Last night the fam and I along with Grandma O and Aunt Linda had dinner with the mob — at least that’s what we were told — at Lorenzetti’s Restaurant. Apparently there are two Lorenzetti brothers, Carlo and Livio, and each has his own restaurant. We ate at Carlo’s. I hope Livio doesn’t shoot us.
We were told that many of the Italian restaurants in Chicago Heights were/are mafia owned and run. Chicago Heights has a long history with “the outfit” and it would not surprise me to learn that this restaurant was “connected.” The walls were adorned with pictures of celebrities who had dined there before us, the atmosphere was fantastic, and the food may have been the best Italian I have ever had.
The restaurant’s decor was pulled right out of The Godfather (or vice versa). The area we were seated (a room I suspect is reserved for “non-locals”) sat half a dozen tables. Most of the other seating areas were designed so that you could only see one or two other tables. The building itself is quite large but the dining area seemed relatively small, leading us to think that there are seating areas we were not privy to. For example, through the restaurant walls we could hear music coming from another room, and despire the fact that we could see the front door from our table, we never saw anyone entering or leaving the party room nor the front door. We got the feeling that the part of the restaurant we saw was actually a very small piece.
We ordered two appetizers, something Susan and I don’t normally do since we can’t eat as much as we used to. The cheese sticks were okay, but the Crostini was out of this world. Think of it as a pizza with crust on top and bottom and about ten pounds of cheese in the middle, served with marinara dipping sauce. Add those to the vegetable tray and baskets of bread, and everyone was approaching full even before our meals arrived.
The meals were absolutely fantastic. Grandma ordered shrimp, Susan and Aunt Linda ordered Chicken Parmagiano, and I had Rigatoni Al Forno, which is pasta with ham, mushrooms, green peas, parmesan cream sauce, and approximately twenty-two pounds of mozzarella cheese. Mine came on a plate the size of a small pizza and could only eat four bites because I was so full. It was so good!
For the six of us, with a 20% tip, the bill was just over $100. Not cheap, but worth every penny. I can see Lorenzetti’s being added to our list of normal Chicago haunts in the future.