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Pizzeria Valentino - wood-fired, mobile and awesome

Pizzeria Valentino - wood-fired, mobile and awesome
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  • Pizzeria Valentino - wood-fired, mobile and awesome

    Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:23 pm
    Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:23 pm Post #1 - August 22nd, 2013, 11:23 pm
    Many folks here know fellow LTHer jvalentino (Jeff Valentino), who launched a line of artisanal dry pastas last year, which are truly something special. It should come as no surprise to anyone who's tried the pastas that Jeff has quite a culinary knack. He recently procured a mobile, wood-burning oven and started up a touring pizzeria business. This past weekend, he set up shop in my driveway (full disclosure: I hired him to cater a party) and the pizzas he put out were nothing short of spectacular. I was partying pretty hard, so I didn't get any pictures (though, I'm guessing that others who were in attendance may have) but these pies were textbook perfect. The crusts were crispy, light and pleasantly chewy. The complex flavor of that dough (the flavor just continued to build throughout the entire chew) was satisfying beyond words. The beautiful bits of char on the edges and bottoms of the crusts provided perfect accents of flavor. And the toppings -- all of superior quality -- were almost unnecessary because of how sensational that dough was.

    Jeff and his cohort busted their asses putting out 60 pizzas. Each and every slice of each and every pizza was devoured. At one point in the evening, my mensch of a step-father literally threw an elbow trying to block another guest from grabbing one of the last 2 slices on the table. In what was an understandable moment -- though, certainly not his proudest -- he grabbed both slices for himself. Luckily, there was plenty more to come after that. I've been hearing all week from my guests and in spite of all the other great food we had, each and every one of them has glowingly mentioned the pizzas. And I feel the same way. I've been thinking about Jeff's wondrous pizzas all week. He also threw down some peak-of-the-season Caprese Salads but those pizzas were the stuff of legends.

    Again, I'm really sorry I didn't grab any pictures but hopefully, some other folks who were there will post some. In the meantime, you can check out their facebook page for at least a few images: Pizzeria Valentino facebook page. And if you want to get in touch with Pizzeria Valentino, you can do so by calling (815) 250-7206. I'm already trying to create an occasion (aka excuse) for hiring them again. :)

    =R=

    Pizzeria Valentino
    eatpizzeriavalentino@gmail.com
    (815) 250-7206
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #2 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:24 am
    Post #2 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:24 am Post #2 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:24 am
    Ronnie's subject title says it all, "Pizzeria Valentino - wood-fired, mobile and awesome"

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:33 am
    Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:33 am Post #3 - August 23rd, 2013, 8:33 am
    Hoping Attrill sees this pic...this sounds right up his alley, no pun intended :)
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 1:01 pm
    Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 1:01 pm Post #4 - August 23rd, 2013, 1:01 pm
    This pizza reminded me very much of my favorite style of pies found in New Haven, CT such as Pepe's, Sally's, and Modern Apizza...only better. Especially his bread. It has a perfect chew and pliancy to it as well as being beautifully airy (but not overly so) as evidenced by the large air bubbles. I think Jeff said he uses three different types of flour while his sauce is made with traditional San Marzano tomatoes.

    You can tell that a lot of thought and trial and error went into Valentino getting to this point with his pies.

    This is a very special pizza.
  • Post #5 - August 24th, 2013, 12:16 am
    Post #5 - August 24th, 2013, 12:16 am Post #5 - August 24th, 2013, 12:16 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:Hoping Attrill sees this pic...this sounds right up his alley, no pun intended :)


    Oh yeah - that looks great! Now all he needs to do is build one that fits on a shopping cart :wink:

    I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for this, looks incredible.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com
  • Post #6 - September 5th, 2013, 9:55 pm
    Post #6 - September 5th, 2013, 9:55 pm Post #6 - September 5th, 2013, 9:55 pm
    Thanks for the kind words!

