This hidden gem in Rockford is becoming well-known for its unique food, casual atmosphere and reasonable prices. See what the restaurant is serving up lately, and what you’re missing out on.
Years before he opened it, owner Nikko Castrogiovanni mulled over the concept for Baci’s Kitchen in his mind. He envisioned a fast-casual atmosphere for breakfast, lunch and dinner that would become a neighborhood favorite because of its good food, reasonable prices and speedy service.
That’s exactly what happened.
“I wanted to name it Baci’s because baci means ‘kisses’ in Italian,” he says. The restaurant offers a Kiss Back Rewards punch loyalty card.
At Baci’s Kitchen, 2990 N. Perryville Road, Rockford, inside A Perryville Place (between Olde Creek and Spring Creek roads), most of the food goes through the back door, with delivery, carryout and catering service. Online ordering will soon be available.
“Baci’s is an order-at-the-counter operation,” Castrogiovanni explains. “We give you a number and bring the food to you. We also offer the ability to start a tab, which is something many people really like. They start with appetizers and drinks, then come back up and order the rest of the meal. It works out really well.”
The friendly, comfortable atmosphere at Baci’s beckons diners to sit back and relax.
“We have some people who just sit all day and do homework or office work,” says Castrogiovanni. “Some come in to drink beer or wine and enjoy our happy hour and sports on TV. Being Wi-Fi friendly gives us the capability to host those kinds of get-togethers.”
Patrons also enjoy live music each Friday and Saturday night from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday is Trivia Night and Thursday is Date Night, with $15 bottles of house wine and $3, 16-oz. draft beers. Monday nights bring half-price pizzas, Tuesdays $20 pitchers of sangria. Sundays mean half-price appetizers like wings, nachos, flatbreads, hummus, guacamole, bruschetta or loaded fries.
Baci’s menu offers Italian and American cuisine, with many health-conscious and vegetarian options. For breakfast, classics like waffles and omelets are favorites, but so too are breakfast bowls such as quinoa, spinach and hard-boiled eggs with avocado, tomato and feta cheese, served with toast, for the same price. There’s also steel-cut oatmeal with fresh fruits and spices, or Greek yogurt with fresh berries, granola, bananas and honey.
“The breakfast pizzas are great to pick up and take into morning office gatherings,” says Castrogiovanni.
The lunch/dinner menu begins at 11 a.m. daily and includes sandwiches, paninis, wraps, specialty salads, pizzas, calzones and full-blown entrees like peppercorn-encrusted sirloin filet or lasagna.
Especially popular are Baci’s healthful signature protein bowls such as the Salmon Bowl, with blackened salmon filet, brown rice, sesame seeds, spinach, avocado, edamame and shredded carrots, for $14. Other protein bowls star chicken, seared tuna, steak, shrimp or vegetables with quinoa.
Baked French onion and other signature soups are available in bread bowls and sweet potato fries are on the menu. There are also daily specials.
“In the kitchen, Baci’s is led by an experienced line of cooks,” says Castrogiovanni. “Our fresh produce, meats and fruits are brought in fresh daily. Our meatballs and Italian beef are made each day, as well as our sauce, soups and most of our menu items. And the pizza has become a favorite in this East Side neighborhood.”
Castrogiovanni credits his staff members with making the restaurant come to life so successfully.
“We strive to achieve the hands-on customer service interaction that some fast-casual restaurants lack,” he says. “Baci’s is led by a great team of managers on the floor and other employees who work hard to make you happy.”
Baci’s Kitchen opens every day at 8 a.m. It closes on Sundays at 8 p.m.; on Mon.-Wed. at 9 p.m.; and Thurs.-Sat. at 10 p.m. Find the complete menu at Baciskitchen.com.