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North Aurora Days beer tasting expanded


Updated: September 4, 2012 6:06AM

Our family has always enjoyed North Aurora Days. The many activities, bands, and fireworks always a create a festive family-friendly atmosphere.

This year brings some new activities including a video game truck at Clocktower Plaza today; a French market at Island Park tomorrow; some new bands; and a new restaurant called Raimondo’s partnering with Two Brothers Roundhouse to revive and expand one of the best adult events — the beer tasting!

I spoke with Michael Treve, owner of Raimondo’s. He told me there will be six companies represented and added: “I owe a lot to Jim Ebel of Two Brothers and Todd Pierce of Fox Deluxe for helping get them on board. Together we are providing a great sampling of some of the best Chicagoland microbreweries around, including Metropolitan, Finch’s, Solemn Oath of Naperville and Big Muddy from downstate. Reps will be on hand to tap and discuss the beverages served.”

The $25 admission covers not only 10 beer samples, but also a commemorative glass and a dinner sampler by Raimondo’s chef, Eric Daniels.

When I asked Treve what inspired the event, he answered: “I just happen to be passionate about beer. Today’s brewers are creating such fascinating stuff from traditional styles that have stood the test of time. But also because we grew up and own a business in North Aurora we knew that we wanted to be a significant participant in North Aurora Days, and what better way than to bring back a great event like the beer tasting.”

Some residents may remember Treve’s original restaurant on Rt. 31 some years ago. Treve said that though the new restaurant is recent, “the history dates back to around 1988 when my mother was making pizzas for my dad who worked midnights as a North Aurora police officer.”

He explained that “Raimondo” is his father’s nickname. “It came from dear family friends who were our only neighbors when we first moved to North Aurora in 1980. Anunzio and Florence Covelli and my parents quickly became dear friends. ‘Nunz would yell from a few doors down, ‘Hey, a-Raimondo! Whenna-you gonna come-a-down an play-da-cards? Huh?’”

Treve noted that they still use his father’s sauce and mother’s dough recipes. He added, “At the age of 71, my mother, Sally, still makes our sauce and dough daily. Raimondo’s wouldn’t be possible without her; my dedicated business partner and father, Raymond; my wife, Donielle; my sister Tara; Chef Eric Daniels; our Staff Manager Susie Manko; and our staff who all treat Raimondo’s patrons like friends.”

Beer tastings are a regular event at Raimondo’s. Treve told me: “I pick a topic, like Austria or Christmas ale and research it . . . I then create a presentation and describe such things as the topic’s history, the cultures associated, geography, the varieties of ingredients . . . Everybody gets fed with pizza that we tie into the styles and have a great time. Our next session will be taking place next month and will cover India Pale Ales.”

The North Aurora Days beer event will be on Saturday, Aug. 4, from 1-4 p.m. at Raimondo’s Pizza & Pub at 1033 Kilbery Lane (southwest corner of Randall and Orchard). If wine is more your thing, Raimondo’s will also host a wine tasting for North Aurora Days Aug. 3 at 3 p.m., showcasing 11 different wines. According to Treve, “there will be a wide array from both red and white, dry to sweet, from Cabernet to Moscato to Pinot Grigio.”

Reservations are not necessary, but are recommended since there is limited seating. The cost is $25 for one or $40 for both tastings. For reservations, call 630-301-7727 or stop by the restaurant. The full schedule for this year’s North Aurora Days is at Hope you can enjoy this great community event!

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