    Just an FYI, we will be at The Nosh at Wicker Park this Saturday.
    http://www.thenoshfoodfest.com/
  • Post #7 - September 5th, 2013, 10:22 pm
    Post #7 - September 5th, 2013, 10:22 pm Post #7 - September 5th, 2013, 10:22 pm
    Last wk it got lamely called because of rain. I live right down the st and will drop by.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #8 - September 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm
    Post #8 - September 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm Post #8 - September 7th, 2013, 6:43 pm
    jvalentino wrote:Just an FYI, we will be at The Nosh at Wicker Park this Saturday.
    http://www.thenoshfoodfest.com/

    The comments above, and this tickler, sent me to the Nosh this afternoon to try the pizza. I was extremely impressed. The crust had a lot of flavor, nice chew, and I'm always a sucker for some charred bubbles on the edges. Really just a fantastic crust.

    I might have preferred slightly larger chunks of sausage on the pizza and perhaps the basil should have been added after it came out of the oven, but the flavors were terrific and I appreciated that the great quality tomatoes were not over-seasoned. I really hope to taste a lot more of these pizzas.
  • Post #9 - September 9th, 2013, 9:14 am
    Post #9 - September 9th, 2013, 9:14 am Post #9 - September 9th, 2013, 9:14 am
    Stopped by the Nosh and had a wonderful funghi pie. Outstanding crust- only wish I would have asked for some olive oil to dip the pizza bones in like I always do @ Coalfire, believing it to be some of the best bread service in town. Was in a hurry though, maybe next time.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #10 - September 9th, 2013, 12:34 pm
    Post #10 - September 9th, 2013, 12:34 pm Post #10 - September 9th, 2013, 12:34 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:The crusts were crispy, light and pleasantly chewy. The complex flavor of that dough (the flavor just continued to build throughout the entire chew) was satisfying beyond words. The beautiful bits of char on the edges and bottoms of the crusts provided perfect accents of flavor. And the toppings -- all of superior quality -- were almost unnecessary because of how sensational that dough was.


    PIGMON wrote:Especially his bread. It has a perfect chew and pliancy to it as well as being beautifully airy (but not overly so) as evidenced by the large air bubbles.


    BR wrote:The crust had a lot of flavor, nice chew, and I'm always a sucker for some charred bubbles on the edges. Really just a fantastic crust


    I stopped by too at Nosh Fest this past weekend. Not much more I can add except to say I totally agree with all of the above as did at least three other groups of people who came back to tell Jeff how much they loved the pizza especially the crust element. Like him, I like some crispy bits from the aforementioned charred bubbles. Sausage is always my topping of judgement and his with a nice fennel kick was great. Looks like I'm going to be needing to make an excuse to have a party sometime soon.

    Image
    Sensazionale Salsiccia Pizza
  • Post #11 - September 10th, 2013, 9:43 pm
    Post #11 - September 10th, 2013, 9:43 pm Post #11 - September 10th, 2013, 9:43 pm
    I'm only a few days removed from having tried jvalentino's pizza, and I just returned from Reno where I enjoyed some terrific pizzas. But I have to say, jvalentino, you seriously need to expand your audience. I suppose the mobile pizza oven is just fine, but I'm also quite confident that your pizzas at a brick & mortar location would stand up strong to the city's best places . . . I hope you do eventually settle on a permanent location and let everyone taste the pizzas your turning out.
  • Post #12 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:16 pm
    Post #12 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:16 pm Post #12 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:16 pm
    Having just had your pizza for the first time at the LTHpicnic, I was blown away by how good they were. Besides using you next year as a caterer, you mentioned you might be looking in the Oak Park area for a more permanent location. Please, please, please, let the food gods be good to Oak Park and help you find a place. It would start to make Oak Park an actual place to come for the food besides everything else (in addition to a few scatterings already). Thanks again for the fabulous LTHpicnic addition!
    "My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people."

    -Orson Welles-
  • Post #13 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:22 pm
    Post #13 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:22 pm Post #13 - September 23rd, 2013, 2:22 pm
    Yup. Wonderful. Along with BR's beef heart nam tok, your mushroom pizza was my favorite bite (and I literally had ONE bite) of the picnic. Only sad that I don't know when I'll get to have another!!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #14 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am
    Post #14 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am Post #14 - April 13th, 2018, 10:05 am
    Is this place closed now?
  • Post #15 - April 13th, 2018, 10:53 am
    Post #15 - April 13th, 2018, 10:53 am Post #15 - April 13th, 2018, 10:53 am
    shorty wrote:Is this place closed now?

    Sadly, Jeff sold his oven a few years back.

    =R=
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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