My sister and I had a fablulous
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010VIP
    Dined on 1/10/2012
    My sister and I had a fablulous dinner! I had been here some years ago, and with the current owner and chef, this restaurant stands out as a great dining spot. Our server was top notch, every course we had was excellent...down to the French press coffee! I have always liked the atmoshphere here which makes for a very pleasant evening. Definitely a place to try for dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet