At Donati’s You Can Have Your Breakfast & Pizza Too

A popular breakfast pizza is Donati’s deep dish “Hangover” featuring 7 eggs, hollandaise, hash browns, cheddar and more. – photos

by Tina Johansson

Wouldn’t it be nice to roll out of bed on a Sunday and be able to have someone at the door, telling you, “Your hot breakfast is here!”?

Enter Donati’s Pizza of Lake Bluff.

The one and a half year old “fast-casual” eatery located next to Heinen’s Grocery Store on the east side of Waukegan Road is now serving breakfast and delivering it too.

Have you ever heard of a pizza place opening its doors at 8 a.m.? Well to the delight of its customers Donati’s has been opening early since January to be right on time for breakfast.

“We are new to serving breakfast for our walk-in customers, but we have been doing this for corporate clients since we opened,” said owner Jeff Urso.

Jeff Urso, founder and owner of Donati’s Pizza in Lake Bluff. Urso, a Lake Forest High School graduate opened his first pizza place at the age of 24.

“We have found that people love trying new experiences like this. The breakfast pizzas have been well-received,” said Urso who opened his first pizza restaurant in Highland Park at the age of 24. He sold the place called Moccio’s in 2010 and opened the first Donati’s in Lake Forest soon after. In the summer of 2015 he moved the business to Lake Bluff.  

Urso, 31, said people are loving the breakfast pizzas which come either thin crust or a hearty deep dish style which can feed up to 8.

The most popular? “I would have to say that’s our ‘Hangover’ pizza (deep dish style). It’s almost like an eggs Benedict on a pizza,” said Uno. The ‘Hangover” includes such tasty and satisfying ingredients as hollandaise in lieu of pizza sauce, Canadian bacon, onions, hash browns, cheddar cheese, green pepper, and eggs.  “I think I like making it as much as people like eating it,” said the owner.

Urso acknowledges that there are a few other “fast casual” pizza joints in the area, but nothing is quite like Donati’s. “We do big pizzas here including a 18 inch,” he said. “We also deliver, and now we serve breakfast which they don’t have.”

Donati’s is perfect for the busy weekly lunch crowds. The pizzas are baked in a special oven which features jets blowing 500 degree air onto each pie as it travels on a conveyer belt. This makes for a fast order. In fact a deep dish can be thoroughly baked in 10 minutes, a thin crust in 8.

Donati’s features a variety of size pies from 10 to 18 inches.

“We have a lot of traditional Chicago favorites, but we put a spin on things,” said the owner.

Pasta, sandwiches, salads and calzones are also served, as well as beer and soft drinks. An often-ordered dish is Donati’s chicken wings. They come in a variety of flavors, and instead of being fried, they are also baked in that special oven.

Urso said he and his wife Kamila are high school sweethearts who graduated from Lake Forest High School. Mrs. Urso grew up in Lake Bluff, while he lived in Lake Forest.

The Urso’s reside in Lake Bluff where they are raising their three sons ages 1 to 11. The couple finds it important to give back to the community, and are always involved with local projects, said the owner.

Donati’s employs 35 people including delivery drivers, and has enough seating inside their corner location for up to 35 diners, including enough for 50 more on an outdoor patio.

Donati’s offers catering and carryout’s. The restaurant is located at 205 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Bluff. Call: 847.735.8900.

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