Oak Brook, IL

New Italian Restaurant in Oak Brook, IL is a must try

Chicago Food King

I had wanted to visit this restaurant for many months since I heard it was opening.

This restaurant is part of the Cooper’s Hawk restaurant group. The name of the restaurant is Piccolo Buco in Oakbrook, IL.

Short Rib PastaPhoto byChicago Food King

The owner of Cooper’s Hawk made a trip to Italy and discovered this restaurant. He had vowed to bring this restaurant to the states because he loved it that much.

Piccolo Buco is a very popular and busy restaurant, even months after its opening. The problem with being able to dine here is that they do not have any type of reservation system.

main dining roomPhoto byCFK

The only hint of any type of reservation that one can do is through the waitlist on their website.

I decided to go the day after New Year’s. The restaurant is located on the outskirts of Oak Brook mall. The parking situation in Oak Brook mall is a nightmare. I spent more time looking for parking than I actually ate my meal.

host standPhoto byCFK

I entered the restaurant and saw that it was fully packed, but people were finishing up with their meals.

I spoke with the hostess at the front desk and inquired how long I had to wait for a table for two. The hostess explained there would be a 45-minute to hour wait.

Squash BlossomsPhoto byCFK

I told the hostess I would wait. I couldn’t imagine that my wait time would be that long, seeing as half the restaurant seemed to be getting up from their tables.

I was correct in my evaluation of how long it would take to be seated. I waited no more than 15 minutes before we were brought to our table.

Spicey Pepperoni PizzaPhoto byCFK

The menu has many items that try to be as authentic as possible to its Italian roots. I met our server who was very friendly but seemed extremely overburdened by her other tables.

I immediately put in an appetizer of squash blossoms. This dish is extremely rare to find in Italian restaurants. I remember trying this as a child growing up.

Photo byCFK

The appetizer took between 15 to 20 minutes to come to our table.

The squash blossoms were fried and looked to be a tempura batter. The flower bulbs were stuffed with ricotta cheese. The squash blossoms were extremely delicious. I wish that we were given more than three bulbs to enjoy for $17.

outsidePhoto byCFK

I put in my main entrée asking the server what she thought were some standouts and what she suggests that we could try.

Our server told us that she really enjoyed The Pappardelle with short rib Bolognese.

I also wanted to try their Neapolitan-style pizza. I ordered the spicy pepperoni and my wife ordered the charred pepperoni with basil and truffle honey.

The pizzas and pasta were out in about another 20 minutes. The pasta was very delicious. It tasted fresh and homemade. The short rib was very tender and had a very rich flavor to it.

The pizzas were the stand out for me. My spicy pepperoni had ricotta cheese with extra virgin olive oil. It was absolutely delicious. The pepperoni was crispy and the ricotta was creamy.

My wife’s pizza I felt was the better of the two. The truffle honey added a nice subtle sweet flavor to the pizza. The crust on both of these pizzas was so light and delicate. I really enjoyed all of the food.

The standouts of this restaurant are the food. The only downside I can say is that most of the wait staff seems to be on the younger side. They did not seem very experienced in dealing with somewhat fine dining.

The staff looked like they were overwhelmed even though there were so many employees to cover all of the tables.

I also think it is ridiculous that there is no reservation system. This is a very popular restaurant and it is quite annoying to guess when the restaurants will not be busy so you do not have to wait hours to be seated.

If you have the chance to check this restaurant out when it is not busy definitely do so. The food is very good but expect to pay top dollar. It is not cheap.

I give Piccolo Buco a rating of 7 out of 10.

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