• Sam Worley
  • Tagliatelle all’amatriciana at Nando Milano

The Delicata salad at Nando Milano Trattoria is something of a riot, for better or worse. The ingredients it comprises—arugula, carrot, pineapple, giardiniera, and grana cheese, with a drizzle of balsamic—taste about as beguiling as they sound: sort of a Rubik’s Cube of flavors that, try though you might, you can’t quite make to fit together. It’d be fair to call this restaurant a riot, period. It was unrelenting chaos on a recent Saturday night, with the waitstaff running—basically sprinting—back and forth on a loop, asking occasionally for a nod to indicate that the table was doing OK. (Was there another choice? And: Is that your server? Who could tell?)

Anyway, things don’t really cohere. Two egg-size arancini had a nice crust and were pleasingly gooey in the middle, but they sat in a lackluster tomato sauce—and if you can’t measure an Italian restaurant by its red sauce, I’m not sure what other shoe fits. The kitchen does best with house-made pastas, well cooked and toothsome, but not so much with what accompanies them: another weak-sauce tomato sauce in tagliatelle all’amatriciana, and a grainy, oversalted egg-based version in carbonara. Noise and chaos notwithstanding, Nando is cute—there’s a patio out front, a little bar in the back, and exposed brick on two walls—but a mite too expensive for the quality of the food. A side of giardiniera, for instance, is $7 ($7!), and prices on wine and cocktails aren’t really any friendlier.

2113 W. Division, 773-486-2636, nandomilano.com