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LaSalle restaurant helps hungry patrons score a full, satisfied belly

December, 2010

As we dragged ourselves from the car, my friend and I were greeted by a frigid gust of air that almost sent us scuttling back into the vehicle.

It was a miserable night and it took determination to face the bitter, glacial wind that assailed us as we scampered through the doors of Rotisserie Scores on Newman in LaSalle. We were welcomed in from the cold and ushered into a comfortable booth.

Scores was ready for the holiday season. The room was warmly lit, and tasteful paintings and red stockings graced the walls, wreaths adorned the lamps. The richly varied salad bar was festively decorated: Gifts and ornaments spilled from the canopy over the vegetables and toppings; a miniature glowing Christmas tree crowned the display.

Waiters glided around the tables, efficient members of a well-oiled and personable machine. Grandparents, parents, grandchildren circled the salad bar ($3.95), and I joined the line, helping myself to some excellent potato salad before returning to my table with my friend Danielle Szydlowski to choose from the rest of the menu. We selected garlic bread ($5.25) and chicken wings (six for $7.50), and decided to share main dishes, a quarter chicken breast and half-rack of back ribs with fires ($19.95) and Texan chicken brochette ($14.95).

As the first dishes descended to anoint our table, we grinned at each other. We knew we’d scored, no pun intended.

The chicken wings were succulent and tender, gilded with a delicious crispy outer layer.

The garlic bread, served with bruschetta on the side, was made with thick, doughy bread straight from the oven, just the right amount of garlic, and a topping of mixed melted cheeses whose buttery aroma reached us even before the plates were lowered to the table.

The service was quick and efficient, our waitress gracious. The main course followed the last with aplomb, and it wasn’t long before we were tucking into our food, too busy licking our fingers to bother to take notes.

The ribs were colossal, slathered in a smoky barbecue sauce and falling off the bone, the chicken monumental but incredibly tender. The other dish, labeled on the menu as an “Inspiration,” had a more exotic quality and wholly deserved its title. The marinated grilled chicken brochette sloped across the plate on a heap of spicily scented rice, two plump scoops of potato completing the paradisiacal image of culinary achievement.

My friend and I didn’t speak for half an hour save to utter the odd grunt of enthusiastic but inarticulate approval, so occupied were we with our meals. Be warned: The portions are large, but this is no cause for regret. We were almost saturated with gluttony when we allowed ourselves further indulgence.

Already full to bursting, we couldn’t help but let our eyes slide over to that tempting vision, the dessert menu. It was too much to resist, and we ordered a fondant au chocolatey ($5.95) and New York-style cheesecake ($4.25).

We could feel our stomachs expanding beneath the table and we began to wonder just how wise ordering a fourth course had been.

Our doubts were dispelled as the desserts were lowered to the table. The fondant was a vision of luscious chocolate cake, topped with chocolate and caramel sauce, encasing a hot chocolate lava that threatened to erupt as I eagerly perforated it with my fork, all engorgement forgotten.

Danielle’s cheesecake was a fluffy, delectable apparition set atop graham crackers and topped with strawberry sauce.

When we finally lurched away from the table, feeling heavy but immensely satisfied, we were reluctant to leave the warmth of the restaurant for the icy breath of the air outside.

We’d had a thoroughly enjoyable (albeit gluttonous) experience. The food was not too costly, the atmosphere was excellent, and the large portions were regarded with delight rather than apprehension.



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