Gaetano's & Ristorantino Mediterraneo
While still in Sicily, Gaetano served as Chef at the oppulent Villa Paino, where he was accorded the honor of preparing state dinners for the Presidents of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, and Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. After leaving Sicily, Gaetano worked in such culinary capitals as London, Paris and Milan.
Chef Gaetano is a recent recipient of "Ospitalita Italiana" from the Italian Gov. This award signifies Gaetano's as an authentic Italian restaurant, 1 of 600 in the entire world! You will only find fresh, natural and homemade dishes at Gaetano's.
Every dish is perfection. One of Chicago area's most consistently great restaurants.
Great find on Open Table! Hostess and David our waiter made us feel very welcome! Food and wine were delicious! Looking forward to going back soon!
Always a great experience. Dave and Chef Gaetano make you feel like family.
Fantastic!! It was our first time visiting, and we loved everything about it. The ambiance was charming, the staff was incredibly attentive. And the food was stellar!! The chef came to chat with us and was absolutely wonderful. A Perfect evening!
My husband and I had dinner here to celebrate an anniversary. When we first got there, there was maybe two tables filled and we were seated at a little table in the corner of the restaurant at 6:15 in the evening. My husband and I ordered a couple appetizers, two different cups of soup and our entrées. My husband ordered a ribeye steak for dinner and I had a fish dish that was prepared table side priced at $30. By 7:00 or 7:15, it looked like the place was busy and every table plus seats at the bar were filled. When my husband’s steak arrived, the waiter said he’d be right back with his steak knife ... and never returned. After 10 or 15 minutes my husband had to get up and go ask for his steak knife himself. I was still picking bones out of my fish for the remainder of my meal after the server made a show of cleaning it at our table. For $30 I would’ve been happier with having my fish fileted properly in the kitchen and then served to me at the table. Our waters were filled at the beginning of our meal and then didn’t get checked again until the dessert course at my request. Both of us ordered dessert. I ordered a standard bread pudding that was dry and unimpressive. I get the impression that the minute they got busy, the wait staff forgot about us and focused on the subsequent patrons that arrived. We wanted to try a new place and that’s why we came here, but for the amount of money we spent, I don’t feel we got our money’s worth. We were a bit disappointed. Next time we’ll try someplace else.
We absolutely love Gaetano's!!! I have a large family and Gaetano's is ALWAYS able to accommodate us and the food and service are incredible!!! The first time I went there was when they were located on Circle in Forest Park and we all had the chef's selection - amazing! Monday night we were celebrating my parents 63rd wedding anniversary and again, Gaetano's was AWESOME! Thanks for providing "downtown" dining in Forest Park!
The food is always great. We got the chefs tasting menu which was excellent a mix of old favorites and some new dishes. Service is also excellent.
Best Italian around.
We love chef Gaetano, Dave, and the staff at the restaurant. Gaetano creates the best dishes and Dave picks the best wine pairing. The staff provides great service. My husband's water glass is always full! We've traveled to Italy, but this is best Italian food we've eaten.
The food was just ok. I honestly feel like I could’ve gotten the same meal for half the price. They served bread and hummus with olive oil which really threw me off. Didn’t scream Italian to me but maybe I just haven’t been exposed to that Italian style before. The decor was over the top for me. It was like, hey, I’m an Italian restaurant so let’s make it look like Tuscany in here but in the most cheesy way. The dessert menu was blah. My waiter was great though. I believe his name was Greg. And the wine was delicious. Overall, I don’t think it’s worth going back.
The food is so good my 2nd time here. My boyfriend is a picky and he loved it
Outstanding food, wine and service. Wonderful night out with friends.
The food, ambiance and service were absolutely upstanding. I could not have asked for a better birthday dinner. Outstanding restaurant.
Excellent food. Really enjoyed it
The food is outstanding, and the service is fantastic. It’s a little gem in Forest Park.
A wonderful dinner was had by all! In particular was the pasta in melted pecorino cheese with pepper. Outstanding! Will have it again! Very fresh salad.
Love, love Gaetano's. So much so that we are going back in two weeks. That will make 3x in 6 weeks! It's a good thing as there are so many dishes that we want to try. Food is awesome! :-) Try anything with mushrooms, scallops, pasta. Heck even the salads are special and beautiful.
Gaetano himself is a real presence in the dining room. The entire staff is thoughtful, accommodating and don't take themselves too seriously. The place is warm and perfect year round.
Not a great value and the rear room where we were seated was uncomfortably cool.
The description of this restaurant is Casual Elegant but "Family Elegant" best describes this amazing dining experience. Chef Gaetano is out and about not just asking how you are but rather intricately involved in your adventure. You are dining in his home. We had amazing Carpacio as well as the Calamari and Asparagus for appetizers. Dinner was Sardinian handmade Ravioli and the Lobster Tagliatelle. Melt in your mouth richness and perfectly light simultaneously. Just wonderful. So many more items we are excited to try next time.
Thank you Chef!
