Oh Moretti’s Morton Grove, I have a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of each other. Mainly because you have a pretty sweet patio, but also because your food isn’t half bad. So we decided to spend our entire weekend with you just so I could come here and tell you about the food and our experience…
We did have dinner at the restaurant on both Saturday and Sunday nights, and we ate there one other time after Morton Grove Days, but it was really because we were excited that it had finally opened after what seemed like years in development… and it was super convenient.
Moretti’s Morton Grove Experience
After spending a long day at the Brookfield Zoo on Saturday afternoon we were trying to decide what to do about dinner. We toyed with the idea of going out, or maybe ordering delivery, but we were being super lazy and couldn’t make up our minds (what else is new). That’s when we got a text from our friends, who we were at the zoo with earlier, asking if they thought it would be crazy to continue the day and drag all the kids out to Moretti’s for dinner… Not crazy at all, plus I was craving a margarita after deciding not to get a frozen one at the zoo earlier in the day.
So after just unpacking the kids from the car, we packed them right back up and set out to Moretti’s to eat dinner with all of the families and old people, at 5:30pm.
We decided to sit outside on the patio because if it’s nice out, and not one thousand degrees in the sun, you need to take advantage of being able to eat outside. Especially when summer in Chicago is winding down, and nights like those are going to become scarce quickly.
After getting settled in, I glanced over the menu to see what sort of drinks they had, already knowing full well that I was going to get a margarita. I didn’t notice a normal margarita on the menu, only this Limoncello Margarita, which I was not really wanting to do, so I just ordered up a regular margarita on the rocks with patron. And apparently I wasn’t the only one craving tequila, as everyone else at the table ordered the same thing.
And they were delicious… although the 2nd round we ordered was significantly stronger than the first round, which was ok in my book, but a little too much if you weren’t looking to drink that much. Our friends have a newborn, so neither of them were looking to get even remotely buzzed for fear of being up all night with a screaming baby, yet trying to nurse a waking hangover.
So after the drinks came out we ordered some appetizers, which I’ll get into in a second, but first I want to talk about our service during our multiple visits over the last couple months.
The first time my wife and I came with the kids we sat inside, in their little private room area, and our service was great. I can’t remember our servers name, but she took great care of us, and everything was perfect. I wasn’t sure she could be topped… but she was.
On Saturday after the zoo, on the patio, we had a different server and he was amazing. He answered all or questions, joked around, talked with the kids, he was great, but again, I wish I could remember his name so I could give him proper credit. I even asked him if he was going to be there Sunday because we would be back. And while he said he would be, we did not see him the next night. Instead we had another different server, and she too was very good to us. It was definitely a lot busier on Sunday night when we were there, and we had a huge party, so I would say that the other two visits had better service, but that’s not to say our service Sunday was bad by any means, she just had a lot to live up to, and a lot more people to take care of.
So anyways, overall our service experience at Moretti’s on all three of our visits so far, was great, we had no issues. Now, I wish I could say the same for the time I came in just to pick up a gift card for my parents. Apparently only a manager can do gift cards, and despite being paged about 5 times, it took a manager almost 20 minutes to come out and help me. I will give them the benefit of the doubt, since the restaurant had just opened, but I still think it was a bit ridiculous that I had to wait so long for just a gift certificate.
But anyways, enough about the restaurant itself, now let’s talk about the food…
Moretti’s Food – Pizza, Mozzarella Sticks, Italian Beef, Burgers
As you can see from the title, the restaurant has all my favorite foods, but there are definitely other items on the menu to try that I’ve heard are very good. My brother in-law got the spaghetti combo w/ meatballs and Italian sausage (pictured at top) and he really enjoyed it. So while I’m super picky and stick to things that I know I’ll usually enjoy, don’t be afraid to try some of the more established entrees if you visit.
Ok, with that out of the way, let’s just back to our visit in July after Morton Grove Days. We had just come from the carnival and the kids were being super annoying, but we figured it was early enough that we could sneak in a quick meal before it got crowded and the screaming would annoy other patrons.
On this visit I honestly can’t remember what my wife ordered, but I ordered the Italian beef with fries. And as I always do, I got mozzarella cheese and no peppers on the sandwich.
When the food came out, the first thing I remember saying to myself was, wow… this is kind of a small sandwich compared to Portillo’s. But I think it might have just been an optical illusion because of how tightly it was wrapped in the paper, because in the end, it was probably the perfect size.
