Chicago: Soif - Wine & Spirits Magazine

Chicago: Soif

Interior of Soif (Photo: Clayton Hauck)

Opened in late 2021, Soif is the subterranean sister to Testaccio, Aldo Zaninotto’s restaurant specializing in Roman fare. Those in the know go below for an intimate jewel box of a wine lounge with a speakeasy vibe, craft cocktails and an exciting French-focused list.

The by-the-glass selections include classic Loire bottlings like Nicolas Réau’s Ange, a cabernet franc bursting with ripe blackberry and savory spice notes. Or choose one of what Zaninotto calls “energy wines,” like Lise & Bertrand Jousset’s Orange Jouss, an unfiltered, skin-contact chardonnay, with its tangy orchard fruit and bold acidity. Can’t decide? No problem; a server will bring two bottles to the table so you can try before you buy.

The bar (Photo: Clayton Hauck)

The food menu is small and smart, including fromage grillé—truffle-herb butter and Comté on toasted brioche. There’s also an assiette de viandes et fromage, a bountiful plate of three cheeses and three meats; a foie brûlée; a selection of conservas; and caviar service.

“On recent trips to Paris, I found a new energy,” Zaninotto says. “People were going to these small places with a focus on natural wines, unusual wines. They were places that made me want to return. That was the inspiration behind Soif.”

While prices may seem high, the service is friendly and professional, the pours and portions generous.

2456 North California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647


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