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Paragon on State; Rockford, Ill. Rockford’s Paragon restaurant lives up to its billing as a “model of excellence.” And the fine dining that it offers is just one block from the county courthouse. The $9.50 beef tenderloin sandwich prepared at the lunch hour for an ALM reporter was tasty, juicy and generous. Paragon’s full lunch and dinner menus reflect the varied tastes of northern California-French cuisine. The lunch menu highlights a wide array of unique salads and sandwiches as well as several entrees. From the simple Caesar or yellowfin Asian tuna salad to the artichoke pasta or jerk pork tenderloin, lunch at Paragon caters to many palates — and at a reasonable price. After a long day in court, wind down with a glass of wine and survey a menu that features a variety of game and seafood entrees. Reel in the Atlantic salmon or the Chilean seabass at market price if you feel like fish, but if you’re game, catch the venison & pheasant kabob. Paragon also offers several vegetarian dishes, including fire-roasted peppers, polenta and saut�ed vegetables, curried tofu and ratatouille. A late menu is available after 9 p.m. on weekends and offers appetizers, sandwiches and desserts. Enjoy live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 8:30 p.m. Paragon boasts an impressive fine wine list and a vast array of imported as well as domestic beers. The service is fast and courteous — the waitstaff goes out of its way to accommodate any reasonable request. The expansive open floor seating is arranged so that no two tables are very close, allowing for some conversational privacy with clients or colleagues. And the very long bar with individual seating along the length of one of the four walls makes for a convenient place to hold “side bar” conferences, if needed. Restaurant: Paragon on State Location: 205 W. State St., Rockford, Ill., just a block from the county courthouse. Phone: (815)-963-1660; reservations recommended Hours: Lunch served Tue.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dinner service begins at 4:30 p.m., Tues.-Sat. Proprietor: The Rebman Family Chefs: Tyler and Mary Rebman Darryl Van Duch contributed to this review.

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