Gaetano's & Ristorantino Mediterraneo
While still in Sicily, Gaetano served as Chef at the oppulent Villa Paino, where he was accorded the honor of preparing state dinners for the Presidents of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. After leaving Sicily, Gaetano worked in such culinary capitals as London, Paris and Milan.
Chef Gaetano is a recent recipient of "Ospitalita Italiana" from the Italian Gov. This award signifies Gaetano's as an authentic Italian restaurant, 1 of 600 in the entire world! You will only find fresh, natural and homemade dishes at Gaetano's.
Love, love Gaetano's. So much so that we are going back in two weeks. That will make 3x in 6 weeks! It's a good thing as there are so many dishes that we want to try. Food is awesome! :-) Try anything with mushrooms, scallops, pasta. Heck even the salads are special and beautiful.
Gaetano himself is a real presence in the dining room. The entire staff is thoughtful, accommodating and don't take themselves too seriously. The place is warm and perfect year round.
Not a great value and the rear room where we were seated was uncomfortably cool.
The description of this restaurant is Casual Elegant but "Family Elegant" best describes this amazing dining experience. Chef Gaetano is out and about not just asking how you are but rather intricately involved in your adventure. You are dining in his home. We had amazing Carpacio as well as the Calamari and Asparagus for appetizers. Dinner was Sardinian handmade Ravioli and the Lobster Tagliatelle. Melt in your mouth richness and perfectly light simultaneously. Just wonderful. So many more items we are excited to try next time.
Thank you Chef!
We have enjoyed Gaetano's for many years and especially on special occasions. This one was our anniversary and we were not disappointed. As always the menu was creative with seafood, pasta and meat choices and everything was prepared impeccably. My dish was a fresh homemade pasta with mussels, scallops, shrimp in a rich tomato-cream sauce with a roasted habanero pepper on the side that allowed me to add a little or a lot depending on my tolerance of heat. Before that, we shared the beet carpaccio which was delicious as usual. Service was impeccable. Being Wednesday January 2nd, the restaurant was quiet, as I'm sure most people were starting their recovery from the Holidays. We highly recommend Gaetano's for perfectly prepared, always creative Italian-influenced dining with excellent service in a relaxing environment.
Food was great. I will defintely be returning. I was there for New Year's Eve and had a pre fixe meal. I can't wait to go back and order more delicious ravioli!
Spectacular and authentic Italian food. Worth traveling to Forest Park to visit.
Always excellent food and great service
So much creativity, so much flavor! Food worth eating! And the service is right on par with it.
Given that our most favorite south-side Italian restaurants were closed we decided to venture to a new place. We had never been to Gaetano's before so we were going to try everything and be open to all experiences. Overall we were quite pleased. It's a small place and seating was rather limited. I'll try to exclude the silly table of 4 women who sat next to us that argued for 40 minutes about how to split the check. Agh. No, Aghhh. Our main courses were quite good. We went for the flair of the flaming noodles prepared by the table. It was fun, and delicious, but at $55 or so, not the best value. $35-$40 is the right price. We are wine drinkers and know American wines quite well. Gaetano's serves primarily Italian wines which always causes us to trust that the waiter will ensure a match to our request. Our waiter did, but upon request to chill the wine on ice, it simply wasn't done. Oh what a better tip he would have ensured. We will be back because the food was quite good and I suspect that if we are a bit more forceful, the waiter will chill our bottle of wine on ice!
Had a wonderful time at Gaetano's restaurant! Ordered the tasting menu and was delighted with each dish. The food is to die for.
We have been to Gaetano's a number of times, and this place never disappoints. Delicious, authentic Southern Italian cuisine (and some some equally delicious pan-Mediterranean dishes). The Oak Park/Forest Park/Elmwood Park area has many excellent Italian restaurants, but this one is tops in our opinions. Good wine list, with many Italian selections including some reservas.
Never disappoints. We have been going to this restaurant for many years. Gaetano is so creative. The food is always amazing and plentiful.
Ironically, one of the options above is not "excellent food"--which is precisely what I would recommend Gaetano's for.
The decor leaves much room for improvement. Though on the other hand it is, as one person noted, unique and memorable.
I also wanted to say how much we enjoyed our waiter, a friendly and knowledgeable young man. His wine pairing selections were excellent.
Nothing short of fabulous! Gaetano is brilliant with pairings. Friends from the city say that this restaurant is always worth the drive to the 'burbs.
Food was great, but service was slow. It appeared that not enough staff was present. Our waiter seemed to be taking all the orders in the room.
Gaetano greeted us immediately upon our arrival and was sincerely welcoming and wanting to meet our dietary preferences. There were several vegan selections on his menu, which was important for our son, including an outstanding nut and herb spread and coconut based butter. Everything is made from scratch in house with an obvious love and knowledge of great food. Our gentleman server was a pro who recommended a terrific wine. From appetizer and bread, to salad, pasta, meat and dessert, it all was just delicious, including the house-made limoncello. We all couldn’t wait to dig into our food! The atmosphere is cozy and utterly charming. Cannot wait to go back and bring more friends.
Waiter was not very helpful. No explanation of the menu. When I tried to order appetizers while we looked at the menu, I was told “that’s not the way we do it here.” First restaurant (especially Italian) that I have ever been to that told me that. Ordered “House Wine”. Waiter informs me that they were out of the house wine but they chose something similar. I have never heard of a place being “out of the house wine.” I also have had them ask before they substitute. Service was not what I would have expected. Definitely not what I have received in the past from Gaetanos.
