There are two types of people in this world: people who enjoy sharing food, and people who loathe it with every fiber of their being. If you identify with the latter, you may want to stop reading now—if you're the former, dial up a (or, in some cases, several) dining companion and indulge in these hearty, made-for-sharing entrees.
It's not a stretch to say that this home-y pasta destination centers around a shareable group dining experience, especially given that an entire portion of its menu is dedicated to large-format items per la tavola (for the table). The highlight of this section is indubitably the ragu alla Napoletana, which features a veritable mountain of fusili rustico sprinkled with wild oregano and flanked by cacciatore sausage, soppressata meatballs, and a bone-in tomato braised pork shank. 1020 W. Madison St., 312-888-3041
Bring your appetite, because anything less than voracious won't do; this stuffed baked pasta dish is perhaps the most gut-busting shareable entree we've come across. Eggs, sausage, meatballs, mortadella, maccheroni, mozzarella, tomato, braised pork, and salami are contained within a baked pasta "crust," and bring the meaning of "comfort food" to a new level. Bring three or four equally hungry friends, slice the timpano like a pie, and feast like your life depends on it. 340 N. Clark St., 312-822-0077
Ideal for a large group (and by "large," we mean about ten people), this veritable seafood smorgasbord is as satisfying as it is eye-poppingly colossal. The fit-for-royalty platter is laden with shrimp, snow crab legs, one whole Dungeness crab, king crab legs, mussels, clams, and one whole lobster, as well as low-country extras like sausage, potatoes, and corn on the cob, and costs, on average (market price) about $200. 3343 N. Clark St., 773-996-9997
Chefs Stephen Gillander, CJ Jacobson, and Aaron Martinez's brilliant dim sum-focused menu spans from Szechuan lamb bao to pork and shiitake mushroom noodles, but nothing stuns quite like the beautifully presented roasted duck for two. Breast meat is sliced off the bone, while the legs are confit in duck fat and lacquered in a duck jus glaze; bao, fresh cucumber slices with pickled chilies, honey-roasted peanut hoisin, and kumquat-elderflower sweet and sour sauce accompany the meat, and allow you to pick and choose how you want to compose each bite. 2300 N. Lincoln Park W., 773-868-0002
This sultry Spanish spot has become a date night favorite in recent years, thanks to both its cozy atmosphere bathed in candlelight and a drool-worthy selection of shareable pintxos, tapas, and larger plates, like a note-perfect paella large enough to feed two hungry people. The piping-hot dish packs a punch with saffron-infused bomba rice, chorizo, chicken, shrimp, clams, mussels, roasted peppers, and a dollop of lemon aioli, and is best enjoyed the authentic way: mixed together with the crunchy bits of rice scraped from the base of the pan. 621 W. Randolph St., 312-466-1000