Dominicks Pizza and Restaurante in a 20+ year old dual-purpose establishment in the Chicago suburb of West Dundee, IL
I say “dual-purpose” as it has two adjacent storefronts in the strip mall on the east side of Illinois 31, just north of I-94. On the right side, you’ll find the entrance to the dine-in restaurant, a smallish eatery serving traditional Italian appetizers and entrees.
There are three rows of tables, maybe 15 in all. Maybe more. The ambiance is nice. Subdued lighting, tablecloths, linen napkins, abundant cutlery.
A friend suggested it, offered to take me, it was a “special menu” night, but apparently, the regulars knew that they could order from the regular menu, as well, and some did. I have no complaints about what I ate, but I might have made a different choice from the larger, regular menu. Just sayin’.
I don’t usually go out for pasta. Just not dazzling enough, and I’m at the age where I think everything is expensive, and restaurant pasta would surely fall on that list. I can think of three outstanding, memorable restaurant pasta. The Cafe DeNapoli in downtown Minneapolis, which was open for 65-70 years, now gone. A restaurant in Soho in London. And some no-name place in Bratislava. Oh. One more. Hong Kong. Oh, and the Italian Village downtown Chicago is “OK” but getting kinda tired.
But that’s it. I’ve been to Olive Garden once, over thirty years ago, wouldn’t think of going again, chain restaurants are just heating up the equivalent of TV dinners these days, made in some commissary a thousand miles away.
Anyway. Dinners at Dominick’s include soup or salad and fresh bread. Entrees run from $15 – $22 more or less. If you’re going for a tomato sauce, you can choose plain marinara or a red meat sauce. Both are thick and on the sweet side. (Tomato sweet, not sugar sweet).
I went with simple, spaghetti with meat sauce. I inquired about meatballs (I like to try them everywhere) and yes, they could add them. At the conclusion of the meal, I found they were $5 for two (in sauce), so I’m at $22 for (generously) $3 worth of food ingredients.
I did like the meatballs (pix below). They are large and very dense. In the cross-section you’ll note some herbs, I’m going to guess these are beef and pork, not highly seasoned, but because of their density, I’m going to guess very little bread crumbs or egg for binders.
In all menu choices, the servings are large and most everybody I noticed took something home (me included, that’s why you have the pic of the meatball). I didn’t take pix in the restaurant, the tables are close, didn’t want to disturb anybody who might be trying to get laid, or telling their spouses they wanted a divorce or were going to jail or whatever couples talk about in quiet restaurants these days.
I didn’t try the pizza, and I’d like to. Prices for that looked competitive with other joints in the area, about $25 for a 16 incher. And I’d buy some ala carte meatballs if they offered them. The takeout menu is fairly large and includes many of the dinners from the dine-in side, but at a considerably lower price. They do not include salad, and perhaps the portions are smaller. Pretty sure everything there is made in-house.
Dominicks Pizza and Ristorante Review