Rockford, Ill. (WTVO)—

Sam’s Ristorante and Pizzeria on Riverside has been declared the winner of the search for Stateline’s Best Appetizer! This is the second win for Sam’s Ristorante and Pizzeria on Riverside and owner Gino Galluzzo is grateful for the votes from the community. To celebrate, Gino and Joe Galluzzo brought their winning calamari along with some other popular items on their appetizer and dessert menu. One of the items they’re showing off is the gluten free chocolate cake. Gino says that for some people the fact that the cake is gluten free can seem unappealing, but Gino encourages everyone to give it a try. They also brought their classic bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, basil, and cheese. You can order these lovely appetizers by visiting them at 6075 E Riverside Blvd #4413, Rockford IL. You can also check out their website to find any deals by heading to To accompany the appetizers and dessert, Gino and Joe are helping Michelle make an Empress Shirley cocktail for Spirit Day. Make sure to check out our recipe below.

Empress Shirley

2 oz Gin

1 oz Grenadine

1 oz lemon juice


1.      In a cocktail glass, pour grendadine and then add ice.

2.      Add gin and lemon juice. Stir

3.      Top with Sprite.

Sponsored By Rush Creek Distilling