Your story is worth sharing.

It's a journey, not a destination!

Posted by: Ranka on March 25, 2012

In the Mediterranean of the 1400's, "taking the plunge" meant, at it's most extreme, going from Rhodes to Alexandria, a voyage of about four days on the open sea, out of sight of land. So imagine how crazy it must have sounded to hear about the travels of Columbus, or the Basque fishermen, or even the Vikings who ventured into what the Arab's called at that time "The Sea of Darkness". Now a days we are so lucky to have the opportunity to travel around the world in a quarter of the time it took them to cross the Mediterranean Sea, that it would be foolish for us not to enjoy the opportunity to see the world and sample its many cultures.

Pinched is all about sampling cultures! Pinched is not your typical Mediterranean restaurant that sticks with exclusive flavors that only exist in one part of the world. We're explorers, like the sailors of the old days, and we want to bring you on the journey. So don't be surprised when you notice that our food is a little different than you might expect. Even though our home base is the Mediterranean, we aren't biased when it comes to ingredients that taste great and enhance the natural flavors of history! Eat well!

Now open!

Posted by: Ranka on January 20, 2012

I get the best feeling when I'm doing things to make other people happy, but when I'm doing it with a group of friends that get that same feeling, it's ten times better. We are ready to share that with everyone now that Pinched is open for business! So come on in and break bread with us. Like us on Facebook. Rate us on Yelp. Share some great experiences with us! We want to know you and we want you to get to know us.

Construction of our Lombard Location Going Smoothly.

Posted by: Ranka on October 30, 2011

Nikola Tesla once said, "I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success". I couldn't agree more while watching our construction crew build out the restaurant. It really makes me feel like anyone can succeed when they put their mind and heart into their work. I've also realized that life is all about three things. 1) Finding your passion, 2) Finding people to share that passion with, and 3) creating something with that passion to share with everyone else. Keep your eye on the prize!

Fall is Here

Posted by: Ranka on October 1, 2011

Well it looks like the weather is finally catching up with us and it's only a matter of time before we find ourselves knee deep in snow but before that happens there's an opportunity to enjoy the changing of the season and all of the wonderful colors that come out in autumn. In fact, we chose the colors for our Lombard location in honor of the changning season. Keep yourselves warm and healthy while we gear up for the chill. We are really excited about being a new safe haven where you can come in from the cold. See you soon!

Locations of Inspiration - The Balkans

Posted by: Ranka on September 23, 2011

Because the food at Pinched is so different compared to what people normally consider to be Mediterranean food, I thought it would be good to give some background about the regions from which we take our inspiration. The Balkans are located in Eastern Europe and have been influenced by both European and Middle Eastern culture and cuisine for centuries. Many of the spices that we use in our chevaps have their origins in farms that have been around for an amazingly long time. While the region itself is known for being a place of constant change, it is through that change that so many wonderful cultures have melded together to form some of the most interesting cuisine in the world. Chevaps, for instance, originated from Turkish kabobs, though you would never guess it if you've tried them.


Human beings are explorers, first and formost. Just look throughout human history. All we ever wanted to do is search for answers about who we are, where we came from, what else is out there to experience, and who we can experience it with. We tell stories about our travels through books, plays, art, conversation and yes, even food! The way we like to tell our story is with our food and we love to share that story with anyone we can because it's a story about everyone. It's a story about being human, where all our life experiences shape us into the people that we are.

Our food is influenced by many places throughout Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans, and the Americas. It's a story about exploration and enjoying every moment of life that we have!