Cicchetti is the type of spot you’d expect to find in the West Loop or Wicker Park, and not just because Michael Sheerin’s at the helm of its open kitchen. The talented chef has taken the star power he earned at Blackbird and Trenchermen and applied it to the Gold Coast with modern Italian in a spiffy spot that’s perfect for large groups, so gather your food-loving friends and settle in for one of the most satisfying meals in Chicago. In the Italian tradition, portions are generous and easily shareable, so encourage everyone to order something different. Start with marinated cobia crudo, made flavorful with parmesan and rosemary pork cracklings and a touch of the house’s harissa. Get each other caught up on the latest news while you dig into handmade pastas, gnocchi, and risotto. You’ll all be feeling super-sophisticated as you relax into a modern, high-ceilinged space. Once your server gets a feel for your taste preferences, he’ll make some beverage recommendations. If you’re into crisp white wines, he’ll point you in the direction of a perfect pairing from California or Italy. For your friends with adventurous palates, the Italian-inspired cocktail list is the way to go. From a classic Negroni made with small-batch gin, to the celebratory Spritz (Aperol, bergamot, and prosecco), the list shows plenty of depth while highlighting Italian spirits like amaro and carpano antica. You’re certain to appreciate this part of the Cicchetti experience, but don’t go overboard. At the conclusion of the meal, each of you gets a complimentary glass of house-infused limoncello, perfect for toasting a fantastic evening together.