Earlier this week, I visited a three week old restaurant in the Far North suburbs. On a Tuesday night, we were one of four occupied tables. I ordered simply: a cup of Minestrone soup ($2) and Linguine with Clam Sauce ($7). I was tempted by the Chicken Vesuvio ($11) but the waitress could not adequately explain which cut of the chicken would arrive. If I had ordered the Entree, then I would have had a choice of soup or salad and a side of pasta.
They served complimentary bread and butter. The bread was cold and a bit dry from being cut too far in advance. The butter came in those little individual containers. I would have loved to been offered some first pressing olive oil.
The minestrone soup smelled good and tasted fine. The vegetables seemed hand cut and the pasta was just right.
I did make one mistake when ordering the Linguine with Clam Sauce, I never asked if there would be fresh clams. So much of my complaint is perhaps my own fault... caveat emptor restaurant experiences is just what I live for!
Certainly, if it was canned, I was expecting the pale golden, meaty chopped clams. What I received were mini-clams about the size of dime, which probably came from Asia. Now that I reflect on this more they seemed more like mini mussels rather than mini clams. If my dish tasted like I just dipped my tongue in the sea, then I would be happy. I wrapped those babies in the linguine and brought it up for tasting: TIN! The dish tasted of tin.
Being the polite guest rather than the hostess, I took the processed parmesan cheese and kept my arm pumping, taking tastes in between, until I disguised the tin taste with the cheese. I then discovered another feature of this dish: a large pool of liquid on the bottom.
Their menu also heavily featured pizzas.
Gargano's Italian Eatery
817 Belvidere Road
Grayslake, IL 60030