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“Bland food and marginal ambiance.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Caffe de Luca

Caffe de Luca
7427 W Madison St, Forest Park, IL 60130
(708) 366-9200
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Ranked #8 of 68 Restaurants in Forest Park
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
113 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Bland food and marginal ambiance.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Caffe De Luca is located in a lively section of Forest Park among a cluster of restaurants and bars. It consists of a large main dining room on the first floor with tables along one wall and a very long bar on the opposite wall. The tables are fairly comfortable but the atmosphere feels more like a barroom than a dining room. There is also outdoor seating in front on busy Madison Ave. and a second floor room used for private parties. The place is decorated in a faux-Italian style that comes off as being artificial. The menu provides a fair assortment of antipasti and pastas with limited meat and fish dishes.

I consider one of the hallmarks of a good Italian restaurant to be the quality of the table bread. So dining there on a recent Saturday night as a first-time customer I looked forward to tasting the bread. Well, the bread was so bad that I had thought that somehow a mistake had been made. It was served sliced with a very soft texture akin to American commercial bread without any crust and was tasteless and somewhat stale. I told our waiter about the problem and asked for a replacement. Our waiter was accommodating and brought out a new portion, however, it was as lousy as the first.

One of my favorite Italian dishes is braciola. The menu described this dish as “Tender flank steak stuffed with prosciutto, Parmesan, and arugula, Panko bread crumbs, topped with tomato mushroom sauce over creamy polenta.” I ordered it expecting that the braciola would be a whole roll or two of meat that I would slice. However, the meat came sliced and placed on a bed of polenta covered in tomato sauce. After cutting the meat for a while the pieces became enmeshed in the polenta, resulting in a somewhat unappetizing, mushy mixture. The polenta tasted good but the braciola, although tender, was just fair. To the credit of this restaurant, the wait service was competent and accommodating.

Café De Luca is not recommended because of its and bland food and marginal ambiance.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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17 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    10
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    0
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oak Park, Illinois
Top Contributor
151 reviews 151 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great food, easy to park nearby”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

I love their menu. Always something different, and the prices are reasonable. Good wine selection. Sit upstairs on the balcony in the summer or warmer spring and fall days.

Visited July 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Caffe de Luca Forest Park”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

This was my second visit, and it was as good as the first. Went with a group of four. The appetizers (asparagus wrapped with prociutto and fontina cheese) and hummus were great. I had the pasta with chicken and shrimp in a cream sauce, very good!! The atmosphere is very relaxing. And, the bellini drink is awesome!

  • Visited January 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Indian Head Park, IL
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Perfect for a relaxing celebration.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2011

We went to celebrate a family birthday with a group of five. Our reserved table was waiting upon our arrival. We loved the atmosphere... open air with the doors across the front open to let in the warm autumn evening and an interesting eclectic decor. Servers were friendly and professional. The menu has something for everyone with burgers and pizzas as well as pasta, seafood and Italian specialties. The Italian specialties we ordered were very good and served hot. Though the place was fairly full, it was easy to visit and talk. I would go again for dinner or even a relaxing evening drink. On a nice evening dining alfresco was magical. (There is also a location in Bucktown.)

  • Visited October 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Chicago, IL
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Very good food, great atmosphere, but a bit pricey”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2011

My wife and I have periodically eaten here over the past couple years and do like it. To be fair, this is her favorite Italian restaurant in Forest Park, while mine is Francesca Fiore down the block. Their salad with fish of the day (Insalata di Mare) is very fresh, quite tasty and recommended. It's especially good if they have Salmon on the menu. The grilled calamari appetizer is also very tasty and done right - not chewy at all. I really don't recall any bad dishes over our visits, but these two stand out in my mind.

They also have a Sunday brunch which is very good too. If you're a quiche fan, their's is great - it's very light and fluffy. And if you're having a private party, they have a nice upstairs room.

Overall, I recommend Caffe de Luca and always have good service and food. However, I think their prices are a bit high. If they decreased entree prices by about $5 each, I'd rate it 5-star instead of 4-star.

  • Visited July 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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