The extensive use of cheese in Italian cuisine predates the Roman Empire, when early architects envisioned the coupling of ricotta and lasagna noodles as a means of mortaring edible aqueducts. Sample other savory origins of Italian cooking with today's Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of Italian cuisine and drinks at Salerno Pincente Ristorante in Hodgkins.
The chefs at Salerno Pincente Ristorante pair pizza and homemade pasta with an expansive selection of wine and specialty martinis. Diners can measure up mandibles against appetizers such as the stuffed artichoke ($10.95, available when in season) before setting into more substantial entrées. Salerno Pincente serves a spate of signature dishes made with family-recipe sauces, including mama's meat lasagna ($14.95) or the herbivore-friendly sautéed eggplant parmesan smothered in marinara sauce ($13.95). Beef, veal, and pork dishes ($13.95–$28.95) sate meat-minded munchers, and seafood aficionados can dive into the baccala della casa with a sautéed cod filet fighting for plate real estate with onions, mushrooms, potatoes, and peppers ($17.95). Chefs also bake cheese pizzas ($11.25 for a medium, toppings additional).
Between bites, diners can lubricate provender runways with bold glasses of red and white wine ($5.75–$9.50) or one of many martinis, such as the pama-tini shaken with pomegranate liqueur, Absolut peach, and Absolut mandarin ($8.50).
Salerno Pincente welcomes diners with both a stone patio and a cozy dining room bedecked with chandeliers and white columns supporting an imaginary Pantheon. Though today's Groupon is only valid toward food and drinks, the restaurant is attached to an off-track-wagering facility boasting 61 high-definition TVs that flicker to life every time a horse breaks into a gallop or song.
Salerno Pincente Ristorante - Hodgkins
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.