The first thing that I noticed when biting in to the beef was how salty it was. Now, I’m a big fan of salt, I put it on everything, but when I say that something is too salty, then it’s definitely too salty. However, I kind of liked it, but I could see how someone else could be turned off by it. I can actually taste the salt in my mouth right now as I write this, and it kind of makes me want to go over there for lunch and order one to go… so maybe it’s not too salty, and just the right amount of salt… but probably not, it was really salty.
The fries were actually pretty salty too, but again, me and salt are buddies, and I love it when my fries are super salty, and there was some sort of dusting of another spice on the fries that made them absolutely awesome. Definitely get the fries if you have the choice, they are awesome.
So the Italian beef sandwich is a bit on the salty side, as are the fries, but I did really enjoy the meal, and would order it again if I’m not feeling like pizza.
Which leads me back to this past Saturday after the zoo.
After getting our delicious, delicious margaritas, we ordered a couple appetizers; the mozzarella sticks and the Spicy Ahi Tuna Wonton Crisps. Can you guess which one I ate?
If you guessed the Spicy Ahi Tuna Wonton Crisps you need to go back and read more articles on this site…
I actually thought the mozzarella sticks were pretty good. The breading was delicious, I liked the cheese, and the marinara was great. Iman, however, did not agree with me and was a little disappointed in them. He really must not have liked them because he texted me out of the blue last night (Monday) to inform me of the fact that he was disappointed with them. He said he liked the breading as well, but the cheese was too plain for him. And I can see where he’s coming from. I actually did think they could have been cooked just a little longer to get the cheese a bit meltier, but I really had no problem with them and they complimented the margarita perfectly.
I don’t know why, but along with the margarita craving, I have been craving mozzarella sticks… but that’s not really out of the ordinary.
As for the Spicy Ahi Tuna Wonton Crisps, I couldn’t tell you how they were. By the time I went to grab one, they were all already gone… too bad. But I was informed that they were excellent, so if that’s your thing, definitely consider them.
As for our entrees on Saturday night, I opted to try the pizza this time because I’ve heard nothing but good things. Unfortunately the smallest size for a thin crust is a 12″, so I’ve been eating it for the last two days, which isn’t a bad thing, but I will say that it’s much better when it’s freshly made as opposed stored and reheated.
I really enjoyed the pizza. I’m a huge fan of thin crust pizza, and Moretti’s is doing thin crust right. It’s super thin, the sauce is just sweet enough, but not too sweet, the cheese is melty, and the pepperoni was delicious. I still think that Barnaby’s down the road has better thin crust, but Moretti’s is right up there. I have a feeling we’ll be ordering lots of Moretti’s delivery/carryout in the future and pizza will be at the top of the list.
As for the rest of the food, I only remember that Iman ordered a cheeseburger and wasn’t too impressed, and honestly, I have to agree with him, as I ordered a burger on Sunday night when we were there.
I don’t recall which burger he ordered that night, but on Sunday I ordered the Jack Daniel’s Tillamook Cheddar Burger, which is basically a cheese burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, bbq sauce, and onion crisps (I got it without onion). I thought the burger was good, but it was nothing special. It definitely appears that they use a frozen burger patty and then try to spice it up by adding better, more fresh, toppings to the burger. The patty just had those frozen qualities to it that you can tell as soon as you bite into it.
I will say though, the Jack Daniel’s bbq sauce is pretty tasty, as is the Tillamook cheddar cheese and the bacon, although I like my bacon a little more crisp as opposed to floppy, but it was still delicious. I would probably order the burger again if I had to, but I feel like there are so many other things on the menu that it would be more of a last resort, or if I’m just feeling like a burger for some reason.
My sister in-law ordered the Firehouse Green Chili Burger and she felt the same way as I did about mine. Good toppings with good flavor, but the burger patty itself was nothing to write home about…
Oh, on Sunday night we also ordered fried calamari as an appetizer, which was pretty good. It’s kinda like mozzarella sticks, even if they aren’t the greatest, or the freshest, they are still going to hit the spot. You have to have some pretty terrible fried calamari for me not to like it… or accidentally leave plastic pieces in it from the freezer bag like what happened one time at another restaurant.
So I think that about covers everything we ate over the course of three visits to Moretti’s Morton Grove in the last month or so. We’ve pretty much enjoyed everything about the restaurant and we’re really glad that it’s open. The patio is awesome, the space inside is huge, the service is good, and the food is pretty solid. My only complaint is that it seems the menu has changed since our visit to the one in Edison Park a couple years ago. I remember getting ribs and this amazing appetizer sampler plate when we visited that location, and now neither of those items are anywhere to be found, which is a shame. I definitely would have ordered the ribs before I ordered another burger.
Oh well, there’s still plenty of items to choose from on the menu, and I’m sure there will be future posts about other food that we try the next time we visit.