This past weekend I was celebrating both my wife's birthday and Valentine's day. As such, it was time for us to drop the kids off at their Nanna's house and get away as a couple for a few days. Those of you who have known me for a while are fully aware by now that [my wife] Meeks' birthday is one of the times throughout the year that I set aside for us as a couple to get away from home and straight up kick it, while we celebrate another year of life for the beautiful woman that God has blessed me with. Those getaways are usually three to four days away from home, and generally incorporate a blend of exciting events and outstanding eats.
This year, due to COVID-19 and all the rumored restrictions that may or may not have been in place by the time we got away; I postponed the trip to Vegas and instead we headed up a few hours Northwest to Rockford, Illinois. While in Rockford; one of the outings we took was her birthday dinner at Greenfire Restaurant Bar & Bakery where Meeks, an avid lover of oysters, was able to get fresh, raw Oysters from James River. Although I originally intended to join her in her oyster consumption, I ended up deciding not to as I just wasn't ready to take that plunge for the first time. Not that that stopped her from enjoying her meal; she thoroughly enjoyed her oysters as she ordered up a couple of rounds and ate all of them. She spoke so glowingly of her love for Greenfire’s oysters, that on the strength of that response alone we are planning another return trip to Rockford and Greenfire Restaurant, Bar & Bakery later this year for more.
FUN FACT: having never eaten oysters before, I was shocked when I realized that raw oysters really meant raw; as in cold; as in served on a bed of ice, cold and raw. I wasn’t ready, so I didn’t try them. You can chalk that up to my giving up meat at the age of eighteen, shortly after leaving home and living on my for the first time. As much as I love seafood, I still have a lot to learn. Meeks did give me a small taste of the oysters from her fork; and I have to admit that the taste was alluring. I think when we return to Greenfire later this year I will take the plunge and turn up my first raw… cold oyster with my wife.
Meeks also had the scallops which were lage, and by her account, extremely delicious. I had their Cedar Plank Salmon which was prepared with herb butter and black Hawaiian sea salt and served with rice, vegetables and potatoes. Up to this point, all I've know about eating salmon is what I've learned from eating salmon made by Meeks since I added meat back into my diet in 2020. It's the only salmon I can remember ever eating after spending 25 year as a vegetarian and a vegan; so with that said, I am completely biased to her seasoning. This is a fact that did absolutely nothing to prevent me from enjoying the salmon that I ordered at Greenfire Restaurant, Bar & Bakery in Rockford, IL. The salmon was prepared perfectly for my liking and seasoned to perfection. The salmon was crispy on the outside, soft and pink on the inside; and every single bight filled my mouth with a warm, flavorful burst of joy. I literally enjoyed every single bight.
Words cannot fully express the ways in which I enjoyed my meal. Everything from the ambiance, the politeness of the staff, the company of my wife. It was all so perfect. I want to particularly commend Greenfire on the ambiance that they set specifically for the Valentine’s Day weekend. Although we were technically celebrating my wife’s birthday; we were kind of celebrating both holidays. The mood that they set was perfect for the occasion; and the meal they served us was equally exquisite.
I think it’s fairly obvious at this point that I would vehemently recommend for you to stop into Greenfire Bar, Grill & Bakery for dinner if you are ever in or near Rockford, Illinois. It may even be worth planning a trip to the area and while in town you can also swing by the Rockford Art museum, Nicholas Plant Conservatory, or the Burpee Museum of Natural History. You could even take a romantic, evening stroll along their River Walk. Whatever you do while in Rockford, IL; be sure to make yourself a reservation to enjoy the food and the ambiance at Greenfire Restaurant Bar & Bakery.