I remember summer nights in the mid 90′s when we used to walk out of our apartment on Laflin, through the courtyard and down the street to Pompei on Taylor. The atmosphere was always welcoming and the food always great. We would then walk down the street to Hawkeyes to meet friends.
When we moved to the ‘burbs, we did have to give up the convenience of many familiar neighborhood eateries. I guess the safer neighborhood, larger living area, better schools and back yard were well worth the trade.
Well now I am truly spoiled because, lo and behold…
No, I’m not kidding. Right where RC Mulligans used to be, at Riviera Country Club, is the new Pompei Little Italy. It is like a dream come true for me.
I had the honor of attending the Friends and Family Open House on Saturday.
The restaurant exudes the same welcoming feel of the Taylor Street location, minus the cafeteria style counter and case featuring the types of dishes available. The warm wood wainscoting lends a perfect balance to the ironwork and warm palette of the four different areas. Think traditional meets contemporary.
The main dining room easily seats a large crowd and offers an elevated, large area with conference size table large enough for the extended family to all dine together. Towards the back is the pizza oven area with granite bar where you can pull up a seat and sample many of Pompei’s Pizza strudels.
The pizza is what they are known for and they do it well.
The individual sized deep dish pizzas looked delicious and I can’t wait to try all of the varieties. Give me a month, I think I can accomplish that task.
To the right of the pizza oven/bar is an impressive large-scale full bar that is lined with multi-colored bar stools. Bartender Marisa Barnas was there making customers very happy with her bartending skills and sunny personality.
Just past the bar was a pleasant surprise, step down to an inviting lounge area complete with large comfy chairs and large flat screen tv. I envision many an evening lounging around with friends watching the game.
I watched as grilled calamari, stuffed artichoke, fettuccine alfredo, chicken ravioli in smoked tomato cream sauce and more exited the kitchen on its way to lucky friends and family in the dining room.
I couldn’t be happier than I am at Pompei’s arrival in Orland Park. Now if I could get Hawkeye’s to move in down the street….