5 Tips Toward
Dining Out for Less
are -- at last count anyway -- something like 140 restaurants in the
Tri-Cities area alone; that is a fairly large number for just three
towns along the scenic Fox River. Each and every one of those dining
destinations has something that's worth exploring, and there are a number
at which I have dined, whose food, service and ambience are certainly
I am fortunate to have had
extensive experience in all of the areas/positions available in the
restaurant industry: I started at age 16 as a busboy and dishwasher;
I have waited tables, served as a line, grill and head cook, saut� man,
bar-back, bar tender, bar manager and general manager at various venues
from Illinois to California� and back again. I have a solid understanding
of payroll, food and bar costs. I believe that my skills in those areas
allow me to possess a unique advantage when it comes to assessing the
quality of food, beverage, service and operations of restaurants.
As anyone who has worked in the business will attest, once in your blood,
it never really leaves.
Articles & Audio content by Richard
Note: Any opinions or statements regarding restaurants
are mine and are not necessarily shared by Northern Sky Designs or On
Cooper's Hawk Winery &
Located along Route 64 and on the outer edge of "The Quad"
(formerly Charlestowne Mall), Cooper's Hawk Winery and
Restaurant is an outstanding addition to the dining venues
in the Fox Valley area.
Fox River Distilling Company
Perhaps you may have
noticed, in a casual walk down Third Street in Geneva this past
summer, a sign on the window of a then yet-to-be-open business
called Barrel and Rye. The sign advertised "Coming
Soon: Fox River Distilling Company". I was immediately
intrigued, of course, and vowed to visit the distillery...
Top Table Restaurant Review
The cuisine is described as decidedly
American, with a promise from the chef for fresh ingredients
and local sourcing of meats and produce. If previous dinners
are any clue as to Top Table�s
cuisine � and I believe they are � you�ll be in for a treat.
Steakhouse & Grille
a tour of the dining area -- which allows seating for 350 diners
and includes a towering wine wall, five private dining rooms
and an area that allows glimpses of the kitchen (where I imagine
an extremely well-orchestrated faux-bedlam that resembles a
Tchaikovsky symphony and a brilliant pas-de-deux) -- we adjourned
to the bar area where the Perry's resident mixologist
Susi Zivanovic was delivering up some of the finest examples
I submit the following dinner suggestion
for your garden harvest -
Angel Hair Pasta with Zucchini
The dish is quick and easy to prepare
and turned out incredibly well when I made it just the other
night. By the way, this will easily serve dinner for two;
increase the proportions accordingly for a family of four or
Aliano's Ristorante in Batavia
Ice water, fresh, warm bread
and olive oil were brought promptly to our table; we snacked
on the bread and sipped a generous cocktail as we perused the
menu. What greeted our eyes was a great cross-section
of Italian antipasto (appetizers) favorites...
Comes to St. Charles!
Their store will definitely have
its own unique character and identity; no two Forever Yogurt
locations are identical. According to David, "we
will rotate through up to 70 different froyo flavors, offering
16 at time along with over 50 toppings."
The RendezVu in Batavia
I decided that I wanted to share
readers a bit about RendezVu restaurant in Batavia. My
wife and I have visited on several occasions and enjoyed cocktails,
appetizers and dinner. During the warmer months, the outside
patio is a great place to enjoy a snack and a beverage while
watching the Fox River roll past...
An Even Flow of Music, Spirits
Naturally interested in food and
dining, I was curious to know how the venue would combine a
swanky new music scene with its dining options... To answer
that question -- and a few more -- I recently had the opportunity
to steal some time away from a very busy Daniel Emerson, executive
chef for Even Flow...
Bugermeister... der Grill
The real key to outdoor grilling
is... experience. As simple as that sounds, achieving
that perfect steak, burger, whole chicken (or fillet), pork
roast or chop, fish fillet or grilled veggie is something that
is not as easy as one might think. And there are a large
number of factors that will contribute greatly to...
The Couponing of America
Whereas coupons have, in the
past, been limited to grocery stores and clothing, there has
been a fairly recent explosion in the range of items on which
coupons can be used; coupon use is reaching epic proportions.
Dining on the Patio
My love for eating in the out-of-doors
likely started when I was barely old enough to remember.
It seemed as if we were always going on a family picnic,
or sitting at the back yard picnic table enjoying a light snack
with neighbors... at least in the months warm enough to do those
things. And, as I have gotten older, I have been fortunate
enough to have sampled the patio offerings in numerous
locations around the country and, no matter the state, venue
or menu, there is just something about that outdoor meal that
is irresistible. Living in the Midwest does have its perks...
Dinner at Rox City Grill
at Hotel Baker
seemed like the perfect excuse to dine out and use the certificate,
too. We had been to Rox City Grill on a couple of other occasions,
but only for cocktails and entertainment from a local musician;
after checking out the website and its menu, we were convinced
that it would be the perfect time to try dinner.
My main interest this past Monday
was breakfast; I was starving! As my wife and I passed
the hotel's front desk and continued toward the restaurant,
a young lady turned from her tasks and asked if she could help.
Our query regarding breakfast was met with a broad smile and
a short statement: "Certainly, if you would please follow
But the Reuben --
if it's made with really good corn beef -- now
is something to which I can always look forward; it is definitely
one of my absolute all-time favorite sandwiches.
A burger is a very personal thing.
Everyone has a list of criteria that should be met if a particular
example is to qualify as a favorite, and almost everyone has
a burger on their menu.
I have located three restaurants...
Sonoma Cutrer Wine
Dinner at Harvest
An incredibly eye-appealing Pesto Shrimp nestled on a Seared
Wild Mushroom Polenta Cake drizzled with a Roasted Red Pepper
was aptly paired with...
Chalk Hill Wine Dinner
and crispy potato horn-of-plenty spilled forth Pan Seared Spicy
Scallops with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Micro Greens,
Hill Wine Dinner at Harvest
Mini Phyllo Roulades with roast shrimp, wild mushroom, spinach
and Asiago cheese, Smoked Duck and Caramelized Onion Tostones
Year's Eve at Pheasant Run Resort
I have always celebrated New Year�s Eve, sometimes
in �style� and sometimes not, but I have almost always enjoyed
the celebration and the passing of one year into the next.
And one of the things that I have always tried...
Wine with Dinner?
For those of you who have had
the pleasure of attending one of the wine dinners offered at
local restaurants, this article may seem a bit silly, since
I presume that you are probably used to occasionally enjoying
a marvelous bottle of wine with your dinner...