Regional Dining Guide - 14
Ross Vehmeier, general manager of The Rafters, is working with his dad, Gary, to develop the Lena Brewing Company. (Samantha Ryan photo)
The Rafters: New Brewery, Expanded Menu Debut

The newest attraction at Lena’s favorite highway stop is just the start of a fresh new look.

Greek Pork Chop, The Olympic Tavern: A single or twin 5-ounce pork chop is grilled and topped with olive tapenade, feta cheese, roasted red pepper coulis and sauteed spinach.  “To add flavor, I add olive oil, fresh herb capers and anchovies,” says Chef Jerry Frystak. “There’s no sauce or cream, just red pepper sauce that is mildly sweet and spicy at the same time, which enhances the flavor. It’s topped off with a little feta cheese to deepen the experience and give your palate a little run-around.” (Tom Holoubek photo)
Local Restaurants Present Healthful Options

Healthy eaters can breathe a sigh of relief, as local restaurants are catching on to the latest eating trends. Meet four local chefs who are helping a fitness center to take up the charge, with some delightful new dishes.

Shpresim and Afrim Seferi, owners of Amici Italian Grill.
Amici Italian Grill: Hands-On Owners Offer Fresh Italian Fare

Meet a pair of brothers who go the extra mile to create a warm, inviting atmosphere at their brand-new Roscoe restaurant, and discover some of the mouthwatering dishes they’ve dreamed up.

Masuo Kobayashi started JMK Nippon in 1984, and today works with son John. (Chris Linden photo)
JMK Nippon: From Japan to America, With Love

Meet the industrious family behind this longtime Asian favorite, and learn how it grew from a simple idea into one chef’s American Dream.

Jayme Braasch, general manager, Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint, Beloit (Tom Clabough photo)
Merrill & Houston’s: A Steak Joint With Plenty of Sizzle

Meet the faces behind downtown Beloit’s newest favorite, and discover some of the local history that’s memorialized inside.