Jimmy's Place | Forest Park | Italian, Pizza | Restaurant
Homey restaurant and bar serving exquisitely simple Italian classics.

Our Review

Locals like me might drive past Jimmy's Place for years, uncertain whether it's a bar or a restaurant. Turns out it’s both. Most times of the week, Jimmy hisself is there, looking like a congenial Lex Luthor in a red baseball cap and gregariously greeting all who walk in the door. The food? Unpretentious, reasonably priced—and very good. Nothing epitomizes its simple deliciousness more than rapini and beans, an elegantly fundamental combination of creamy cannellini, an uninhibited quantum of garlic, and slightly bitter Italian broccoli. Braciole, peasant fare loved by many restaurateurs who nevertheless don't deign to offer it, is flank steak rolled around bread crumbs with Parmesan, parsley, and pine nuts, splashed with marinara, and cuddled by mostaccioli. Pizza is also excellent, with a thin hand-rolled crispy crust and homemade sauce that I’d put up against any other local 'za. There are several Vesuvios to choose from, and I was happy with the chicken: with its flavorfully browned crust, moist meat, and crispy potatoes wedges, it's a fine representation of this Chicago classic. Fettuccine alfredo is one of my least favorite dishes anywhere, but Jimmy’s inspired addition of Gorgonzola to the mix makes it just about edible. The service at Jimmy’s is quite gracious, and Jimmy goes out of his way to make his guests feel comfortable: a few years back, when I was hosting a group of 40 or so, he actually hired an electrician to wire together two televisions in front so we could all watch a DVD together.

David Hammond

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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