Reader Review: BISTRO 108: Locally-owned restaurant with amazing homemade food and good prices

August 31, 2011

Bistro 108 Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting, Aug. 3, 2011: (from left) Allen Godin (Northwest Bank), Tom Seeling (co-owner BISTRO 108), (behind Tom is Dennis Barker, a friend), Mayor of Loves Park Darryl Lindberg, Jennie Scott Braun (co-owner BISTRO 108), (behind Jennie is Kyle Wadleigh, chef of BISTRO 108), Diana Johnson (executive director of the Loves Park Chamber),behind Diana is Sam Felker (BISTRO 108 staff) and Bryan Orvis (Edward Jones). (Photo provided)

Editor’s note: I met Matt Marinaro, owner of M Technologies, Inc., a few months back, and he said he’d like to write about a great new restaurant he went to recently. I said, “Go ahead, send it in to contact@rockrivertimes.com.” He did, and we are happy to print a review by one of our readers. So much so, we invite our readers to send in a review of their favorite restaurant with pictures and a caption, identifying people from left to right. The Rock River Times truly strives to be the voice of the community. We cannot guarentee we will print all submissions, but we will enjoy reading them. We look forward to hearing from you. — Frank Schier, editor and publisher

By Matthew J. Marinaro
Owner, M Technologies Inc.

My fiancée and I had dinner at BISTRO 108, 6164 E. Riverside Blvd., in Loves Park the other night and had an array of appetizers and two main courses.

The atmosphere is quaint. You can dress up or down. I saw people in sportcoats where others were wearing jeans with baseball caps.

We started the night off with our first appetizer, cheese sticks. I wanted to start with this one first because normally I would never think of ever ordering a cheese stick. But in the case of BISTRO 108, I will order again and again. They are made there with a fresh-smoked mozzarella and breaded. Flavor was amazing. It took a minute for the smokiness to hit my palette, but when it did, fantastic! It also comes with a dipping sauce. Who knew someone would reinvent the cheese stick?

The next appetizer to come out was a spring roll, which is out of this world. The spring roll was light and crispy, with the freshest ingredients. When the spring roll came out, it was hot and ready to eat.

The last appetizer we tried was the bruschetta. Nicely toasted bread with fresh basil and finely chopped tomatoes with freshly sprinkled parmesan. It was nicely seasoned, with a light vinaigrette undertone.

For the main course, I had the rigatoni with vodka sauce. It was piping hot; noodles were cooked to perfection and had two nice-sized meatballs. I normally do not order anything to do with spaghetti at a restaurant because I like making it at home from scratch as well. It was everything a vodka sauce should be and more. It was not heavy and thick, like I have had in the past. The sauce was light, with just a little bit of richness. I have to say it was wonderful.

My fiancée ordered the 12-ounce steak with blue cheese and basil sauce. I have never found myself to be a blue cheese fan, but every time she offered a piece, I could not resist. She thought it was great as well. One more thing about the steak … I met the owner, and he said they make sure it is aged properly so every cut comes out perfect. Quality control is a plus when I go out because when I reorder a particular dish, I want it to taste the same every time. Both entrées were done to perfection.

I would recommend this to all for lunch and dinner. There is something for everybody.

PS: Went back for lunch and had the hamburger and had their homemade fries, WOW. Awesome to see someone actually still cares about fresh, delicious food. If you think that the hamburger is too big of a portion, they have smaller versions called sliders.

Visit soon, and support BISTRO 108. Call for resevations at (815) 977-5611, or stop by 6164 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park.

From the Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2011, issue

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