Best Bites has returned to offer all the news, comings and goings, and changes to local eateries in the area.
We begin by welcoming Olive Garden. Located at 2048 N. Illinois Route 50 in Bourbonnais, the restaurant opened with limited hours earlier this week. Beginning Saturday, their hours will be Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The restaurant serve a wide variety of Italian dishes, including their unlimited soup, salad and bread sticks. New to the menu is a gluten-free version of some of the most popular Olive Garden recipes. The new Garden Fare menu is available for the health-conscious. Don’t forget to try the new Passion for Parmesan-crusted menu items.
Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Olive Garden’s phone number is 815-802-0204. Give them a big welcome to the neighborhood.
La Villetta at the Elks opens April 3. Owners Amy and Ramon Diaz will be managing the Kankakee Elks Country Club dining room. The same menu as their Bradley location will be available. Try the Zuppa Toscana; it’s heaven in a bowl. Amy said they will offer banquets for weddings and private parties, and if you booked an event for the summer, you should call her at the Bradley location, 815-939-4960, or the Elks, 815-937-1228, to confirm.
The dining room will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. every day except Sunday and Monday, when it will be closed. The seasonal snack shop will be opened for golfers.
La Villetta’s Easter brunch buffet will consist of 25 items, including prime rib.
Here are a few Easter brunches that might interest you:
* The Bennett-Curtis House in Grant Park will be serving from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Easter. Fifty items and a sweet station with a chocolate fountain will be available. Cost is $20.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 10 and younger. Call 815-465-2288 for reservations. The Bennett-Curtis House is located at 302 W. Taylor St.
* Kankakee River North Dining & Banquets is taking reservations for their Easter brunch. Cost is $25 for adults, $8 for ages 12 and younger, and ages 4 and younger eat free. Prime rib, ham and chicken will be available. Call 815-939-1210. The restaurant is located at 555 S. West Ave. in Kankakee.
Need a very special Easter treat? I recommend the cinnamon babka at Nana’s Cakery & Bake Shoppe in Bradley. Melts in your mouth! Owner Wanda Warman also has egg-shaped, stained-glass cookies filled with raspberry jelly, French macaroons in pastel colors and vanilla bean cheese cakes, plus an assortment of beautiful breads. Nana’s also offers egg-shaped, stuffed cupcakes in a variety of flavors. You need to order now to get those special treats in time for Easter. Nana’s Cakery & Bake Shoppe is located at 205 S. Quincy in Bradley. For more information, call 815-802-8000, check out their website, www.nanas
cakery.com, or visit their Facebook page.
I received a tip from three pint-sized fans, Max and Molly Markland, and Tyler Illum, of Grant Park, who highly recommend Mayberry Junction in Manteno. They said the owners, Arleen Kiousis and Ken Sparger, make the best dinosaur bites and grilled cheese. I recommend their fried chicken — crisp and mouthwatering. Try the breakfast skillets, too. Well worth the drive to Manteno.
Mayberry Junction is located at 390 N. Locust St. in Manteno.
Don’t forget Let’s Eat Out, our online restaurant directory and coupons portal. Go to www. i57life.com/letseatout for printable coupons, menus and special offers. While you’re there, check out the Deal of the Day, too. Dairy Queen is offering a “buy one medium or large DQ cone, get one free” deal.
Best Bites appears every Friday in The Daily Journal. Tinker Parker can be reached at 815-802-5101, at bestbites@ daily-journal.com, or follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/TDJBestBites.