by Steven Doyle
Five Creeks Tavern in Highland Park Village is located in a space which has had past identity troubles. Those troubles seem to have magically vanished in light of this new Italian hot spot that caters evenly to local families and single adults alike. The menu is decidedly red checkered table cloth Italian replete with one of the better examples of VPN Neapolitan pizza made in an imported wood burning oven, a slew of pasta dishes where guests can easily mix and match sauces and pasta varieties.
A must order appetizer, chicken parm bites
Note that everything is made in house from the mozzarella cheese to the incredibly delicious tiramisu. All this under the guidance of Eduardo Flores, the same gent who brought us a fine example of BBQ at Katy Trail Ice House, and the burgermeister at KT Burger located just below the Five Creeks space. The sweet story behind Flores is that he is not a classically trained chef, but instead self-taught head waiter at some of our city’s best restaurants, including Sevy’s Grill where he was the front of the house wunderkind for ten years. Flores tells us that he made a point to learn all he could about how a kitchen is run by spending spare time learning recipes then recreating these at home. The result is a hard working, talented chef. We say self-taught, but he did recently train and receive certification as a VPN pizza maker. You may recall VPN as the governing body that regulates true Neapolitan style pizza. This is also where he honed his cheese making skills.
The pizza that Flores offers (and is made in full view of the dining room) is uber crispy with a flavorful, bright sauce and power-packed with fresh ingredients including that house-made mozz. There are plent of combinations to choose from, or feel free to build your own. Or, as we did, play roulette and have Flores make you one of his off menu specialties. Regardless, you will be seriously pleased with this pie.
The pastas are made in house as well using a gorgeous pasta extruder. You will flip over the freshness of the bolognese.
Five Creeks, which is named for the five creeks that filter through Turtle Creek in Highland Park, has a nice wine list and plenty of brews on tap. These along with great cocktails can be enjoyed in a super cool clubby lounge. You may also enjoy dining at one of the lounge tables or bar. This may be a great choice if scampering kiddos isn’t your thing.
Five Creeks is extremely affordable and has a fantastic view, especially with the millions of Christmas lights that dot the Village during this holiday season making the restaurant a perfect destination this month. Look for a new menu coming very soon that will include a slew of steaks and more pasta options. Five Creeks is open only for dinner service at this time.