Thursday, February 16, 2017


22 East Chicago Avenue
Naperville, IL. 60540
wheelchair access, ample parking, valet

Story and photos by Dwight Casimere

22 E. Chicago Ave.
Naperville, IL 60540
wheelchair access, ample parking, valet
moderate pricing

story and photos by Dwight Casimere

Rosebud is an authentic Italian American dining treasure in the heart of Naperville's bustling downtown area, near the Riverwalk. With its spacious sleek, modern dining room, cozy bar area and outdoor patio, its an ideal place to enjoy traditional favorites with a modern flair. The service is quick and courteous, and the atmosphere is lively. The bottom line, however, is the food. Long-time favorites such as Shrimp Scampi, Homemade Cavatelli, Eggplant alla Parmesan, or Chicken Vesuvio, are front and center on the expansive menu.

 The food is delicious, with copious portions and reasonable prices. The appetizers are large enough to share. There's almost enough variety there to make for an entire meal, but don't cheat yourself out of the flavor bonanza to follow with the main courses.

A glass of Prosecco, that northern Italian bubbly that is champagne's lighter, slightly sweeter cousin, got things off to a delightful start. Appetizers of Fried Calamari and Fried Shrimp arrived within a flash. The seafood was perfectly cooked, crisp and crunchy on the outside, soft and flavorful on the inside with a spicy marinara sauce and a healthy slice of lemon wrapped neatly in a cheese cloth to prevent seeds from dropping onto the plate. Nice touch! 

Fried Calamari and Shrimp with Chopped Salad and Prosecco

Besides the wide array of pasta dishes, meat and seafood of the day is prepared any way you like it from a list of Italian specialty preparations; Picatta, Vesuvio, Marsala, to name a few.

There are also a number of specialities of the day, which are well worth asking for. On a recent Valentine's Day menu, a featured item was Medallions of Filet Mignon prepared three ways; with a mushroom and brandy suace, bearnaise with fresh crab and artichoke on top and with a cap of flavorful Guyere cheese. It was delicious served with a glass of Palazzo Della Torre Red Sangiovese wine from the magnificent Allegrini estate in Verona in northern Italy. The flavors of the wine, redolent of rich, ripe, red berries and a hint of baking spice and black pepper from careful oak aging, made for an excellent flavor combination. A side of the house speciality Rigatoni with rich, house made marinara sauce, rounded out the flavor medley. The fish of the day, Salmon, was prepared with a simple dusting of olive oil, mushroom and herbs and topped with fresh Shrimp. The salmon was pristinely fresh.The portion was large, meaty and perfectly cooked, with the salmon flaking under the pressure of the fork. It too paired well with the flavorful red wine. 

 Fresh Salmon prepared any wsy you like it
A Trio of Filet Medallions with Palazzo Della Torre wine from Allegrini

Artisan Pizzas are made by hand and served with a variety of toppings. The pizzas are perfect for a shared starter or for the main event. They are truly outstanding and, prepared in the brick, among the best in the area.

The freshly made Artisanal pizza dough is hand rolled and trimmed

The restaurant features a spot-on Tiramisu for dessert that is as close to the original that I had in Treviso. I was too full from the main courses and opted instead for just a scoop of plain vanilla ice cream to cleanse the palate. That just calls for a return visit! For reservations and information, visit

The spotless, bustiling stainless steel kitchen at Rosebud Naperville

Rosebud Naperville:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


By Dwight Casimere

Marina Cvetic Montepulciano D'Abruzzo FOC San Martino Rosso ($29.99) is a rich robust wine that is perfect for the foods that go with the kind of brisk weather we've been having in advance of spring. Hearty soups and stews, roasted meats, game birds and thick porterhouse or bone in strips quick cooked in the oven on hi broiler temperature with a mushroom sauce bolstered with a splash of the wine are the order of the day. Try a side of riagtoni pasta and broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and olive oil to complete the culinary portrait. The wine is harvested in mid-October for optimum fruit and then fermented in stainless steel under cool temperatures to retain the rich fruit flavors. The wine is then aged in a new oak barrels for 12-18 months to give it roundness and character and all of those underlying flavors of chocolate, baking spice and vanilla that we love in a red wine. The introductory notes of fresh cut red roses and flavors of ripe red cherries and blackberries persist throughout the bottle with
aromas of dried flowers adding to the flavor potpourri. This is a great wine for a hearty Italian meal. Sunday Italian meatballs with oregano and garlic laced red marzano tomato  'gravy' over ribbons of hand cut pasta with a side of spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil and a few red pepper flakes and garlic bread dusted with grated parmesan would be in order for a simple but hearty meal this weekend. San Marzano tomatoes are readily available canned in the supermarket. They have a richer, sweeter taste than most tomatoes, without the bitterness and saltiness of most tomatoes on the market. This dish will go perfectly  with the wine.

Filet of Beef Medallions with Bernaise, Mushroom and Parmesan sauces

Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Story and photos by Dwight Casimere

Dwight Casimere with Michael Foley of
Marco Sabellico-Sr. Editor Gambero Rosso

For nearly three decades. the Italian Food, Wine and Lifestyle media giant, Gambero Rosso International (the Red Shrimp), has honored the best in Italian wine with its Tre Bicchieri (three glasses) award. Since its launching in 1988 along with the first ever Gambero Rosso Guide to Italian Wines, Vin d' Italia, the honoring has expanded to include a world tour, which began in Chicago at the beautiful Bridgeport Arts Center, with its panoramic views of the Chicago skyline, and continues on to New York's Metropolitan Pavilion and on to Los Angeles and San Francisco. The tour expands internationally to Canada, Dusseldorf, China and, for the first time, Moscow. The tour not only is a showcase for the greatest wines produced in all regions of Italy, it is also a recognition of the growing prominence of Italian wine in the international market place. In many major cities around the glove, Italian wines are selling right along pace with French wine, and, in the United States, have found inroads into a new generation of young, adventurous wine drinkers who are embracing new varietals based on rediscovered indigenous types of grapes.
Among the favorites at this embarrassment of riches was Lamole di Lamole Chianti Classico 2012 ($21.99) and Basilicata Il Preliminare 2015 from Cantine Del Nataio sparkling wine ($21.99).
 Tre Bicchieri is not only a celebration of great wine, but a sign of the rejuvenation of a zest for life and all the many pleasures it enfolds.

 Rashell Sisley of Santa MargherLamole di Lamole  with Chianti Classico
 Maria Elisabetta Fagiuoli with her Montenidoli white wine blend
 Marco De Bartoli with his Baglio Di Planetto

Some faces in the tasting crowd, including our good friend Daoud (below)