Dining Outside the Home: Tour of Italy in Greenfield, Indiana! There’s something charming about an eatery located on the town square a few steps from the county courthouse. Inside the decor is Old World Italy with rustic brick walls dividing spacious seating for a romantic meal for two, weekend entertainment for a crowd, or outdoor dining on the patio. The wait staff is as friendly as family. If you’re lucky, the owner of Tour of Italy may step away from the alcove kitchen to twirl pizza dough into the air. With fresh ingredients, made-from-scratch garlic knots, and authentic Italian cuisine, it’s difficult to choose just one item. Order enough to share and take home the rest. Problem solved.
Dining Outside the Home: Paradise Restaurant in Key West, Florida! “Behind every storm, there is a paradise waiting for you,” say owners Christian and Julian Velez. Together they created Paradise Restaurant, specializing in tasty Latin American food. Their hospitality alone embraces everyone who comes to dine here. Sure, the iguanas may come into view over your shoulder, but that only adds to the ambiance of outdoor seating. Sit back, sip on a salty-sugar rimmed margarita for good measure while deciding what to order. Ever tried sweet and succulent fried plantains? You must. They are simply delish caramelized niblets of green bananas. Pair them with pork carnitas and Cuban black beans. Talk about Paradise.
Dining Outside the Home: Lemongrass Grill in Kapaa, Kauai! Venture down the road to Choy Village for a quiet dinner in an old Kauaiian homestead. The tropical ambiance of Lemongrass Grill stretches from outdoor patio dining to indoor secluded areas. Their specialties include international dishes from land and sea. If curry is your thing, Lemongrass Grill is spot on with gluten-free and vegetarian entrees. Happy hour cocktails and appetizers influence your time among the Pan-Asian culture. Take a sip of the popular “Blue Hawaiian”, garnished with a pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry. Take a break from the beach to be transported away for a satisfying meal. You deserve it.
Dining Outside the Home: Café Portofino in Lihue, Kauai! Feel the romantic rhythm of northern Italy in a tropical destination overlooking the beach. This is paradise on the island of Kauai. The food is true Italian cuisine, the wine from cellars across the world. Café Portofino, a family-owned business, offers fresh seafood and locally sourced vegetables as well as classic dishes. Notice the Red Beet Salad and Grilled Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, both celebration-worthy. Chat with the wait staff. Their friendly reception is warm and connected with deep-felt hospitality. For a memorable evening, especially bringing in the New Year, treat yourself to a taste of Italy.
Dining Outside the Home: Native Tongues Taqueria in Calgary, Canada! If you’re looking for traditional street foods of Mexico mixed with a desire to socialize, you may wish to experience the cantina atmosphere of Native Tongues Taqueria. A quick glance will have you wondering if the soft patina of adobe walls peppered with festive Mexican tiles are for real. They are. Communal wooden tables and solid benches promote casual conversations. Fresh ingredients make up for the pricey miniature tacos, which disappeared in three bites. Other patrons seemed to gravitate to the authentic guacamole and house made chips washed down with a signature Mezcal margarita. Sharing platters is the way to go. The chef-driven labor-intensive attention to detail keeps this restaurant from falling into the category of “Mexican fast food”.
Dining Outside the Home: Lorena’s Mexican Restaurant Bar & Grill in East Peoria, Illinois! Whenever my husband and I travel, we tend to gravitate to places that serve authentic Mexican food, recommended by locals. On a day when the outside temperature was as stifling as the Chihuahuan Desert, nothing sounded better than an ice cold margarita on the rocks. As we slid into a booth at Lorena’s, the air conditioner struggled to keep up. No worries. A smiling waiter offered salsa picante that matched the heat with hot sauce and chilies. One bite, one sip, and our minds were flowing with the mariachi music. “Fiesta Fajitas for Two, por favor.” Moments later, a sizzling platter overflowing with tender meat and roasted vegetables arrived satiating the appetite. Gracias, amigo!
Dining Outside the Home: Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine in Richmond, Indiana! Picture this: It’s one of those days where sunbeams dance over striped umbrellas and the breeze is gentle enough for a meal on the patio. The aroma of freshly baked bread, or naan, drifts throughout the area enticing customers with pungent undertones of curry and turmeric. With attentive customer service, each guest feels like family at Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine restaurant. The lunch buffet is an authentic diversity of grains, fruits, meats, vegetables, and spices. Options are available for “dialing up the heat a notch or two” for those willing to experience flavoring beyond the norm. Begin with appetizers and work your way through to dessert. If you’re looking for adventure or the allure of dining among friends, a rich history of Indian food awaits you at Gulzar’s Indian Cuisine.
Dining Outside the Home: Olde Richmond Inn in Richmond, Indiana! Dining al fresco is a luxury impossible to ignore, especially when the sky is blue and the sunbeams are warm. Colorful umbrellas beckon guests to sit awhile and enjoy the international specialties of the house skillfully prepared by the master chef. Every course becomes an unique discovery of the palate through the catering skills of the Molina Family. Is it any wonder this popular restaurant has been voted “Worth the Drive” by Indianapolis Monthly Magazine?! Located in the Old Richmond Historic District, this 1894 home-turned-restaurant is a landmark destination worth experiencing.