Easy elegance at Carlucci


By Alena Murguia


It's not easy to find a spot that's as ideal for a family dinner as it is for a date night, but Carlucci in Downers Grove may fit the bill.

Although the restaurant looks enormous from the outside, the interior is warm and inviting with sleek woodwork and real cloth tablecloths. The menu is a good mix of classic Italian dishes and flavorful fish and meat specials. Mix in the friendly and truly attentive service, and you've got a winning combination.

Carlucci's appetizers, soups and salads are especially delicious, which appeals to my sons who feel too old for the kids' menu, but too young for an adult entrée. My 9-year-old added a cup of "awesome" chicken soup to his house-made chicken strips for a satisfying meal. Wood-fired pizzas with a variety of toppings also make a great appetizer to share or a perfect tween dinner.

As one might expect, the pasta entrees encompass everything from spaghetti and meatballs to delicate seafood-stuffed ravioli. My oldest son raved about the Chicken Parmesan, which he enjoyed both for dinner and lunch the next day. With all of the menu options, we were able to satisfy everyone.

Looking around us, we saw tables large and small enjoying each other's company. That is definitely the trend at this inviting suburban spot.


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