Friday, March 30, 2012

Italy arrives in Decatur...

This past Monday, a restaurant in Decatur quietly opened it's doors, seeming to rely most heavily on the best form of advertising around - word of mouth.  So here goes my mouth (err...typing?).

IL FORNO
1423 E. Mound Rd. (Wood-Mound Plaza, next to Subway)
Decatur, IL 62526
 217-876-9900

Seriously.  I haven't heard any radio, seen any paper ads (but we don't get the paper), or any TV or Facebook buzz about them.  A hand-drawn marker sign posted by the road announced they were open, and so last night we decided to give it a try.

The sign outside told us it was a place to get some brick-oven pizza.  "IL FORNO" means "the oven" in Italian, and sure enough we were greeted by a giant brick oven as we walked in.  We expected a "hole in the wall" bar atmosphere that served pizza based on the outside, but were pleasantly surprised as we walked in.  This place would be a great choice for both a family pizza night in t-shirt/shorts, but with candle-lit tables and Tuscan decor - it's a great date-night option as well.

The range continues with the menu!  We were drawn in by their gluten-free choices, but distracted by the TONS of other options as well.  Appetizers even more creative than the garden where I guess they grow the olives.  Plenty of salad options that could be entire meals, chicken dishes, seafoods, sandwiches/paninis, steaks, many veal dishes, pastas/sauces/meats, a whole page of gourmet pizzas, and even a couple "dessert pizza" options.

My wife ordered the "Romano Chicken", which was a chicken breast served on a bed of three-cheese mashed potatoes, covered in a home-made Romano cheese sauce, and topped with several pieces of tender asparagus.  I went with a "Chicken (cant remember this word) Panini"...and holy cow it was awesome.  It was a chicken breast topped with several slices of prosciutto, served on a fresh ciabatta roll spread with garlic pesto sauce.  Mine also came with mashed potatoes that tasted ah. maze. ing.

I stopped eating after the first half of my sandwich. Usually this is because I'm so full, I don't want to become stuffed.  As full as I was, the reason I stopped was to that I could extend my sandwich experience over another day.  Heated up for lunch today was equally as awesome.

Our bill was about $25, because once in a while we eat like rich people.  The wait staff are very new, which means new jobs for Decatur - always a good thing.  The little old Italian couple and what I assume is their son in the kitchen - seem to have captured something awesome here.  I encourage you to check it out, and support the local economy while you do it.  You'll be very glad you did!!!

1 comment:

Jenny said...

Good to know! We occasionally venture to Decatur for Date Night, will have to put this on the possibility list :)