When it comes to delicious Italian cuisine in Chicago, there’s plenty of high and low end, but Osteria Via Stato owns the middle–in the most satisfying of ways. Prime for a romantic date night out, this intimate River North restaurant’s setting aims to get you all lovey-dovey as soon as you get situated at your two-top, and it comes at a price that won’t leave you gasping for air. Try to grab one of the corner tables, perfect for hiding out and making eyes at each other all night. Downtempo tunes and flickering candles add to the vibe, and the waiters are skilled in the art of great timing—just in case you have an important question you need to ask your significant other. Just note that this is not typical southern Italian red sauce and pasta territory. Instead, you’ll savor fine northern-influenced fare designed for sharing. Lean in close for antipasti like mini veal meatballs, or house-marinated olives with orange and rosemary. Pastas come in half-portions, so you can sample the goods without getting weighed down. For main courses, you’ll dig in to thoughtful combinations like salmon with heirloom tomatoes and fennel pollen, or a hearty rib-eye with aged balsamic. After dinner, head to the adjacent Pizzeria Via Stato bar for a nightcap. It’s more of the same, but you’ll get to snuggle closer as you sip on Italian-focused cocktails, beer, or wine.