Two couples invited my wife and I to join them for supper last night at Timpano's, an Italian restuarant in a strip mall somewhere in Naperville northeast of the Fox Valley Mall. Timpano's thang is that the head guy (owner? manager?) questions you and then tells a guy with an order pad what you'll eat. His questions are these:
--How hungry are you?
--Do you want to eat veal, chicken, or seafood?
--How spicy do you want your food, on a scale of one to ten?
After the customer answers these questions, the question man briskly tells the order taker, "Chicken cacciatore for him" or "Let's give her calamari dolce vita [?]," whatever entree the Q-man deems to be the sum of the customer's answers to his questions.
No printed menus. No prices mentioned.
We were given a choice of desserts and coffees, verbalized to us not by Q-man but by an underling.
The joint is dry; the tab came to $40 per person including tip.
The food was...well, because we met the minimum of six people in our party, we were seated in a comfortable private room, and after we received our entrees a drape was pulled to screen us from the restaurant's dining room, so the privacy was kind of cool and exotic and added to the overall unusualness of the place.
But I think for Ms. Mugs and me, Timpano's is one of those experiences we're glad we had but don't need to have again, like attending the Indianapolis 500.
Does anyone know what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks the story is with Timpano's? I overheard banter with the hostess which suggests that a second location is planned.