O'Donjo's Offers Great Food in a Great Atmosphere

Great food can be found at O'Donjo's, which is in the old Bean Encounter building.

When I sat down for lunch at O'Donjo's, I scanned the menu. I had to do a double take. There on the menu was an option for clams that were not breaded and fried before they came to my table. I was so excited that I missed that the clams, which are served on the shell, had bacon. Missing that was hard to do since the dish was called BLT clams.

I am weird about bacon. I don't like it mixed in my dishes. I like it on my plate with my eggs, but I don't like how it changes the taste of a dish into a smokey, hickory flavor. But, these clams were pretty amazing. I finished my dish. And that was after I devoured a small serving of a Caprese salad. The mozzarella was fresh and the tomatoes, basil and vinaigrette were served perfectly.

I dined with Three Rivers Arts Council executive director Amy Hayes. We had to discuss the upcoming TRAC fundraisers and we both wanted to try the new restaurant in town. Patch will have a story on the events next week.

Hayes started with a small serving of the Grape escape salad. The salad had romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, granola, red grapes and shaved parmesan, served with a red vinegrette.

"I thought the salad was amazing," she said.

She added that the chicken on the salad was very good. For her lunch, she ordered the crab cakes, which the menu describes as Louisiana style.

"The crab cakes were very good, but they were a little spicy for me," she said. "If you're going for a Louisiana crab cake, that would be for you."

Both of us ordered the creme brulee for dessert. Regular readers know this is my favorite dessert. While the food that came to my table was incredible, the creme brulee needed a little attention. It had great flavor, but the top was not crisp enough and not thick enough. I am not sure if it needed more sugar or just a different or longer treatment when cooking. Despite this, I ate the whole thing.

I already want to go back to O'Donjo's. While I jumped on the clams, I did not order the grilled eggplant dinner dish, which I would have to see if they would prepare without the pasta twist. I enjoyed the food. I thought they did a good job updating the interior to change it from a coffee house/art space to a restaurant without eliminating the nicest touches such as the bar and the fireplace.

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FP October 12, 2012 at 01:45 PM
My husband and have been to O'Donjo's twice. The food is amazing, I love the atmosphere with exception of the kitchen not having a door. We were able to hear them talking & pounding away on whatever they were preparing throughout our entire meal (we were there at dinner time). The serving staff needs more training, the first time our waitress was very slow, she only had us & 1 other table which was ok, then she got a couple more tables and that was it, my husband was almost finished with his dinner by the time he received the water he asked for when she brought the meal (since she forgot it when he ordered it with our drinks before the meal), idn't check on us at all after she brought the meal & we waited what seemed like half an hour for our check & take home containers, we didn't get a chance to try any dessert since we had already been there for 2 hrs and had an appotiment to get to. Our second visit is above, I ran out of room to put it all in one comment, sorry.
FP October 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM
We decided to give it another try since the food was so good and the atmosphere was nice, the 2nd time we went the hostess walked right past us with out even smiling or greeting us to take care of the couple that was next to us that she had already been setting a table up for. We asked to seated at a table in the bar area to minimize the kitchen noise, well after 15mins (and we timed it) & watching a waitress walk past us a couple of times, we decided to leave since it seemed we were never even noticed. As we walked past the hostess she just looked at ud and never said a word. So if they trained their staff better it would be a great place. We left to go to The Shrimp Barn in downtown Minooka which is really good and such a cute, comfortable place. You should do a review of that reataurant Dawn. The chef is the owner and cooks everything himself, they also have really good honey chicken & pasta's if you don't like seafood, but bring someone who does my husband says the seafood is really good (I don't eat seafood).
Rozeeta October 12, 2012 at 06:17 PM
This place isn't getting many good reviews on Yelp either!
waiting October 13, 2012 at 03:17 AM
We've been here a few times and the food is always excellent but the service is unbelievably slow; from getting refills on drinks, to time it takes to get the food (even when the restaurant is nearly empty), to trying to pay the bill. We would have liked dessert a couple of times but didn't want to spend the time waiting. There is no way we could go before a movie or appointment because they are so slow. This is the kind of place we need around here but I'm afraid they're not going to make it if they can't get their act together. I hope they can figure things out.


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