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Rovezzi's two sites still open.

Byline: Barbara M. Houle

We hear rumors about restaurant closings all the time.

The one about Rovezzi's Trattoria in Rutland shutting down Easter Sunday was right on the mark. Chef/owner Chris Rovezzi opened the restaurant two years ago in the former Tavern on the Common.

Closing the restaurant was a difficult decision, but also a smart one, Rovezzi told us this week. Weekend business was "gangbusters," he said, but midweek dining hit a low. "The economy definitely affected business," he added.

Rovezzi said customers have sent e-mails expressing disappointment and asking him why he closed Rutland. "When I e-mail people back, they have a better understanding of why I closed," Rovezzi said.

Rovezzi wants to put to rest rumors that he may close one of his other restaurants. Rovezzi's Ristorante, 2 School St., Sturbridge, and Rovezzi's Ristorante, 108 Grove St., Worcester, are doing just fine, thank you.

Rovezzi has owned Sturbridge for seven years; Worcester, three years.

The Sturbridge location switched over to a spring/summer menu a few days ago. A new house specialty is a 20-ounce grilled, bone-in rib-eye steak. Plan on getting a taste of Gorgonzola and Tuscan fries with the entree. Buffalo mozzarella from Italy is another new item at the restaurant.

Rovezzi's in Worcester will have an Italian wine dinner at 6 p.m. Monday. Cost is $79 per person, inclusive. Call (508) 753-4511 to reserve. Rovezzi and chef Tommaso Gargiulo will present courses.

Look for Rovezzi at Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, April 28, in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Worcester. This is his seventh year! "I try to do as many local fundraisers as possible," he said. Rovezzi also plans to compete in Worcester's Best Chef in the fall.

Rovezzi said gift certificates purchased in Rutland can be used in Sturbridge or Worcester.

If there's more to the story, Rovezzi's not telling. But we're sure he has heard the rumors.

* * *

Chef/owner Richard Romaine of Romaine's Wood Bar and Grill, 299 W. Main St., Northboro, will donate 20 percent of its Wednesday sales to the Asperger's Association of New England during April National Autism Awareness Month.

Romaine and his wife, Erin, have a son, Connor, who was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome three years ago. In a note to customers, the couple said, "We understand firsthand the challenges that families go through when dealing with children on the spectrum. We are blessed with wonderful family support. Not all families have the support system that we have and we understand the need for groups such as AANE, Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks."

We say, not only will diners enjoy a great cause, but they also will enjoy great food.

Check out the renovations when you're there.

* * *

The Millbury Women's Club and Lenny's Liquors in Millbury will present a Wine & Hors D'oeuvres Tasting at 7 p.m. Saturday in Asa Waters Mansion in Millbury. Proceeds will benefit the historic mansion.

Cost is $25 per person. Tickets may be purchased at Lenny's Liquors, or by calling (508) 865-9831 or (508) 865-0855.

Fine wines and premium beers will be poured. Chocolate will be paired with dessert wines.

* * *

If you want to reserve tickets for Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, April 28, in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Worcester, call the Worcester County Food Bank in Shrewsbury, (508) 842-3663.

Last week, an incorrect number we received was published in the column.

* * *

The Castle Restaurant in Leicester will have its "Global Meritage" wine shootout at 3 p.m. Sunday at the restaurant.

More than 18 wines from 12 countries will be sampled. Cost is $39 per person. Call (508) 892-9090 to reserve.

* * *

Chris and Helena Liazos, owners of the Webster House Restaurant in Worcester, put a few new early-bird specials on the menu. Prices range from $6.99 to $7.99. Regulars know that they always walk away from the place with leftovers.

Order by 5 p.m. to cash in on the deal.

* * *

We're hitting the road this week to check out a few new dining spots. Stay tuned!

-------------------

If you have a tidbit for this column, call (508) 793-9145. Send e-mail to bhoule@telegram.com.
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Title Annotation:LIVING
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Apr 3, 2008
Words:693
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