Fabulous Bar and a Good Menu Too!

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Today, I ate lunch at a landmark restaurant in a town southwest of Chicago. Today’s lunch marks the third visit to this eatery in the past month. Do I like it? No, I love it.

I learned of the place from my friend, Bob. He loved antiques, and he dined there regularly with his lady- friend. They drove the forty miles on Interstate 80 to exit 112: Morris, Illinois. He spoke of the tasty food, the good service, and the ambiance that the bar and the antique furnishings created. It took five years before I finally visited the Rockwell Inn on U.S. route six just west of Morris. All I can say is this: What took me so long?

The Inn sports decor from a turn of the century (1893-1906) motif. Budweiser commissioned the magnificent bar in 1893, for their pavilion at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Made from mahogany and rosewood, it has a history of its own. The light fixtures represent a collection from 1900’s vintage hotels. Beveled glass windows divide rooms and allow prisms of color to flow into the dining area from the garden. The unique brass door handles came from a business that suffered the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The walls sport a collection of Saturday Evening Post covers featuring Norman Rockwell paintings. There are also a few signed Rockwell prints scattered about. The cover art gave birth to the name Rockwell Inn over thirty years ago.

I tried different entrees at each of my visits. In every selection, the food was of high quality, in generous portions, and prepared to satisfaction. The steaks are juicy and delicious. A bread bar compliments the salad bar stocked with an ample variety of veggies and prepared salads. The bread bar has freshly baked loaves of white, wheat, and dark rye. It invited me to cut a generous slab to enhance my loaded salad plate. A barrel filled with pickles sits in the corner almost hidden from view.

After the wonderful repast had me loosening my belt, the server tempted us with the desert tray. I should have eaten desert first. Peggy and I shared a specialty of brandied vanilla ice cream. The desert came presented in a wide rim wine glass filled with a heaping swirl of ice cream blended with Christian Brother’s brandy, and topped by a flaming sugar cube.

If you still have some disposable income, treat yourself to a meal at this fabulous restaurant. Enjoy the art, the bar, and the great cooking. * * * * *


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