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West Loop's Formento's Launches Beautiful Antipasti Buffet And Brunch

By Anthony Todd in Food on Aug 6, 2015 8:44PM

Antipasti at Formento's (Photo by Kailley Lindman)

Formento's has rapidly risen to the top of our list for awesome Italian food, and the ways in which you can experience the restaurant have just grown by two. Last week, Formento's launched a delicious new all-you-can-eat antipasti program during lunch and now they're starting brunch service on Saturday.

Formento's started lunch service earlier this year, but the antipasti program is brand new, inspired by Chef Tony Quartaro's desire to bring lighter fare to the West Loop.

"I live in the West Loop, and I know my options," explains Quartaro. "There are so many things in the neighborhood that are similar - burgers, sandwiches, heavier type food." Instead of this hefty fare, Quartaro has started a service based on light italian appetizers and salads. "A lot of things that would be placed on the table while grandma is making her summer sauce," laughs Quartaro. "We wanted to bring back the salad bar, but make it really nice."

Another view of the antipasti bar (Photo by Kailley Lindman)

When you walk into the foyer of the restaurant, a slew of beautiful platters are stacked on the bar, filled with marinated salads. For $19, you can make a lunch out of as many of these salads as you want, buffet style. They include dishes like squash and faro salad, made with lemon-oregano ricotta, pickled spring onions and squash blossoms, or a plate of roasted heirloom carrots, served with grilled radicchio, poached fig and sprouted grain.

"The one I keep going back to is the green bean salad," Quartaro says. "It has a lemon and shallot vinaigrette on it, very simple, lots of picked dill, gorgonzola, blistered cherry tomatoes and almonds. The whole thing comes together so nice. I could snack on that all day."

In addition to this new lunch option, Formento's is launching its new brunch service this weekend. They've only served brunch once before, on Mother's Day, but now it'll be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The menu is a combination of their amazing sandwiches (also available at Nonna's during the week), egg dishes like "Eggs in Purgatory" and crab cake benedict with fried green tomatoes, and trendy brunch favorites like avocado crostini with heirloom tomatoes. If the reviews of Formento's dinner menu are any indication, the critics are going to enjoy this brunch—so get in early before it gets crowded.

The complete brunch menu is below.

Formentos Brunch Menu

Formento's is located at 925 W. Randolph St.