Pizza is a mainstay meal for my family. But now that my kids are getting older and their food preferences are changing, even pizza style, toppings and venue can easily become a battleground for an all-out food fight. To my delight, we recently discovered Chicago Woodfire Pizza Co. in Gurnee, a table-service restaurant where diners can order up their pizza favorite combinations and everyone eats happily. This is my kind of restaurant.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this eclectic but low-key, table service dining option at Gurnee Mills. And I toted two pizza-loving, discriminating tweens with me to help facilitate this story. The restaurant serves more food than I expected: there is a full menu of choices (besides pizza) including appetizers, soup, salad, burgers, pasta, sandwiches, tacos, sandwiches and desserts. There is a kids’ menu, that includes both entrees and pint-sized dessert options. A bar area, with full liquor service and plenty of televisions allows patrons to enjoy watching their favorite sports teams in action.
The pizza menu is divided into sections, making it very easy to find what you might like. You can also build your own thin crust or deep dish pizza, or select from one of the 16 varieties of specialty artisan pizzas on the menu.
We chose two 12-inch wood-fired pizzas, the four cheese style and the margherita from the menu, and my daughter built her own of the same size. The four cheese pizza consisted of provolone, mozzarella, parmesan and pecorino romano cheeses and red sauce; the margherita pizza was built with mozzarella, heirloom tomato, fresh basil, roasted garlic, and drizzled balsamic glaze. The third pizza included red sauce, cheese, black olives pineapple and bacon. We didn’t wait long for our food, and our orders arrived to the table piping hot.
All of the pizzas were excellent. The ingredients tasted impeccably fresh, and you could see (and taste) the freshly-grated parmesan and romano cheeses on the pizzas. We found the woodfire-style crust have a nice chewy “tooth” and finished to a nice crisp around the edges. That said, if you (or a child) are adverse to burnt edges, you might ask if your pizza can placed furthest from the heat to minimize charring. The pizzas were generously sized, with ample toppings. The balsamic glaze drizzle on the classic margherita pizza was a nice, and tasty, addition.
We will definitely eat again at the Chicago Woodfire Pizza Co. It’s a great addition to restaurant options in and around Gurnee Mills. Not only is this restaurant family-friendly, but it’s also a great place to meet a friend for a drink and an appetizer, or have a meal or dessert before or after a movie. Pizza connoisseurs and fans of Italian food will feel at home here with family, for a date night or to celebrate a special occasion out in a fresh and casual atmosphere.
Where is your family’s favorite place to enjoy oven-fresh, artisan pizza in Lake County?