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Ombra Italian Bar Expands: Wood Fired Pizza and Hand Crafted Cocktails

ombraIt seems like only yesterday that Marty Fosse and Tim Rasmussen opened Ombra at 5308 North Clark and introduced Edgewater to his unique niche of Italian style tapas. It opened with much fanfare including winning top honors such as one of Chicago Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant” awards. The close confines of the space combined with the reclaimed wood, sepia-toned Italian newsprint wallpaper and vintage feel of the dining space always seemed to make an intimate meal with friends and encouraged the diners to meet new acquaintances as well.

Now Ombra is ready to bring the popular Andersonville restaurant into a slightly new direction without forgetting the eatery’s roots. It will be embarking on adding not only wood fired pizzas to the menu, but also wood grilled nibbles. Many of the small plate items (currently over 70 specialties) will be vanishing in order to make room for the change, but we are assured that the favorites will remain including most of the cicchetti (bar snacks).

“Through the past couple years, we noticed we were confined to a dinner-only venue and decided we needed to broaden Ombra’s appeal” Mr. Rasmussen said. “We had a large number of requests to add specialty pizzas to the menu and saw this as an opportunity for the restaurant.”

So the owners embarked on a quest to find a solution and they found it at Woodstone Co. in Washington State. They purchased a 4000 pound wood burning oven that will be hauled halfway across the country right to ombra’s Andersonville doorstep. Actually we should say Ombra’s window sill, because the only way they can get the massive oven into the space is through their large front windows using a rigging system. Though a couple walls will have to come down to allow the oven its final resting place, Ombra will be mostly unchanged.

After the oven is assembled on Wednesday, it will be fired up to produce exceptional new food fare. But the menu facelift doesn’t end with the food. Ombra’s bar manager Meredith Barry will be slinging new specialty hand crafted cocktails for Edgewater neighborhood consumption as well.

Once Ombra carves out its specialty niche, the community will get a taste of the updated menu. As Andersonville increasingly becomes a destination for superior informal dining, Ombra plans on delivering thoughtful food to the masses.

Ombra will be closed starting Sunday, April 27th for approximately 1 week.


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