Some time after my return to Philly from Gettysburg I met up with LBM to check out a new pizza place, Bufad. I walked there and looked for LBM, as she texted me to let me know she had arrived before me and was sitting in the back. It's not a large space, just a narrow aisle of seating along the windows, with the kitchen and its counter taking up a larger portion of the space. It wasn't at full capacity, so it was slightly confusing when all I saw were a few couples near the door and one table of three further back. The attractive host/waiter (are there really any other kind of hosts/waiters at new restaurants in Philly?) noted my confusion and I explained I was looking for a friend had already arrived. He nodded and pointed to the table of three, so I walked that way with what I'm sure was a bit of a perplexed expression. Once there, however, I realized that the one woman whose back was to the door was in fact LBM, and that she had been seated at a four-top with a couple. Why they made this choice when there were open tables available is a mystery. In any case, I sat down and poured myself a glass of the wine LBM brought (it's BYO). The couple was slightly distracting; the husband kept interjecting into our conversation and menu discussion. I'd also like to go on the record as saying that yes, Chicago is a great city but it's not really any cleaner than any other city, and that the people who usually say it is are upper-class white folks who never went further north than Lakeview or south of the Loop (this opinion was not widely liked by the husband). Eventually we did get down to planning our meal. I was drawn to the brussels sprouts with burrata cheese, which didn't really speak to LBM at all since she's not a fan of the sprouts. But we ordered it any way because she was humoring me. The burrata itself was pretty satisfying in its tender mozarella walls and creamy insides. I also liked the bits of pancetta that added a nice boost of salt to the whole thing.
In Riva last fall was preferable.