Photos: Velvet Buffalo in Beloit, Wisconsin
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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You Gotta Try This is the Rock River Current’s weekly dining feature focused on signature dishes at your favorite local restaurants. Want to see one of your favorites here? Email email@example.com to suggest a local staple.
Address: 500 Public Ave., Beloit, Wis. (inside Hotel Goodwin)
Owner: Geronimo Hospitality Group
General manager: Roland Stier
Hours: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; closed Monday and Tuesday
You have to try: We couldn’t pick just one thing for this trip. Our two main dishes were spaghetti with meatballs and autumn squash agnolotti. We also had an appetizer, or antipasti, bruschetta, and the chocolate tiramisu with cocoa nib cookies and mocha gelato for dessert.
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What’s in it:
- Spaghetti and meatballs: House-made spaghetti with classic marina sauce that’s also made in-house, pickled fresnos and parmigiano-reggiano.
- Autumn squash agnolotti: House-made stuffed pasta with delicata, butternut and autumn frost squash, brown butter, sage and hazelnuts.
- Bruschetta: Scallion pesto on grilled focaccia with roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and ricotta salata.
Why you should try it: Velvet Buffalo’s spaghetti is made from scratch in-house from the sauce to the pasta to the meatballs. That’s true for every dish on the menu. Its menu is filled with staples of Italian cuisine, but it’s the restaurant’s quality — from the ingredients to the artful plating — that sets it apart.
“We keep things fairly simple, but extremely high quality,” said General Manager Roland Stier. “Our chef takes special care in preparation.”
That care shows in both the taste and presentation, which Stier hopes makes dining at Velvet Buffalo an “experience from the beginning to end.”
Velvet Buffalo also offers farm-to-table freshness with locally sourced vegetables and other ingredients. Its cheeses come from Italy, and it has an expansive wine selection.
The autumn squash agnolotti, which has a hint of sweetness, is one of the seasonal offerings on the evolving menu.
Pro tip: Just like your mother warned you: Don’t fill up on bread. That’s easier said than done with the fresh sourdough made in-house at Velvet Buffalo. The flavor profile makes it a favorite of the general manager, too. “It’s probably some of the best bread I’ve ever had,” Stier said. “I have to keep myself away from it.”