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Chicago Gets a Luxurious New Italian Restaurant in UMMO

Chef and partner José Sosa and his team have created a menu of pasta, grilled meats, and seafoods in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.

Chef cooking over a flame

UMMO’s kitchen features a live-fire grill for steaks, vegetables, and more. Photo: Neil Burger Photography

UMMO opened late last week in Chicago, bringing contemporary Italian dishes to an elegantly designed space in the upscale River North district. Chef and partner José Sosa and SOMOS Hospitality, also behind the Mexican restaurant helmed by Michelin-starred chef Carlos Gaytán, Tzuco, began service Friday. 

The menu at UMMO reads like a greatest hits of Italian cuisine, with favorite dishes such as cacio e pepe, bistecca alla Fiorentina, mushroom risotto, and chicken Milanese. But the preparations showcase an artful flair, with ingredients sourced from Italy and the U.S., including partnerships with key brands like Acetaia San Giacomo for balsamic vinegar.

beef tartare served on a bone
Wagyu beef tartare served with gnocco fritto at UMMO in Chicago. Photo: Neil Burger Photography

The Wagyu beef tartare, for example, comes served on a bone, with pickled baby carrots and caramelized onion aioli, and gnocco fritto for accompaniment. Desserts, from star pastry chef Jesús Escalara, also showcase creativity while staying true to Italian flavors. The wine list, from beverage director James Van Der Bosch, an Alinea Group alum, skews Italian but features French, Spanish, and U.S. producers as well. He also oversees a clever cocktail program that includes cocktails using balsamic vinegar and even channeling the flavor profile of bone marrow.

Chicago firm Studio K Creative created the open layout dining room, which seats 100 with an additional 12 seats at the bar. The space features clean lines and a warm color palette of brown, tan, and sage, and a custom-crafted herringbone floor from Italy’s Diesel. UMMO’s upstairs lounge, a sprawling loft with room for 200, serves the full menu and will host DJs and live music on weekends.

More photos and a rendering of the dining room follow:

Chef Jose Sosa
Chef and partner José Sosa leads the kitchen at newly opened UMMO in Chicago. Photo: Neil Burger Photography
Pastry chef Jesús Escelera has created a dolce menu with such artful creations as Pomodoro e Basilico: Tomato, raspberry, and vanilla campote served with basil sorbet. Photo: Neil Burger Photography
Rendering of the dining room at UMMO
The dining room at UMMO. Rendering courtesy of Studio K Creative

UMMO, 20 W. Hubbard St., Chicago, IL 60654, 312-374-8736, ummochicago.com, @ummochicago on Instagram

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