Passerotto Cute as a button and loaded with charm, Passerotto serves up “fun Korean fare” with a smidgen of Italian from chef-owner Jennifer Kim. The dining room cozily seats 42, and intact are the worn brick walls, tiled floor and pressedtin ceiling. Well-composed small plates are consistently interesting, approachable with a touch of the unexpected. Prices are low enough to encourage multiple tastes. And the large plates are family-style platters that add a communal element to dining. Cavatelli mixes Italian pasta with Asian flavors, including a smoky nori butter sauce and crisp-fried wakame. Kim does nice work with raw fish, seasoning them sparingly and highlighting their pristine flavor. Star large plates include gochujangglazed pork shoulder, traditional kalbi, or, better still, the soondubu, a stew featuring clams, mussels and tofu in a kimchi broth, sort of a Korean bouillabaisse.
Open: Dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Prices: Small plates $9-$16; shared entrees $32-$38. 5420 N. Clark St., 708-607-2102. — Phil Vettel