October 12, 2010

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Lake County Journal (Grayslake, IL)


Article Text: WAUCONDA – Any restaurant that uses a giant fork and spoon as wall decor must realize that customers are going to expect to dig in with both hands. At Slyce, that’s the right attitude to have.

The new Wauconda restaurant has only been open a month, but a recent Friday night visit proved this pizza joint is doing something right. Slyce’s parking area is small, so it doesn’t take many customers to fill the back lot. A gentleman in a bright orange Slyce T-shirt, however, directs traffic to other parking availability near the eatery – a nice amenity, considering the place was filled with so many people, it was obvious they had not all parked in the lot. My dining companion and I decided we couldn’t justify not trying Slyce’s coal-fired pizza – after all, the restaurant’s name refers to a serving of the specialty – so we scoured the menu and chose a meatball, ricotta and garlic pizza for $13.74. But first, we decided to split an appetizer.

Since we had bypassed the pepperoni, artichoke and mozzarella pizza in favor of the meatball pie, we opted to try the eatery’s coal-fired artichoke dip for $8.99. It came to us in a heavy ceramic dish that was filled with pieces of sliced bread circling the steaming dip, and it was delicious. The artichoke, onion, cheeses and roasted red pepper had so much flavor, my dining companion thought the bread was baked with different seasonings before he realized it was the dish itself that had such a strong taste. Just as we were finishing up the dip, our pizza was delivered to our table and set at our chin level on a wire rack, similar to the way many Chicago pizza joints serve their pizzas. My first impression of our entree was that the meatballs tasted like real meatballs, not just ground beef that had been plopped on top as an afterthought. Combined with the ricotta cheese and garlic, the toppings made me think I was eating a real Italian meal instead of a slice of pizza. My dining companion was most impressed with the crust, which he described as the middle-ground between thin crust and pan crust.

The slightly charred pizza rim hinted that the pizza had been cooked in the coals of the fire – Slyce’s claim to fame. We enjoyed our meal sitting in a high-backed booth that cut some of the noise from surrounding parties, and noted that the restaurant was very clean and well-staffed. Patrons also have the option of sitting on bar chairs directly in front of the chefs who prepare the meals, or they can congregate around the bar.

The menu is small, but Slyce boasts specialty pizzas done the right way. And with a handful of dining delights, such as our appetizer, and salads we were told are large enough for two people to share, Slyce seems the ideal spot for a casual date night – classy enough to impress a significant other, but low-key enough to not put too much pressure on the situation.

Slyce also has a very family-friendly atmosphere, which we witnessed first-hand as a party of 20 – comprised mostly of children younger than 5 – were catered to that Friday night. Though several weeks past opening day, the restaurant still passes out orange comment cards to better gauge how to serve its customers. We wrote down our opinion – Slyce is a cool place to stop for a bite.

• The Lake County Journal Mystery Diner feature sends a staff reporter to local eateries of all kinds. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Diners visit a different restaurant each week. Contact the diner at lcjedit@lakecountyjournal.com. If you go…

What: Slyce, 127 N. Main St. in Wauconda Hours: 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday; closed Monday
Contact: 847-469-8840 or www.slycecoalfiredpizza.com
Caption: Though Slyce offers mostly specialty pizzas, the Wauconda restaurant’s menu also includes several appetizers, such as coal-fired artichoke dip for $8.99

Copyright 2010, Lake County Journal, Shaw Newspapers. All Rights Reserved.
Record Number: 353a25c12bf5eceb02d298dff7c1f905542c5f