What’s to Like About Rockford: Nunzio’s Restaurant

Nunzio's Restaurant, Loves Park, IL

Nunzio’s Restaurant, Loves Park, IL

It’s been a while since I wrote a “What’s to Like About Rockford” post. During most of 2012-2013 I was in the habit of posting one feature per month about my favorite places unique to the city I’ve called home for the last fifteen years. Rockford tends to get a bit of bad press and since, for the time being, my family has planted our roots here, I thought spreading some optimism was warranted.

So why did I stop writing these feel-good posts? I’m thinking it had something to do with my serving jury duty on a horrific murder trial and listening to the testimony of a dozen or more local police officers. Yes, I admit I was a bit jaded about my home town afterwards. My posting habit was broken.

Yet, there I was at Nunzio’s last Saturday night, enjoying the food, the service, and the conversation with my gal pal about everything writing (she’s one of my critique partners) and everything wedding (she just got married), when I realized, “Hey, I really like this place. I should write about it on my blog.”

So in the spirit of revealing Rockford’s gems rather than ruminating about my beleaguered city, I offer up Nunzio’s as another entry in the “What’s to Like About Rockford” series.

Nunzio’s is a family-owned restaurant that has been in Rockford for over thirty years. Their menu features Italian cuisine from pizza to pasta to pork chops. It was certainly the go-to place last weekend. We had a long table next to us that seemed a bit grim when they were first seated, but they loosened up after a few cocktails, and left in a very good mood right before us a mere 3-1/2 hours later. Prom goers sat at most of the other surrounding tables and there was enough sparkle to steer a ship through a fog bank. In other words, there was an awful lot of this:

Sequins, sequins, everywhere

Sequins, sequins, everywhere

But the real star of the night was the food. My friend Jen and I both had the famous Steak Sinatra, a char-broiled New York Strip, covered in De Jonghe butter and crumbs, baked in an oven, and then bias cut. It comes in two portion sizes, 14 oz and 20 oz.

Steak Sinatra, the smaller one ;)

Steak Sinatra, the smaller one 😉

One half of this meal for dinner, and the other for breakfast!

If you’ve never been to Nunzio’s you should give it a try and if you haven’t been there in a while, well what’s keeping you? Check out their menu here and their website here.

Photos of Nunzio’s by Karin Blaski; Photo of sparkle © Jessie Eldora Robertson