Friday, January 18, was the first day of gastronomic delight in Alton, Illinois, and nearby Grafton as restaurants offer fixed-price menus, many highlighting their specialties, during Alton’s Restaurant Week. The “week” is actually ten days, spanning two weekends, so you have through Sunday, January 27, to savor the flavors of 16 locally owned, one-of-a-kind Alton restaurants.
The event, sponsored by the Alton Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, Phillips 66 and Schlafly Beer, was developed “in an effort to support these small businesses that are so important to the backbone of our communities,” said Brett Stawar, President of the Alton Regional CVB. “We chose the month of January specifically to encourage visitation at our restaurants during an often cold and challenging time after the holidays for our restaurants,” continued Stawar. “Thanks to Restaurant Week last year, many of our businesses reported new traffic and customers trying out the tastes we offer.” Alton’s Restaurant Week falls in the midst of the region’s popular eagle watching season, so you can plan to eagle watch between restaurant visits.
Each of the participating Restaurant Week businesses is offering a $10 lunch menu and/or a $25 dinner menu. The dinner menu at many of the more casual restaurants is priced at two for $25. Some of the highlights are:
Castelli’s at 255
Indulge in Castelli’s locally popular fried chicken for lunch, a recipe handed down through the generations of the restaurant, now celebrating its 75th year. Visit in the evening and enjoy a multiple-course ribeye and shrimp dinner, which starts off with a toasted ravioli appetizer.
Try Tony’s specialty pepperloin, tender and cooked to your liking. If you order a salad as a side, be sure to ask for their house sweet vinaigrette dressing.
Grafton Winery & Brewhaus
With a beautiful view of the Mississippi River, you can sip a glass of wine to complement one of several pasta dishes. Then buy a bottle of wine or two, produced on the premises, to take home with you. If you prefer beer, visit the Brewhaus on the lower level.
State Street Market
Choose two from their lunch menu of the daily soup special, small gourmet salad, and gourmet half sandwich or panini, plus dessert.
Pere Marquette Lodge
Dine in the 1930s-era rustic lodge situated in scenic Pere Marquette State Park, the largest state park in Illinois. Make a getaway of your outing; book a guest room or stone cabin for the night.
Other participating restaurants include:
- Mississippi Half Step
- Alton Sports Tap
- Franco’s Restaurant
- Gentelin’s on Broadway
- My Just Desserts
- Rib City
- Olga’s Kitchen
- Aunt Sam’s Uptown Eatery
- Chez Marilyn
- Johnson’s Corner
Alton is about a four-and-a-half hour drive southwest of Chicago, located near St. Louis.
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