About a month ago, I wrote about Pinstripes, a distinctive dining and entertainment venue currently with 3 locations in the Chicago area and a location in the Minneapolis, with more locations opening around the nation. We got to try bocce ball at Pinstripes a couple of weeks ago and had a great time!
What is bocce ball? In case you’re unfamiliar (as we were before just a couple of weeks ago) bocce ball is a game where 2 teams compete to roll their ball across a court so it stops closest to what is called a pallino. This is a smaller ball rolled across the court before each game is played. Whichever team’s balls stop closest to the pallino wins.
We visited Pinstripes in Northbrook, Illinois, a couple of weeks ago to play a game of bocce ball with 2 of our friends. We also had our 2-year old daughter, Lia, with us. We went on a Sunday afternoon so it wasn’t very busy. The place is pretty impressive when you first walk in where you are greeted by a big reception counter. To the left is an area with 6 bocce ball courts and some tables for brunch in between and overlooking the courts. There is a bar in the back and bowling lanes to the right. Upstairs, there are conference and party rooms. They have event and party space accommodating 20-600 people. My husband has actually had a few meetings for work at Pinstripes and says the rooms are nice. The bathrooms are clean and there is a changing table in the men’s room (very important for our family!).
One thing I do wish they have is something at the bocce ball courts explaining how to play the game or someone there to guide us. Since none of us had played before and we couldn’t really find anyone to help us, we ended up going on our smartphones and figuring out the game ourselves. At first, we tried following all the rules but it became pretty confusing so we ended up playing only following some basic rules. Once we understood what we were doing, it ended up being a really fun game! Lia even got to “play” by throwing the pallino down the court at the beginning of each game. She loved running back and forth on the court!
We did end up ordering some food and drinks while we played. Their Strawberry Margarita and Barbeque Chicken Pizza were delicious! We also enjoyed their Stuffed Mushrooms. Their food is a little pricey, but I think that is to be expected for more of a higher class type of place.
For the most part, the service was good. While we were thinking about what we were going to order and while we were still eating/drinking, the server made sure to check on us periodically and our food and drinks came out in a timely matter. However, after we were done eating and drinking, the server never came back, and after we were done playing our game, we had to look for someone to give us our check.
Overall, our visit to Pinstripes was a good experience and I think I might go back for a special occasion or when we just want to have a good time playing bocce ball with our friends.