[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Three Aces bills itself as a little bit Italian-American and a little bit rock and roll, and its menu reflects this range, from pizzettas to clams calabrese to boozy Italian ice (which should be added to this list). Certainly there are options here to pair with drinking, or to help you cope with a hangover. You can even add bolognese and parmesan to your french fries for a $3 upcharge. But as awesome as deep-fried and meat-sauced covered food may be, sometimes you're just not in the mood.

Although a glance at the description for the Saltimbocca Panini ($12.00) on the brunch menu may conjure the image of a gooey, meaty pressed sandwich, in actuality it is the equivalent of an acoustic break in a loud rock show. Each ingredient is applied with a light hand, so that the proscuitto adds a touch of saltiness and the mozzarella provides just a bit of creaminess. Instead of a massive hunk of dried out meat, the chicken turns out to be a relatively thin and moist layer. What the sandwich lacks in acidity can easily be made up for by the flavorful garlic and hops pickle, which comes on the side. And if you're still feeling a little restless, you can easily amp up the volume on this dish by taking the plunge and adding some bolognese to your fries.

Three Aces

1321 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60607 (map)

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