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Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon

Great Wine, Great Pizza

As in previous entries in this venue, I have shared a favorite potable with the ulterior motive of talking about a special eatery that we had run across while enjoying the wine, beer, or whiskey.  That’s the case here.  The Martini Cabernet has been one of our go-to California Cabs since the 1999 vintage.  And we recently had the 2018 version at Gator’z Pub & Grill in La Rose, IL, a small town about 30 minutes north of us.  Every few months,  Carol and I meet our friends Pat and Sue somewhere for pizza on a Saturday night.  Pat heard about Gator’z, which had only been open for two weeks, from a friend who said the pizza was really good.  So on Memorial Day weekend 2022, we made our way to La Rose.  I was really quite surprised to see this wine on Gator’z list, along with some other unexpected offerings.  As I checked out the wine list and the menu, I had a feeling this was going to be a place we put in the pizza rotation.  And I was right.

Gator'z is in an old building on the main drag through town and they have done an excellent job of decorating and fitting the place, making the atmosphere something you notice immediately as you walk in the door.  There’s a small bar, four booths, and a number of tables, all illuminated with unique lighting.  If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were in an upscale urban tavern.  But of course, the atmosphere only takes you part of the way home.  I was hoping that the food lived up to the anticipation.  Pat and Sue ordered the Buffalo Cauliflower appetizer and we opted for the Toasted Cheese Ravioli.  Both were excellent and now I was really hoping the pizza would be as well.  Our thin-crust, medium supreme did not disappoint.  It was as good a pie as we’d had in a while and we all agreed that Gator’z will be a place we frequent on our pizza Saturdays.

Our server, Melissa, also served as hostess and bartender and despite a decent crowd, the service was excellent.  Melissa told us that they would soon be expanding the menu, which now includes only appetizers, wings, and pizza.  If the new menu choices are equal in quality to the current fare, I have a feeling that Gator’z will become a destination pizzeria for more than just the four of us.  If you get a chance, check out this really special place.  And if you like a nice red wine, try the Louis M. Martini.  I think you’ll like it all!

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