Olympic Tavern hosts Openfields Local Foods Dinner Sept. 24

Staff Report

The Olympic Tavern is a locally-owned business that first opened in 1945 as a mainly blue-collar beer and burger joint. Since then, the Rotello family has developed the restaurant into a veritable west-side landmark by maintaining its welcoming neighborhood atmosphere while steadily improving its décor, beer and wine selection, and menu. The Olympic also hosts interesting theme meals, bands, charitable events and soon, Tuesday, Sept. 24, an Openfields Local Foods Dinner.

The Olympic Tavern is new to the popular dinner series organized by University of Illinois Extension. Third-generation restaurant manager Zak Rotello jumped at the opportunity to participate in the popular events.

I appreciate being offered the opportunity to host an Openfields event,” Rotello said. “We have a strong relationship with a few local growers, but are interested in reaching out to more farmers in order to increase the amount of local foods on our menu.”

Openfields events are designed to do just that: U of I Extension partners with local restaurants each summer to put together a series of dinners featuring all locally-grown foods to strengthen the working relationship between area growers and local businesses.

The Olympic Tavern Openfields dinner will be held Tuesday, Sept. 24, at The Olympic Tavern, 2327 N. Main St., Rockford.

Rotello and staff will prepare a fantastic, four-course meal featuring the freshest ingredients found in the greater Winnebago County region. Dinner is $50 per person and includes one non-alcoholic drink. An optional wine and/or beer pairing will be offered for an additional fee; gratuity is not included. Cocktails begin at 6:45, with dinner at 7 p.m. Registrations are required and are made through University of Illinois Extension.

University of Illinois Extension’s Openfields Local Foods Dinner Series is a popular summer dinner series that brings together innovative restaurants, talented chefs, local farmers and savvy diners to celebrate healthy, delicious, locally-produced foods. For more about this or another dinner in the series, visit http://web.extension.illinois.edu/jsw or call U of I Extension at (815) 986-4357.

From the Sept. 18-24, 2013, issue

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