Chef Faustino Giron, a longtime Brookfield resident and owner of eight restaurants in the Chicagoland area, decided to open Giron's to supply his hometown with signature stuffed-crust pizzas and crispy thin-crust pies. Specialty toppings such as italian beef and hot giardiniera can ornament pizzas split between families of diners or families of accountants. The kitchen also creates towers of house-made lasagna and full slabs of ribs brushed with thick barbecue sauce. Inside the dining area, yellow walls display paintings of bustling chefs and red accent walls offset the full bar.
Salerno Pincente's owners, Andrew Salerno and Frank Pincente, bask in the happy clatter of pots and pans as chefs forge a menu of Italian cuisine. Under the dining room's hanging lights, chicken, steak, veal, and seafood fuel chatter and toasts, and long pasta strands cling to a variety of sauces, setting forks twirling. On sunny days, glasses clink merrily on an outdoor patio, and Trackside OTB provides equine entertainment more enjoyable than a slideshow of Mr. Ed's vacation.
Vasco Marconi immigrated to Chicago from a small town in Tuscany in 1959, bringing his wife, his son, and a slew of authentic recipes with him. He opened an Italian restaurant on the west side of Chicago, where it prospered until his retirement in 1997, when John Marconi took on his father's torch and moved the eatery to La Grange. Since then, the Marconi family has kept the family recipes alive in their bustling, family-style restaurant through frequent practice and routine cookbook séances. John still oversees the menu, paying homage to his father’s original recipes with homemade meat ravioli, chicken vesuvio, and a bounty of seasonal specialties.
Back in 1956, childhood friends Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher combined their talents and started a restaurant. While Mike made his signature thin-crust pies, Armand handled the business logistics and lent his art skills to the décor. Although Armand left the restaurant world in the ‘60s, his name remained as Mike built the business with his own signature recipes, such as his stuffed artichokes and baked clams—and of course, his pizzas. Soon Mike’s mother, who went by “Grandma Caringella,” took over the kitchen and kept business booming for many years, helping seal the pizzeria’s fate as a true family affair. As time went on, Armand’s opened multiple locations in the city and throughout Illinois and brought its timeless name along for the ride.
The chefs at Antonio’s Ristorante cook all the staple Italian dishes, including homemade pastas, vela parmigiana, and oversized pizzas. Classic black-and-white checkered floors span the entire dining area, and a small open space in the corner of the room is used for live music and shadow puppet shows that entertain guests during meals. During warmer months, Antonio’s sets up wrought iron tables dressed in red-and-white checkered tablecloths on the outdoor patio area.