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“Underwhelmed”
Review of Cafe Borgia

Cafe Borgia
Ranked #6 of 64 Restaurants in Munster
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Description: Established in 1986, Cafe Borgia features the Italian specialties of Chef-owner Mike Jesso. A popular meeting place in Chicagoland, this northwest Indiana eatery is known for homemade menu offerings in an artistic atmosphere. With high praise for it's wine list from ZAGAT, Chef Jesso has had recipies featured in Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines. The Chef's Garden enhances the dining experience.
Illiniois
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Underwhelmed”
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I have heard about this place for years and finally was able to get there for lunch. The service and staff were very accomodating and helpful. However, the food was simply ok. I tasted the rigatoni and bread.I was surprised that the same dish at Go Roma for example, was better by far.I also found it a bit pricey for lunch compared to places I usually go to in the Western Suburbs..

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Tina h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
All across the U.S.
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“A Go-To restaurant in Munster”
Reviewed October 2, 2012

Ok, so Munster is not known for great restaurants. But this one offer some find Italian cuisine and decent wine choices. The gnocchi was perfect with the correct proportion of sauce. Nicely decorated, inviting, and worth a try. Chicken dishes were nicely prepared as well.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank TravelJewels45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Always a treat”
Reviewed September 1, 2012

Always a great meal and the service is excellent. Your water glass will never be close to empty.

I like their pasta dishes with seafood. Always a good variety of seafood and plentiful. Munster is very lucky to have 2 excellent Italian Restaurants.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank steph26139
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“This place is amazing- every time.”
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Let me first start out by saying this is a place I go to regularly, at least once a month, and I finally decided to look it up on here to see what other people were saying about this place, and I couldnt be more disappointed in the reviews I've read so far.

This restuarant is an authentic italian restaurant- this is not an olive garden where they bring out endless breadsticks and salad- this is real italian food. Nothing bad towards olive garden, but any italian would agree, it's not authentic. As a more upscale place, they serve bread and butter when you sit down at the table. I would suggest ordering something for it- a red pepper pesto, a garlic bruschetta, etc, for a few extra dollars. This makes your (pre) appetizer more amazing. While olive oil/cheese is nice at an italian restaurant, it is not necessarily standard, and honestly this bread is amazing enough you dont need anything for it.

I haven't tried too many of the appetizers, mainly because I eat so much bread and red pepper pesto, I dont have room for anything else. I have had a few of their salads, and have always found them to be great- especially the tomato/pesto salads in the late summer.

The entrees- I was pleased to see someone else talk about the lasagna. I cannot express how much I love this lasagna. It is honestly the best lasagna I have ever had, and I grew up in an italian family. The pork osso bucco and lamb shank are also must haves, and both fall off the bone easily.

The desserts- I've tried probably almost everything on this dessert menu, and they are all great, but I think what sets them apart are their homemade sorbets and gelatos. The sorbets are always from fresh fruit, and just taste wonderful. At the very least save room for a sorbet before you leave. The stuffed strawberries and Zucotto are also favorites. Finally, they make excellent espresso drinks, so if that's something you like, I would definitely suggest it.

The overall service is something I havent ever seen before. All the staff is so attentive, running around to bring you water and bread, even when the restaurant isnt busy. I have never been in a restaurant where the wait staff cared so much about the customers as here.

Some of the other reviews are correct, this is an open warehouse type setting, so it does get a bit loud when the place is packed, but I dont think it takes away from the experience. The walls are painted beautifully, and everything is kept very neat and tidy. Overall, I'd have to rate this as if not my favorite restaurant ever, at the very least my favorite italian restaurant ever.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank ollipop87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicagoland
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Gone Downhill Quickly”
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Years ago, Cafe Borgia was a very small family owned Italian restaurant in Lansing, IL. I remember waiting in line to get one of the few tables crowded into the small place back in the 80's and having a flavorful, authentic Italian pasta dish. This week for the first time, I visited the large warehouse style Cafe Borgia in Munster, IN. The restaurant moved from Lansing to Munster several years ago, but I hadn't had the opportunity to eat there. Yesterday, I had an unexpected day off and a gift card for the place in my wallet. My companion and I got there around 1:30 pm and the place was practically empty which in hindsight was probably an indication of food quality. My companion ordered the stuffed eggplant, and I ordered the chicken risotto. Both entrees came with nothing but the few slices of Italian bread they automatically put on the table. We tried each other's entree. The stuffed eggplant was good, but nothing out of the ordinary. The best part was the sauteed greens that accompanied it. The chicken risotto was bland and mushy. The risotto also included an extra bonus--a chicken bone! Our entrees ran between $14-$16. When I pay that much for an entree at lunchtime, it darn well better be good and not have gristle and a bone. I will say that the tiramisu we had for dessert was extremely good and the slice was very generous in size. However, if you want to eat somewhere locally with good Italian food, I would go to Giovanni's in Munster which is small and family owned. If they don't get the food back to the quality they had when they were located in Lansing, I foresee Cafe Borgia's building being an empty closed up shell in a few years. The location has never been good with the now closed landfill turned park right across the street. If you don't have a good location, then you'd better have excellent food...they don't...at least not anymore! It's really a shame.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank lark37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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