We have enjoyed Gaetano's for many years and especially on special occasions. This one was our anniversary and we were not disappointed. As always the menu was creative with seafood, pasta and meat choices and everything was prepared impeccably. My dish was a fresh homemade pasta with mussels, scallops, shrimp in a rich tomato-cream sauce with a roasted habanero pepper on the side that allowed me to add a little or a lot depending on my tolerance of heat. Before that, we shared the beet carpaccio which was delicious as usual. Service was impeccable. Being Wednesday January 2nd, the restaurant was quiet, as I'm sure most people were starting their recovery from the Holidays. We highly recommend Gaetano's for perfectly prepared, always creative Italian-influenced dining with excellent service in a relaxing environment.
Food was great. I will defintely be returning. I was there for New Year's Eve and had a pre fixe meal. I can't wait to go back and order more delicious ravioli!
Spectacular and authentic Italian food. Worth traveling to Forest Park to visit.
Always excellent food and great service
So much creativity, so much flavor! Food worth eating! And the service is right on par with it.
Given that our most favorite south-side Italian restaurants were closed we decided to venture to a new place. We had never been to Gaetano's before so we were going to try everything and be open to all experiences. Overall we were quite pleased. It's a small place and seating was rather limited. I'll try to exclude the silly table of 4 women who sat next to us that argued for 40 minutes about how to split the check. Agh. No, Aghhh. Our main courses were quite good. We went for the flair of the flaming noodles prepared by the table. It was fun, and delicious, but at $55 or so, not the best value. $35-$40 is the right price. We are wine drinkers and know American wines quite well. Gaetano's serves primarily Italian wines which always causes us to trust that the waiter will ensure a match to our request. Our waiter did, but upon request to chill the wine on ice, it simply wasn't done. Oh what a better tip he would have ensured. We will be back because the food was quite good and I suspect that if we are a bit more forceful, the waiter will chill our bottle of wine on ice!
Had a wonderful time at Gaetano's restaurant! Ordered the tasting menu and was delighted with each dish. The food is to die for.
We have been to Gaetano's a number of times, and this place never disappoints. Delicious, authentic Southern Italian cuisine (and some some equally delicious pan-Mediterranean dishes). The Oak Park/Forest Park/Elmwood Park area has many excellent Italian restaurants, but this one is tops in our opinions. Good wine list, with many Italian selections including some reservas.
Never disappoints. We have been going to this restaurant for many years. Gaetano is so creative. The food is always amazing and plentiful.
Ironically, one of the options above is not "excellent food"--which is precisely what I would recommend Gaetano's for.
The decor leaves much room for improvement. Though on the other hand it is, as one person noted, unique and memorable.
I also wanted to say how much we enjoyed our waiter, a friendly and knowledgeable young man. His wine pairing selections were excellent.
Nothing short of fabulous! Gaetano is brilliant with pairings. Friends from the city say that this restaurant is always worth the drive to the 'burbs.
Food was great, but service was slow. It appeared that not enough staff was present. Our waiter seemed to be taking all the orders in the room.
Gaetano greeted us immediately upon our arrival and was sincerely welcoming and wanting to meet our dietary preferences. There were several vegan selections on his menu, which was important for our son, including an outstanding nut and herb spread and coconut based butter. Everything is made from scratch in house with an obvious love and knowledge of great food. Our gentleman server was a pro who recommended a terrific wine. From appetizer and bread, to salad, pasta, meat and dessert, it all was just delicious, including the house-made limoncello. We all couldn’t wait to dig into our food! The atmosphere is cozy and utterly charming. Cannot wait to go back and bring more friends.
Waiter was not very helpful. No explanation of the menu. When I tried to order appetizers while we looked at the menu, I was told “that’s not the way we do it here.” First restaurant (especially Italian) that I have ever been to that told me that. Ordered “House Wine”. Waiter informs me that they were out of the house wine but they chose something similar. I have never heard of a place being “out of the house wine.” I also have had them ask before they substitute. Service was not what I would have expected. Definitely not what I have received in the past from Gaetanos.
We were celebrating a joint Birthday. We had the tasting menu. Everything was amazing. I normally don’t like seafood, but the crab cake, scallops & calamari were as tasty as the short ribs and pasta. We can’t wait to return
I have never in 12+ years had a dissapointment when dining at Gaetanos Today there were white truffles on the menu with a pasta prepared tableside. Everything else was
wonderful. Dave is always helpful with explanations and recommendations.Go on a weekday when things are quieter.
The best food we have ever eaten! We bring business associates and clients from other countries to Gaetano's regularly and all of them want to come back on their next visit to Chicago! We always order the Chef's Choice and the wine pairing. It is amazing how accommodating the kitchen is with our guests likes, dislikes and allergies.
I may have made a bad selection on food. Didn’t care for the truffle dish.
Everything was fantastic!!
Superb service, unparalleled food, unimaginable layers of flavor, savory sauces, attention to detail, in other words: this is perfection personified in a restaurant.