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…
Pompei has opened a restaurant RIGHT HERE IN ORLAND PARK!!!
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….
Just visited this restaurant to the worst experience in dinning I have had in years. The arrogance of the hostess was unbelievable. We waited for almost one hour as they seated people ahead of us because we needed a table of 5. Terrible, we actually left .
Mike, thanks for your comment. I understand your frustration but you may want to consider trying again after the restaurant has been open for a while. New staff that is still in training may be to blame. I wouldn’t discredit the business based on one visit. Have you contacted management?
I just wanted to add that I went to Pompei last night and the service was impeccable. Maybe going on a weekday evening when they are not so crowded is the thing to do.
Unfortunately, my first experience with this pizza place was learning the hard way that not all of their pizzas come with mozzarella cheese! I’ve probably eaten at every pizza joint on the South Side at one time or another and every pizza on every menu (unless explicitly specified) has mozzarella cheese someplace in the pie… on top, in the middle… but someplace! We paid 32 bucks for a “Pizza Pompei” Full Tray size and although it tasted alright, there’s no mozzarella! $32 is way too much money for a pizza when the most expensive ingredient is excluded. The real gripe is that it’s listed on the pizza menu along with “pepperoni pizza”, “sausage pizza”, etc… I can only assume those come with mozzarella… so why would I think Pizza Pompei leaves off the one essential ingredient that separates flat-bread from pizza?
Good point, most people wouldn’t think to inquire if a pizza has mozzarella. This is something that should be specified on the menu if it isn’t already. I do love that the kitchen is willing to try new things, so maybe they will add mozzarella to this selection if you simply ask. My friends and I ordered a grilled chicken, feta, tomato pizza that was not on the menu, but was delicious, last time we were there. I do believe the cost of the pizza is fair, since the ingredients used are all fresh and the dough made in house. If you are looking for inexpensive, standard pizzeria pizza, Pompei may not be your best option. Luckily, Orland Park has many pizzerias to choose from.
Don’t get me wrong… it tasted good but we all expected the chewy richness of a pizza covered with hot, melty cheese. I’m not looking for inexpensive pizza, just expecting to get what I pay for. $32 would be a fair price if it contained fresh mozzarella or even a little meat.
If you compare the (meat-less and cheese-less) Full Tray size Pizza Pompei ($32) to the lower prices on their Full Tray size Sausage or Pepperoni, it’s more expensive, and those others come with cheese & meat. Besides the crust, Pizza Pompei is just tomato, black olive, and a sprinkle of parmesan.
$28 or $30 for a 24″ x 18″ Meat & Cheese (Full Tray) pizza is a bargain and we might go back and give them a second chance just for one of those.
I’m glad you are willing to give them another chance. I suggest you ask for exactly what you have in mind so that there are no surprises. Those full tray pizzas are HUGE! We had 5 people and still took some home.
Thanks for your comment, John!