We love our area, but sadly we haven’t dined at many of the restaurants. With McHenry County’s inaugural restaurant week coming up, I thought it would be the perfect time to try out new places. We were kindly invited by Visit McHenry County to preview a couple of restaurants included in McHenry County Restaurant Week. The hubs and I have recently become obsessed with wood-fired pizza so when I saw that ShadowView made their own pizzas using a wood-fired oven we were sold. So we rounded up the family and headed to Woodstock. Not only did we have a great time enjoying pizza, but we loved the brew choices as well as the homemade desserts.
Disclosure: Our family was a provided complimentary meal in exchange for a review. I was not required to express a particular point of view, and all opinions are my own.
Highlights of ShadowView Brewing:
- Brews. As you would expect with a brewery – plenty of craft beers to choose from. Loved that they include locally brewed beer. My husband chose the Crystal Lake Slalom King IPA and he was very happy with it. Our waitress was really helpful in helping me find a beer since I like them on the sweeter side. Her original suggestion was sold out so we tried her other suggestion – Little Citra. It was perfect – a little hint of and not too bitter. They are working on brewing their own beer which we can’t wait to come out and try!
- Appetizers you know and love. We were starving so we ordered plenty of appetizers to share. The restaurant covers all their bases with family favs — mozzarella sticks, pretzels (baked in the wood-fired oven, no less), chicken tenders, garlic parmesan fries, and chicken wings. We basically destroyed everything. The kids’ favs were the pretzels and cheese sticks. The fries were pretty yummy as well and perfectly seasoned.
- Pizza. Do not miss out on getting their pizzas. The pizzas, a blend of Neapolitan and American, is seriously yummy! The owner John makes the dough. Everyone was a fan of the pizzas, even my picky kids. We tried a few of them — Margherita, BBQ Chicken, and Hawaiian. I thought the combinations were great, but I was a serious fan of the BBQ Chicken and Margherita pizza. The pizza came out just the way I like it — flavorful with a little bit of crispiness in the crust. Just talking about their pizzas make me hungry!
- Panzerotti. We were pretty excited to find a deep-fried calzone. Needless to say, it was a hit with the kids. It’s humongous so everyone can share.
- Delicious desserts. We did not expect to find homemade desserts at a brewery but wow – they were outstanding. We indulged in the cheesecake, chocolate brownie cake, and fried dough bites. It was delicious and appreciated it even more once we found out they were the owners’ recipes. The kids were pretty fond of the dough bites coated with cinnamon. And yes, there’s plenty of it to share. It was hard choosing a favorite, but I really enjoyed the chocolate brownie with a little bit of a crisp.
ShadowView Brewery is now one of our favorite places for our family pizza nights. The pizza and appetizers are perfect for the entire family, plus adults are able to get their adult beverages, too. We’re already planning our next visit. Most likely during McHenry County’s Restaurant Week when they are offering 20% off!
- It took seven recipe and dough making procedures to find the perfect dough recipe for their pizza.
- It takes 5 minutes to bake the pizza.
Tips to enjoy:
- Hang out at the lounge. There is a lounge area with couches and seating perfect for private gatherings or another option for seating if available. The owner Cindy envisions fun events to be held in that room such as baby showers, bingo, trivia, yoga, book clubs, and classes such as paint & sip/sign making. When it’s not in use, the lounge area is perfect for families. In fact, Cindy mentioned that one family visited and had one child sleeping on the couch while the other was drawing. While the kids were preoccupied, the parents got to enjoy their food and drinks.
- Visit during McHenry County Restaurant Week when they are offerings 20% a non-alcoholic item.
- Have the kids watch them bake the pizzas (or pretzels) in the wood-fired oven through the opening.
Location: 2400 Lake Shore Drive, Woodstock. Located next to Wells Fargo.
Hours: Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Wednesday and Thursday 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Parking: Plenty of free parking in front and back.
Stay tuned for our next McHenry County restaurant review — Duke’s Ale House!