We were celebrating a joint Birthday. We had the tasting menu. Everything was amazing. I normally don’t like seafood, but the crab cake, scallops & calamari were as tasty as the short ribs and pasta. We can’t wait to return
I have never in 12+ years had a dissapointment when dining at Gaetanos Today there were white truffles on the menu with a pasta prepared tableside. Everything else was
wonderful. Dave is always helpful with explanations and recommendations.Go on a weekday when things are quieter.
The best food we have ever eaten! We bring business associates and clients from other countries to Gaetano's regularly and all of them want to come back on their next visit to Chicago! We always order the Chef's Choice and the wine pairing. It is amazing how accommodating the kitchen is with our guests likes, dislikes and allergies.
I may have made a bad selection on food. Didn’t care for the truffle dish.
Everything was fantastic!!
Superb service, unparalleled food, unimaginable layers of flavor, savory sauces, attention to detail, in other words: this is perfection personified in a restaurant.
Overall a very good experience, except for the waiter brought out the wrong dish, even after pitching a special to us. I was too hungry, so I ate what was brought out, the dish itself was really tasty. Some discount on the meal due an ordering error should have been a consideration, but again overall a very good experience.
Gaetano is a culinary badass. Two starters from tonight's dinner were exceptional. First up was a flaming wheel of Grana Padano cheese. The hollowed bowl of the wheel was flamed with alcohol which allowed the cheese to melt. Hand-made Pinci pasta was added and stirred in the luxurious cheese bath. Next came roasted tomatoes, garlic and basil. A final generous splash of a good olive oil was added prior to plating. Grand Slam!
Next up was a roasted cauliflower dish which included roasted oats, preserved lemon, roasted tomatoes and garlic. The dish was served on a cutting board with a roasted pepper purée. This was the best vegetable dish I've ever had in my life!
The place was bustling this night and it was nice to see Chef Gaetano working the room. Service and ambiance was great! Thanks Gaetano!
I had heard that Gaetano’s was among the best restaurants in the area for years and finally had the opportunity to try it. Food was really good. Wine list was lacking. Ambiance was fine, but decor quite dated. Service (which I expected to be top notch based on word-of-mouth) was average. Prices were high, and the automatic 20% gratuity for parties of 5 (really? 5??!!) was not clearly disclosed when we received the check (good thing I saw it in the fine print in the menu when ordering). It was a very good, but not great meal overall.
We were really impressed with the food. Delicious..and rich! My gluten free pasta with mushrooms was delicious. I wish we'd been served some gluten free bread though, to go with the bean dip, which was also delicious. We didn't ask for GF bread, but we shouldn't have had to ask. We'll be back for a special occasion.
The tableside pasta creation was great. We never felt rushed even though we were there for more than three hours. Hope to come back!
superb in every way. Great service, innovative food, excellent wine pairings.
Gaetano's is one of the best authentic Italian restaurants in the City! We've never had a food choice that we didn't thoroughly enjoy! The atmosphere is better in the front of the restaurant than the back room. They should try to do something about that, if possible. And, on this particular trip, the wait staff seemed like they were moving a few beats slow about checking in with us throughout our meal. Besides that little blip on this particular trip, we'd always suggest this spot for a night out.
Great food. Fun place
Amazing. Gaetano’s never disappoints. The staff goes out of their way to make everyone feel comfy. Our waiter suggested an amazing wine that paired perfectly with my braised short rib, and surprised us with a round of limoncello to seal the night on a perfect note. Best restaurant in the western suburbs, bar none.
For an all around fabulous dining experience, Gaetano’s is one of the best. Old fashioned, old-style wait service with servers knowledgeable about food and wine, and they know how to pair it all together. Laid-back, but attentive, and never intrusive, it was all just perfect! We had an amazing zucchini blossom appetizer, a perfectly light salad, an in-house aged steak exquisitely seasoned and cooked and a wild mushroom Pappardelle that oozed rich yumminess from every pore! Wines were paired with food so it all went down just right! Definitely a gourmet keeper in the middle of a suburb better known for its sports bars than fine dining. We will certainly be back again!
It’s been a while since we’ve gone there for dinner, but the same, wonderful food and service that was there before, remains now. They even helped our son with his “make your own pizza” Highly recommend !
Gaetano is a treasure! The chef is so intent on providing the freshest items. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming and patrons are upbeat. Frequently service staff and diners exchange greetings showing their familiarity with each other. The authentic Italian food is creative and flavorful. The chef's choice menu is definately worth ordering, especially for a special occasion. And add the wine pairing for amazing wine. The courses are served with multiple small plates in each category. Generally three plates come to share. They are very attractively presented and appealing. Watching my son eat his first bite of a dish, I could see his eyes widen as the first taste amazed him. It is so worth the drive. Happily I live close by. Don't miss this restaurant.
We absolutely love chef Gaetano and his food!
Gaetano is a great chef. He likes to experiment beyond traditional Italian cuisine, as for example serving an
appetizer of fried vegetables and potato croquettes that was more like tempura than anything Italian. Also, the wine list is exceptional. One does pay for his talents, though; it is expensive.
Loved the food! The bread was extra special, but we had to ask for it. We splurged and got two orders of mussels, one with red sauce, one garlic. I don’t even think the buttery, garlic mussels were on the menu and I liked those the best. Our waiter was very accommodating. I got the beet salad, which was very unique and tasty. The guys in our group had the gumbo soup and said it was terrific, almost a meal in itself. Our main courses were also delicious, though a bit pricey. All the sauces were to die for. Our bill came to $500 with tip for 5 people, but our bar bill alone took up $125-plus, so it was our own fault! We had a great time, so well worth it. Our waiter was a hoot, too. Very fun.
I really enjoyed Gaetanos, we were in the area for another event later and chose it at random. It was a wonderful pick, the food was great and the restaurant is charming. The service was top notch as well. We will be back!