Tuesday night is half-priced pizza night at Moretti's in Lake in the Hills, and it appeared that the public is aware. We arrived about 5:45 p.m., and the dining area was packed with pizza-eaters.
It's a dine-in only deal after 4 p.m. with the purchase of a beverage. The maximum allowed is one pizza a person, which definitely is more than any person could want or need in one sitting.
The restaurant has other specials, from a kids-eat-free deal Monday nights to a $10.99 haddock fish and chips deal on Fridays, but we were quite happy to find out we had shown up on a night for pizza.
As we usually do, we tackled the kids menu choices first. They're $4.99 and include the usuals, such as chicken fingers, grilled cheese, a hot dog, mac 'n' cheese or spaghetti, along with fries or carrot sticks.
What's different at Moretti's is the last option, make-your-own pizza. And while we had one kid choose chicken fingers and fries, the other two went with make-your-own pizza, which gave them something to be excited about.
They essentially bring out a thin crust circle with sauce and cheese, and you get to spread it out yourself. Then they come back when you're done, pop it in the oven and you made your own pie. While it wasn't listed as a menu option, we were able to get our second kid a make-your-own gluten-free 10-inch crust pizza with pepperoni, as well (regular $13.09, $6.54 on special), which made that diner's night.
Also, the pizzas were great when they arrived. The gluten-free crust held up well but wasn't overcooked, which sometimes can happen with the different ingredients involved in making it.
The group started out with a mozzarella sticks appetizer with marinara sauce ($3.49) that went quick, along with the fresh baked bread, which I cut up and distributed to the table.
I went the pizza route with my order as well, only taking more of a risk with the 12-inch maxed out macaroni 'n' cheese pizza (regular $18.39, $9.19 on special). It had an Alfredo sauce that then was piled high on the garlic butter crust with cavatappi pasta, Parmesan and cheddar cheese, bacon and sliced jalapenos. It also had barbecue sauce drizzled on top.
It was more of a meal than could be had by one person in one sitting, for sure. The jalapenos were fresh sliced and spicy, but I definitely enjoyed this creative take on pizza.
Our other fellow diner ordered the gnocchi ala vodka ($12.99), which was the classic potato pasta in marinara sauce with tomatoes, fresh basil, asiago and ricotta salata cheese, as well as arugula on top.
The soft pasta worked well with the creamy sauce and left that diner pleased and with an empty plate. We ate a wide variety of food but all came away happy with plenty of pizza leftover.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.