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.