Hidden in Hodgkins, Italian Favorites at Salerno-Pincente Ristorante

Come for the pizza, stay for the off-track betting if you like.

Looking for the perfect dinner-and-a-movie date night? Salerno-Pincente Ristorante at 9301 63rd Street in Hodgkins is cooking up old-world Italian favorites.

Hidden behind Wal-Mart and adjacent to The Quarry Cinema parking lot, Salerno-Pincente Ristorante is not hard to miss. It’s a large establishment with outdoor seating and off-track betting.

If you were born and raised in Chicago, you may remember the Salerno's in Berwyn—yes, they’re related. The Salerno and Pincente families are continuing the family tradition with their homemade recipes.

The off-track betting is in the same building, but there is a separate entrance if all you choose to do is dine. The setting is classic Italian décor… several tapestries and an over-sized wooden wine cabinet.

When the complimentary bread is brought to the table, that’s when the critiquing begins. A mini Tuscan-style loaf on a cutting board arrives. Oh, did I mention, it arrives hot out of the oven. Jackpot! When you dunk it in the herbed-infused olive oil, it’s truly a slice of heaven.

Even though our wonderful server said the baked Cavatelli is her favorite pasta dish on the menu, I went with the Gnocchi. Instead of the meat sauce that comes with it, I opted for the Vodka Cream Sauce. Deliciously rich with sharp cheese flavor… not friendly on the waistline, but eh, who cares?

Of course, I had to try the pizza. You’re offered the original or thin, so I chose thin. The pie was excellent... not overly greasy, full of toppings and a very crispy crust.

Great specials offered during the week. Firemen and police officers get 15 percent off their entire bill Monday through Thursday and pizzas are half off on Monday evenings.

Salerno-Pincente Ristorante also has two banquet rooms for any type of occasion. If you’ve never been to an OTB, I recommend walking out through that section. If you’re feeling lucky, make a bet.

Marcia E. Keller January 12, 2012 at 07:43 AM
Is the Pincente Family the same ones that had an Italian Resturant on Ogden in Brookfield back in the 1970's? Their pizza was fantastic! I celebrated my 21st birthday there, and now I am ready to celebrate it again on the 21st! We always were there, a few times a week. They were very reasonable, and the Vino, ahhhh good! Marcia Keller


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