I don't consider myself a food critic - as long as I don't have to cook it and clean up after, I'm pretty happy. I will admit as I've aged my palette has become a bit choosier and I've actually stopped going to some restaurants if I don't like what I ordered or if the service was bad.
I've never been attracted to Italian restaurants as I usually don't order pasta and if I do, I prefer a sweeter sauce than many Italian restaurants make. My favorite pasta/meat sauce is bolognese, which some restaurants do not make the way it should be (with carrots, which gives it a deep flavor). I love it when I find a place that makes it correctly.
One weekend evening my husband and I were driving around looking for a place without a long wait. We ran into Osteria Ottimo but there was a wait. We left but wanted to come back and give it a try. And I'm so glad we did.
Osteria Ottimo is my Favorite Italian Restaurant
I have been back many times, as I want to try everything that looks interesting to me on their menu. Just as I have a dish in mind, one of their daily specials catches my eye. Everything I've ordered has been wonderful, and I always take home a doggie bag for a much anticipated lunch.
In the exterior photo, you will see the sign says "Ottimo Ristorante." Their website (and I believe the menu) has a longer title, "Osteria Ottimo Ristorante Italiano". I looked up the definition of osteria and Wikipedia states: "An osteria (Italian pronunciation: [oste'ria]) is an Italian-style eating establishment where the emphasis is generally placed on maintaining a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine. Osteria in Italian literally means a place where the owner "hosts" people."
It's a Small Place
The tables are close and the restaurant does get busy. They take reservations and you can wait in the nice lounge, although that can also be SRO. Check out this Orland Park Italian restaurant's website for all the details. You'll read about Wine Time Tuesday, Tuesday Night Spaghetti & Meatball Family Style Dinner and Lasagna Night on Thursday. Maybe you'll see me there!