NICO OSTERIA

One of downtown Chicago’s hottest Gold Coast restaurants. Chef Bill Montagne is “killing it” in downtown Chicago with this “mesmerizing knockout” serving “impeccable seafood and clean, light flavors” at his fine dining Italian restaurant. The talents behind Blackbird, avec, The Violet Hour, The Publican, Big Star, Publican Quality Meats, Dove’s, Publican Tavern O’Hare and Publican Anker have brought authentically Italian seafood and house-made pastas together with Pastry Chef Leigh Omilinsky’s unconventionally creative desserts. The warm and inviting urban rustic restaurant environment suits the food and the Gold Coast neighborhood for the perfect fine dining experience.

Open Hours

BREAKFAST
Monday – Friday 7:30AM-10:30AM
Saturday – Sunday 9:00AM-3:00PM (Brunch)

LUNCH
Monday – Friday: 11am – 4:30pm

DINNER
Sunday – Thursday: 5pm – 11pm
Friday – Saturday: 5pm – Midnight

SALON NICO
Sunday – Thursday: 10:30am – Midnight
Friday – Saturday: 10:30am – 1:00am

BILL MONTAGNE
CHEF DE CUISINE, NICO OSTERIA

With an extensive background in seafood and a passion for Italian cuisine, Chef de Cuisine, Bill Montagne, brings a refined yet approachable cooking style to Nico Osteria’s kitchen.

Growing up in a family of chefs made Montagne’s desire to cook inevitable. His love of the kitchen began at an early age where he often found himself cooking for family gatherings alongside relatives who had honed their skills in restaurants like the famed Commander’s Palace in New Orleans. Early exposure to flavors, technique and passion for food led Montagne to various restaurant jobs throughout high school and ultimately to the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont, where he graduated in 2004.

Upon graduation, Montagne moved to Chicago where he began his professional career at high-end restaurants such as Les Nomades and NoMi. He then moved to New York to further hone his craft where he was named sous chef at the three-star Michelin, Relais & Châteaux, Le Bernardin, where he spent four years working under the tutelage of world-renowned chef Eric Ripert. Returning to Chicago, Montagne joined Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises as Corporate Chef for their fine dining division. In February 2016, Montagne broke out on his own and opened the casual seafood restaurant, Snaggletooth, bringing straightforward and approachable seafood back to Chicago’s dining scene.

At Nico Osteria, Montagne creates a welcoming, neighborhood environment where Chicago locals, visitors and Thompson hotel guests can experience impeccable seafood and rustic Italian fare no matter the time of day.

 

Leigh Omilinsky
Pastry Chef

Leigh Omilinsky considers Italy her first love, making Nico Osteria a natural fit. Growing up in Chicago’s north suburbs, her childhood dream of becoming a jazz piano player quickly changed after a pivotal crème brulee experience at San Francisco’s Top of the Mark restaurant. Stunned by its simplicity and delivery of flavor, at the ripe age 10 years old she stumbled upon her passion and pastry philosophy. Hooked, Omilinsky spent her teenage years working at bakeries and watching Julia Child and Jacques Pepin on television.

After receiving degrees in Baking & Pastry Arts and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University, Omilinsky began as a pastry cook at the JW Marriott in Denver. In 2006, she ventured back to Chicago where she worked for James Beard award winning chefs Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand; first at Tramonto’s Steak and Seafood as the lead pastry cook and then at TRU restaurant as pastry tournant. Enamored with the fine dining environment, Omilinsky began working at L2O restaurant in 2009, where she worked as chef de partie under celebrated chef Laurent Gras. In 2010, Leigh Omilinsky joined Sofitel Chicago Water Tower as assistant pastry chef. Promoted to Executive Pastry Chef in 2012, she oversaw the hotel’s pastry program including private dining, amenities and the plated desserts at Café des Architectes and Le Bar. In 2013, Omilinsky was included on Zagat’s 30 Under 30 list and received the Jean Banchet award for Best Pastry Chef.

After five years working with French pastry, Omilinsky jumped at the opportunity to venture further south and explore all that Italian cuisine has to offer. As Nico Osteria’s pastry chef, Omilinsky continues her pursuit of mastering the balance between simplicity and depth of flavor.