Friday, January 29, 2010

Olive Tap-Downers Grove

Last weekend we were wandering around and happened through downtown Downers Grove. I noticed a new(er) store on the south end of town called "Olive Tap". We went in and found a cool little store that sells Olive Oil! All kinds of olive oil as well as balsamic vinegars. There were about a number of different olive oils, such as the organic Tunisian olive oil we purchased as well as infused oils. The balsamics were also very cool. I think there were two or so 'normal' balsamics and then a bunch of flavored balsamics. We bought a very nice heavy balsamic that we tried that night with a good hearty cheese. It was heaven. I also liked the red apple balsamic, but thought two was a good start. There are other goodies in the store and is a great stop.

The store is located at 5151 Main St. Downer Grove and is located down the street from Bally Doyles. I understand they are moving around the corner to 5143 Mochel Dr. in the Spring. They are a part of a three stores, one in Long Grove and the other in Medina OH. The web page is at

I expect we will be back soon. I can see a small collection of their bottles in my future.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cafe Buonaro's-Back with Gusto

I love Cafe Buonaro's. I point to it about what makes a great restaurant great. Ron Buonaro was one of the finest restaurateurs I've ever met in both how he approached the restaurant, his life and his community. His passing left a great hole in Naperville. When Ron passed away, I worried about Cafe Buonaro's. But change is the only thing that is constant especially for restaurants. I'm very pleased to say that Cafe Buonaro's appears to be alive and well. It is like going home to go in there.

If you haven't been to Buonaro's, here is the layout. It is in 5th Avenue Station towards the Loomis side. It is tucked in the corner of the building but a large sign is over the best doorway. They use the natural brick of the building as the dominant decor, but it still has that Taylor Street look to it. There are no menus just a number of wipe boards with the appetizers, entrees and wines. There is a wine list on the table to see more detail.

The food is old school Italian. Good old school Italian. When Ron passed away, my fear was the food would go downhill without a steady hand in the kitchen. Mama Buonaro (Regina) had the sense to rehire a former chef back. The food is still wonderful. I taste some differences from the past, but the basics are there and it is worth it.

We were there a few weeks ago and my wife had the Baked Spaghetti. This seems lighter than it did before, but still delicious. This is a perennial favorite to us. I had the scallops with roasted red peppers and spinach over pasta and a broth. The red peppers balanced well with the scallops. I had over 12 scallops in the bowl, not bad for $21 or so. The Baked Spaghetti is about $14.

The service is always been good. When Ron was sick, I could tell, their hearts weren't there, but now that it has been a year, they seem to be back in the groove.

This is a strong recommendation from me. It is good old fashion red sauce kind of place. They are very independent and so much better than any Rosebud or such. Give it a try.