Pasta has many uses, from satisfying hunger pains to doubling as a belt to replace those broken midmeal by large volumes of pasta. Break out a new belt with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Italian cuisine at Jimmy's Place in Forest Park. Chicago-style Italian fare fills bellies visiting Jimmy's Place, where chompers chow down on house-made pizza, pasta, and italian-beef sandwiches. Seasoned breading nestles inside the savory foliage of a stuffed-artichoke starter ($7.99), and mussels ford a white- or red-sauce river to sail into mouths ($12.99/lb.). Culinary creativity finds a cheesy outlet when guests bedeck a pizza with a choice of classic pie toppings, such as pepperoni and mushrooms ($17.50 for large pie with one topping; $1 for additional toppings). Veal marsala ($19.99) and cavatelli pasta bathing in vodka sauce ($16.99) top tables surrounded by a full bar, TVs, and photos of local diners, sports teams, and samurai.
In Jimmy's Place's kitchen, chefs cook chicken vesuvio in a finely-tuned blend of olive oil, garlic, and Italian seasonings. According to a December 2011 article in the Forest Park Review, this signature dish is a favorite of Food Network star Jeff Mauro, who featured it on his show Sandwich King. The crispy Italian-American meal uses a recipe passed down through owner Jim Jodoin's family—as does the rest of the menu. Years of culinary tradition are written into the housemade marinara sauce that blankets the restaurant's chicken parmesan, the meat that stuffs its housemade ravioli, and the weighty toppings that keep its pizzas from floating up to the ceiling.
Out in the dining room, these meals pair with a distinctly local atmosphere—newspaper clippings and photos of customers line the walls, and bartenders pour drinks at a full bar as flat-screen TVs beam in sports.