Go Roma opens in Glenview

If you like to enjoy a good hearty Italian meal, but want to do it without spending two hours lingering in a full-service restaurant, I've got two words for you...Go Roma. You're welcome.

When I stopped in to visit the newest Go Roma location, which opened last month in Glenview, I wasn't quite sure what to expect since it was my first time visiting one of their locations (you'll also find Go Roma restaurants in Bolingbrook and Northbrook.)

I quickly learned that even though there is a concept of serving food quickly, it doesn't mean that the quality suffers one bit. In fact, I was very impressed with how fresh the ingredients were and how good everything was when it arrived at the table in just a few minutes.

I visited with my husband at lunchtime and we sampled a few items. This is a great place to go if you like sharable plates and like to try out several different items - split an order of bruschetta or calamari, cut a sandwich in half and pair it with some soup, get a generous salad to divide, a pizza to dig into together or order a bowl of pasta that you can scoop and share.

We started out with an amazing bruschetta that was so sweet and fresh and amazing topped on rustic, garlicky ciabatta bread.

I had an extremely hard time choosing a salad since they all sound fantastic. If you're dining with a group and there are vegetarians among you, they'll be pleased with the selections of meatless items on the menu. Me? Well, I finally settled on the Pear & Walnut Salad and then added some roasted chicken to it. It was served with a fresh breadstick.

I'm a major salad aficionado and this is one of the best salads I've had anywhere. It included baby greens, fresh pear, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, seasoned walnuts, dried cranberries and aged balsamic vinaigrette. Totally the type of salad I could eat every day of my life and never tire of it. Other salad options include a Tuscan variety with roasted red peppers and baby greens with grape tomatoes, green beans parmesan, multi-grain corkscrew pasta tossed with the housemate basic pesto vinaigrette, a Classic Caesar salad and the Go Roma Chopped Salad.

We had a hard time deciding on whether or not to split a sandwich or a pasta and finally settled on the  Rustic Rigatoni, a lovely blend of crumbled Italian sausage, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, roasted red peppers, basil and garlic-infused cream sauce over al dente rigatoni. We made a good decision. It felt light, but was bursting with flavor.

We really could have stopped there, but the artisan pizza was too hard to resist. When in Rome...

So, you can order by the half plank or full plank. We ordered two half planks - one of the pepperoni and the other of the roasted vegetable. Again it was hard to decide - the other options included margherita, sun-dried tomato & goat cheese, BBQ chicken or Italian sausage. The roasted vegetable was absolutely amazing. Balsamic red onion. Sautéed mushrooms. Fresh Pesto Sauce. Pure veggie heaven!

They were serving up some soup and I snapped a quick shot. This is the Tomato Basil. Doesn't it look dreamy?

They also have a great selection of combo meals - a soup/salad, a half sandwich w/soup or salad, a small pizza combo w/soup or salad and a half pasta w/soup or salad. Very generous servings, too!

We somehow managed to squeeze in a few bites of dessert. The chocolate pudding cake melts in your mouth and the warm apple crostado is a perfect finish to a meal - both are served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The decor is cute - a homey/eclectic/retro/rustic blend, if that makes sense. :) Loved the herbs on the wall. :)

And here you go...one more look.

I didn't think it was possible to get such a fresh, satisfying meal in less time than it would take to get through a drive through and grab a greasy burger and fries. It's like fast food for foodies. I'd seriously put the food on par with several of the fine-dining, white-tablecloth, wine-sipping spots in the city and burbs. Oh, and speaking of wine, it wasn't yet available when we were there as the liquor license was pending, but soon you'll also be able to enjoy wine on tap with your meal.

P.S. It's right next to Mariano's, so between the two it's kind of a foodie's paradise in that strip. I couldn't help but do a little shopping before heading back home.

Go Roma
81 Waukegan Rd. 

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary meal for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own.