Ryan Fletter doesn't need to prove himself when it comes to Italian cuisine and wine; he earned a stellar reputation with his first restaurant, Barolo Grill, which he purchased from Blair Taylor years ago. But Chow Morso is a different kind of eatery — a breezy ride with the top down compared to Barolo's chauffeured Rolls-Royce. The food is taken just as seriously at both restaurants, though, even if Chow Morso turns to the streets of Italy for some of its inspiration, from the puffy little balloons called gnocco fritto topped with shaved prosciutto to creamy arancini wearing crackly coats. But hand-rolled pastas, an intriguing wine list that won't break the bank, and warm service that never approaches overbearing take Chow Morso beyond a simple neighborhood spaghetti joint. And, oh, that carbonara!
Readers' Choice: Il Posto