Red Eye Chicago - - Around Town -

Etta Pick­ing up from the hearth­grilled steaks at ex­ec­u­tive chef Danny Grant’s Maple & Ash, his lat­est pro­ject, Etta, ex­cels in flame-kissed cook­ing. We be­gin with the Pig Pic­nic, a shared en­tree of ten­der pork shoul­der and crisped pork belly that per­fectly em­bod­ies Grant’s sim­ple, fla­vor-for­ward ethos. Pizza prepa­ra­tions are im­pres­sive, and pas­tas range from the mar­velously com­plex mafal­dine with manila clams, king crab meat and ’nduja but­ter to the beau­ti­ful-in-its-sim­plic­ity bu­ca­tini ca­cio e pepe. For more sub­stan­tial dishes, you’ll find fork-ten­der lamb and lightly smoky wood-roasted chicken. As she does at Maple & Ash, Aya Fukai han­dles the pas­try work, and does so bril­liantly.

Open: Din­ner daily. Prices: Pas­tas and en­trees $14-$39. 1840 W. North Ave., 312-757-4444. — P.V.

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