My family loves going out to eat. Not only is it a time to relax together but it means no dishes to clean afterwards. We were hosted for lunch at California Pizza Kitchen in Oakbrook, IL to check out their recently expanded menu and I wanted to share about it with all of you. Though our meal was complimentary, all thoughts are my own.
I hadn’t been to a California Pizza Kitchen in years because there aren’t any locations really close by but I discovered that it’s worth the short roadtrip to a nearby town to eat there. They’ve recently updated their menu to focus on high quality, fresh and seasonal ingredients, hand-crafted cocktails, and locally brewed beers. Don’t worry though! Their classics, like the Original BBQ Chicken Pizza, salads and pastas, are still on the menu.
To start our meal we ordered a couple of their new drinks. I ordered their new Strawberry Lime Margarita, made with Casamigos Tequila Blanco, fresh strawberries, strawberry puree, fresh agave sour & lime. Sinisa chose to try the new Sangria flavors and got a flight of those. The featured fresh-made sangrias include Orchard Sangria, a refreshing blend of white wine, St. Germain Elderflower, Monin Stone Fruit, orange & cranberry juice, Red-Berry Sangria, with a rich blend of red wine, Rémy VSOP, Monin Blackberry, raspberry purée, cranberry juice and lemonade and the seasonal Harvest Sangria, made with a crisp, unique mix of Bacardi Superior Rum, St. Germain Elderflower and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay with muddled grapes, basil & fresh agave sour. We both really loved the Orchard Sangria the most (even though I’m not a wine drinker). It was sweet and refreshing and the perfect drink to enjoy as we head towards the end of the summer.
We got a couple of appetizers to share as well. We chose to get Crispy Mac ‘N’ Cheese and the spinach artichoke dip that was served hot with housemade blue & white corn tortilla chips. Bread was also brought to our table which is always great to have for hungry little stomachs to snack on while we wait.
For his main course, Sinisa chose to get one of their new menu items- the fire-grilled ribeye. This 12oz USDA choice ribeye is grilled with housemade Pinot Noir sea salt and topped with creamy bleu cheese butter and served with roasted fingerling potatoes and lemon-garlic wild arugula salad. It looked so delicious and Sinisa really enjoyed it.
Two of the other new entree options include Hearth-Roasted Halibut (wild caught from Alaska and roasted on a cedar plank with butternut squash farro, grilled asparagus and baby kale) and Roasted Garlic Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables (a crispy-skin chicken breast in lemon-garlic sauce, with a medley of the season’s freshest vegetables.) While the chicken sounded delicious, as did some of their salads, I chose to stick with pizza. I love BBQ chicken pizza and feel that if I’m at a place that makes pizza well I have to try their pizza. Created at CPK in 1985, it’s a staple on the menu and features their legendary BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda, red onions and fresh cilantro. I chose to add bacon to mine at the suggestion of our waitress and I’m so glad I did. It was the perfect addition to an already great pizza!
The boys each had pizza from the kid’s menu. Jacob chose the Hawaiian and Lucas chose his typical cheese pizza. One extra thing the boys got to do after they were done eating was go into the kitchen and try to throw the dough like the pizza makers do. They had fun but discovered that it was harder than it looked!
We learned that California Pizza Kitchen offers a special program that allows kids to play chef and make their own pizza from the freshest ingredients, while getting creative and learning about food along the way. Perfect for birthday parties or scout trips, CPKids parties include a VIP-style behind-the-counter restaurant tour, a meal and dessert from the award-winning CPKids menu, souvenirs and a certificate for a free CPKids Meal for each child’s next visit.
Other things that are worth mentioning:
Special Dietary Needs
For those with specific dietary needs, CPK also has options that are under 650 calories, vegetarian and/or gluten-free. They also provide allergen information to those with food sensitivities. For the complete menu, visit http://www.cpk.com/menu.
The new CPK menu encourages diners to seek unique and seasonal flavor combinations and offers a Menu Adventure Guarantee: If a guest tries a new dish and is not satisfied, it will be replaced with his or her favorite item from the CPK menu.
New Lunch Duos
For a quick and satisfying lunch, CPK at Arlington Town Square now offers Lunch Duos, where guests can pair lunch-sized versions of a favorite pizza or sandwich and a soup or salad. Lunch Duos give guests a great value, with more than 80 fresh, made-to-order options to mix, match and enjoy in the middle of their time-challenged days.
Have you been to California Pizza Kitchen before? If so, I’d love to hear about your favorite menu item!