Martino’s Italian Cuisine & Pizzeria, family-owned for more than three decades, hosts a staff of servers who sate sauce-craving appetites with regionally inspired Italian entrees and five types of pizza. Diners sink chompers into succulent Italian beef, stuffed artichokes, and layers of lasagna as they sip martinis at the restaurant’s fully stocked bar or imbibe gulps of free oxygen on the outdoor patio. A quintet of pizza varieties greets teeth with a textural smorgasbord of high-quality toppings spread atop thin, double-dough, calzone, pan, and stuffed crusts.
Davison Road Inn's culinary architects satisfy rumbling stomachs by stacking a bevy of burgers, sandwiches, and a menu of other pub eats. Patrons perched at a tiled bar savor hand-carved, top-round roast beef folded into a Kimmelwick roll ($6.99) as cushy as a pillow filled with marshmallows, or juggle a Reuben with slow-cooked, thin-sliced corned beef ($7.99) between turns at darts or pool. Blue umbrellas dotting a pine-tree-lined patio shade the delivery of Davison Road Inn’s fresh half-pound burgers. The Emerald Isle-inspired patty, topped with Irish cheddar, arrives on a soft pretzel bun ($6.99), and the Bacon Blue burger's twists of applewood bacon and melted blue cheese ($6.99) choose to arrive traditionally in a palanquin carried by four waiters. The ears of Saturday-night diners feast on live music between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
De Carlucci's Pizzeria & Mexican Grill started out serving just pizza, but when customers told owner Carlos Cisneros that they also craved Mexican food, he acquiesced to their wishes, he told a reporter for Skokie Review. In a New York-style oven, he bakes pies with thin, crisp crusts, loading them with toppings such as shrimp and Italian sausage. Diners can also order stuffed or pan crusts, or opt for a Mexican pizza that pairs mozzarella and cheddar cheeses with taco meat, jalapenos, sliced tomatoes, and two types of olives. Baked pasta dishes, hefty sandwiches, and burritos round out the menu.
The Village Inn may look like an simple country kitchen, but the food is nothing short of gourmet. Chef and owner John A. Martino calls on his training at the Culinary Institute of America and Le Cordon Bleu to craft a menu of contemporary American Continental cuisine, which ranges from potato-crusted Chilean sea bass to a veal porterhouse topped with sautéed mushrooms. After the chef inspects the dishes for quality, presentation, and political leanings, they emerge from the kitchen to waft gourmet scents through four separate dining areas. Everyday diners sidle up to white-clothed tables amid floral carpets and drapes in the Fireplace Room, while top-shelf liquors come together to form a host of creative cocktails in the wood-lined bar. For private occasions, groups of up to 20 gather at a long oak table beneath the cozy, low ceilings of the Wine Cellar Room, and large events bask in the glow of a towering chandelier in the bright and airy expanse of The Great Room.
Seven days a week, North Park Pizza serves up big flavors from the modest confines of its intimate eatery. Steaming plates of thin, pan, and deep-dish pizza arrive tableside, oozing with homemade sauces, mozzarella cheese, and a fitting combination of the shop's more than 25 toppings. Masters of the meats, the back-kitchen chefs sling orders of buffalo wings with one of seven sweet and savory sauces such as garlic parmesan, as well as sandwiches piled high with hometown favorites such as italian beef and gyro meat. The chefs also break the mold of traditional pizzeria ongoings by offering up full slabs of ribs and cheesecake, and by occasionally ripping pizza pans in half with their bare hands.
The sounds of revelry drift across an outdoor patio, past Candlelite's martini-glass sign, which casts a soft, warm glow that hearkens back to the eatery's opening in 1950. Regulars in their fourth decade of patronage crowd around thin-crust pizzas, built upon dough made by hand each day, and cheer on athletes on 17 flat-screen televisions. Baskets of golden-brown hand-cut fries sing their cheerful sizzles out into the dining room, where five decades' worth of art and photos leave the exposed-brick walls barely visible. Bartenders slide mugs filled with sudsy caps of Oberon and Hoegaarden down the gleaming bar to thirsty diners and physicists skeptical of a third state of matter.