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updated: 10/3/2012 6:36 AM

Pinstripes keeps to successful formula of bocce, bowling, bars and food

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  • Playing bocce is one of many entertainment options at Pinstripes.

       Playing bocce is one of many entertainment options at Pinstripes.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Alberto Salgabo takes a pizza out of the wood-burning oven at Pinstripes.

       Alberto Salgabo takes a pizza out of the wood-burning oven at Pinstripes.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Nancy and John Bajorek of Elmhurst enjoy the fire pit on the patio at Pinstripes, a bowling and bocce bistro in Oak Brook.

       Nancy and John Bajorek of Elmhurst enjoy the fire pit on the patio at Pinstripes, a bowling and bocce bistro in Oak Brook.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Patrons of Pinstripes in Oak Brook can play bowling or bocce, watch TV and enjoy drinks and food.

       Patrons of Pinstripes in Oak Brook can play bowling or bocce, watch TV and enjoy drinks and food.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Pinstripes in Oak Brook continues its successful formula of offering patrons a chance to bowl or play bocce.

       Pinstripes in Oak Brook continues its successful formula of offering patrons a chance to bowl or play bocce.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Sanai Helms, 5, of Clarendon Hills, has fun bowling at Pinstripes in Oak Brook.

       Sanai Helms, 5, of Clarendon Hills, has fun bowling at Pinstripes in Oak Brook.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Pinstripes is a popular bowling and bocce bistro in Oak Brook.

       Pinstripes is a popular bowling and bocce bistro in Oak Brook.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Nelson
Daily Herald Correspondent

Pinstripes has built a reputation as a place for a great day or night out, whether you're going with your family, a big group of friends or a date. The chain's fourth location in Oak Brook keeps to the formula that's made it a success, offering a massive and beautiful complex with plenty to do.

Motif: The 40,000-square foot space includes 16 bowling lanes and 10 bocce courts. The two stories mirror each other, each with their own bar, dining area, bowling and bocce, and an outdoor space. The interior features warm colors with red and leaf-print plush booths. A huge wine cellar, equipped with a ladder to reach its highest shelves, separates the dining area from the bar. TVs tuned to sports are positioned around the bar and above the lanes, so you can watch the game while chilling on a couch and waiting for your turn to knock down some pins.

Pinstripes plans to keep its outdoor space open year round by providing ample heat lamps and huge umbrellas to shelter from the elements. The ground floor fire pit, which employees keep roaring by adding fresh wood, is a particularly cozy place to chill. The wooden chairs have armrests big enough to hold a plate and you can grab a blanket if you're still cold.

Service: The staff is friendly and attentive, quick to ask if you've been helped and make sure you've got what you need whether you're at the front desk or the bar

Food: Pinstripes extensive Italian-focused menu offers food worth checking out even if you're not into games. The chicken and avocado club flatbread makes for a great light dish with the toppings complimenting the perfectly crisp crust. The prime rib, offered Friday and Saturday or for Sunday brunch, also is excellent, with the tender and juicy meat well flavored by its herb crust. Finish with some of Pinstripes house-made gelato, with novel seasonally changing flavors like very tart blood orange or pumpkin that tastes just like frozen pumpkin pie.

Liquid consumption: Pinstripes has a small, but excellent draft list including Goose Island's Green Line and Matilda, Great Lakes Edward Fitzgerald and Two Brothers Domaine DuPage. The bar also has a massive selection of wines with more than 30 American and Italian wines available by the glass. Cocktail fans can try one of the Italian-influenced sippers like the limoncello martini or margarita Italiano, which blends tequila with limoncello, sour mix and cherry juice.

Music: Pinstripes offers live music every Friday and Saturday night with an emphasis on jazz and blues saxophone acts.

Crowd: The space's diverse attractions bring out an eclectic crowd including lots of families with young kids, plus seniors and groups of all ages. Pinstripes hosts a lot of corporate events, so you'll find some more formal attire mixed in with the typical casual dress.

Parking: A massive lot offers plenty of free parking.

Overall: Pinstripes brings the Oak Brook area a destination for food, drinks and fun under one roof.

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