[Wooden Paddle features a variety of Italian favorites perfect for sharing, such as the Burrata Caprese, featuring burrata mozzarella, grape tomatoes, basil chiffonade, olive oil and a balsamic reduction.]
"So many people our age getting married want fun, live chefs on site cooking for you – these craftsmen doing their thing," Jonathan Cowan said.
They currently have three mobile ovens, and seeing the concept's success prompted them to create the Lemont restaurant with its own wood-fired oven.
"My wife and I are both 30," he said. "We're millennials. Anybody who comes in here can tell it's not your average restaurant. It's a modern design. [We hired] an awesome architect to make a beautiful layout for us.
"It's minimalist, yet it has some really fun features," he said, citing such examples as an Instagram wall with @woodenpaddle, customer-submitted photos; and the eye-popping flamingo wallpaper in the women's restroom.
Beyond good food, Wooden Paddle is designed to be an experience. Its website calls it a communal, wood-fired pizzeria, where plates are passed, shared among friends and created to create discussion.