"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Saturday, May 17, 2008

MTTT - The Grotto at Capone's

The MTTT gang met at The Grotto at Capone's on May 15 to see what the buzz was all about and to celebrate my birthday.

There's a 16-foot-long booth covered in buttoned black leather in the corner of a new Chicago-style pizzeria and bar where you can enjoy a slice, drink a beer and protect your blind spot. It's the centerpiece of The Grotto at Capone's, a new pizza joint combining some of Chicago's best known exports - thick pizzas and images of the prohibition days when Scarface ruled the streets.

Two Western Michigan University graduates and co-owners of two Pita Pit restaurants opened The Grotto back in March after months of planning and almost $1 million in renovations. The space just off WMU's campus had been home to Bilbo's Pizza and Brewing Co. for 30 years.

The building is split in half with the main bar and restaurant upstairs and the basement bar, called the Grotto, taking on the appearance of an underground Capone hideout. The Grotto's floor is painted gray to resemble a cave. It's dimly lit. The upstairs is well lit with vintage photos of Capone and the prohibition era. There were lots of TV's, ample seating, a long bar featuring two Tommy guns hanging on the wall, and the aforementioned booth. A patio was just being finished while we were there.

Liz & I split a spinach pizza, which was very good. Lindsey had a meatball sandwich, Rob a sausage patty sandwich, and Kit & Cheryl both had an Italian beef sandwich. It appeared everyone liked their meals. They had a very extensive list of beers on tap - Magic Hat #9 - being one of our favorites!

Beware of their wines. The waitress, who was a super nice girl, said they had glasses of wine on special for $2.00. I ordered a Cabernet Sauvignon . I knew I was in trouble when she asked if that was "red or white". Needless to say, my glass of "red" wine ended up tasting like red wine vinegar. On top of this, she misspoke and the wine was $3.50 a glass. But what did I expect? This is a college bar. I quickly moved to my new favorite beer Magic Hat #9 after that.

We definitely celebrated my birthday in style.

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