Food & Drink

A Chicago Pasta Master Opens Starland

Theo Gilbert does comfort food right

You had big plans for summer (lake house getaways, cross-country road trips).

Then life happened.

Cure your cabin fever at Starland, Theo Gilbert’s (Terragusto) casual American restaurant in the former Ripasso space.

Vintage thermoses, maps, and midcentury modern couches set the retro summer lodge scene (sans musty smell). Dates can camp out in dimly lit wooden booths in back, while small groups gather around the brighter tables closer to Damen.

Bust out the ghost stories between bites of half-sandwiches (designed for sharing) such as meatloaf with horseradish ketchup, duck skin with lettuce and tomato, country-fried Sriracha chicken thigh with celery-walnut blue cheese slaw, and fried cheese curds with bread-and-butter pickles.

Or just share Midwestern family memories over Grammy’s chicken and dumplings, trout fries, bacon potato salad, and banana pudding with Nilla wafers.

Wash everything down with adult coolers (celery and gin limeade) and house-made limoncello shots in funky ’50s glassware.

Fall’s looking mighty bright.

Starland, 1619 North Damen Avenue, between North and Wabansia Avenues (773-342-8799 or facebook.com/starlandchicago). 

Photo: Matt Bowman / Getty Images

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1619 N Damen Ave
bt North & Wabansia Aves
Chicago, IL 60622