Note to readers: This is the debut feature from “The Elmhurst Bigmouth,” a contributor with a taste for the great cuisine available in Elmhurst.
ELMHURST – You know what the best thing is about Pazzi di Pizza in Elmhurst?
The obvious choice would be to rave about those wood-oven fired, super thin pizzas. These authentic Italian creations are unlike any other around.
Or perhaps you’d argue for the Orto Salad. Big chunks of perfectly-grilled vegetables, lettuce and goat cheese, doused in the tartest balsamic vinegar. You can’t help but pucker with every bite – it’s filled with mature flavors for people who love great food.
It’s easy to like the location, steps from the train in downtown Elmhurst. And from spring to fall, their joyful outdoor patio is a step above the other outdoor seating option in town.
But as someone who has been a regular diner for the past few years, the best things about Pazzi are more than just the food itself. From the day it opened, it was clear that they have a vision for the type of restaurant they want to run.
The menu hasn’t changed in three years, because they know what they want to cook. It’s not very accommodating to kids and I sense that they like it that way (and I do too). They seem very happy to pour lots of inexpensive wine because, really … if you want a big selection of craft beers and fancy cocktails, there are plenty of other options in town.
Keeping a full team focused on delivering on their version of authentic Italian food takes a strong hand. And without a doubt, the best thing about Pazzi is the guy in charge.
You know the guy. He commands the place. His wait staff all follow his lead as he orchestrates them. He clearly has a passion for the food and his kitchen staff. He leads his friends to the best tables and he brings special plates to his best customers.
There was a time when all the best restaurants had a guy in charge out front like him. But as the food media has shifted most people’s attention to the chefs in the kitchen, these strong guys on the floor have slowly disappeared. But when I walk into Pazzi and see that he’s there, I know that everything going to be all right.
The Elmhurst Bigmouth is an anonymous, opinionated food lover who eats at all the best places in town. Comments welcome.