Loccino Italian Grill and Bar
Loccino, which seats 275, is far more attractive than its pricey but staid predecessor, and it's also far more accessible as most entrées come in at under $20. Despite its relative elegance, the owners call it “family casual.” Chef Jun, who worked at Lelli’s and La Dolce Vita, presides over the kitchen, which covers most of the Italian bases with a slight overemphasis on creamy sauces and breaded dishes. The mains come with a nicely dressed iceberg house salad, which, alas, includes a chunk of not-in-season tomato. Splurge and pay an extra buck for well-crafted Caesar or Greek salads. The chicken and veal preparations appear in comparable guises with veal $3 more than chicken. Loccino’s chicken piccata with capers and mushrooms in a delicate lemon-wine sauce merits the local award it has won. But there is more Italian cuisine under the Pasta Di Casa rubric such as frutti de mare consisting of shrimps, scallops, and mussels, over linguini in a surprising lemon-cream sauce. Loccino’s intelligent wine list covers both the Old and New World with a handful of interesting bottles for under $30. On Mondays, all wine is sold at 50 percent off.