dining

Meditrina Market Cafe a delightful discovery

Sometimes if you stray onto a side street from the main road, you’re rewarded by finding something unexpectedly wonderful. That’s what happened to my wife and me when we stumbled upon Meditrina Market Cafe in Valparaiso. Meditrina is a small 26-seat eatery that feels like …

Rodizio’s adds some spectacle to good food

Where else in Northwest Indiana can you see brilliantly colored, preening peacocks braying on the rooftops? At the region’s Meyer’s Castle, home of Rodizio’s Steak House in Dyer. You arrive through a cast-iron gate and drive along the base of the hilltop limestone mansion to …

Service, generious portions entice at Schererville Lounge

It’s a good sign when the first thing that greets you entering the Schererville Lounge is the alluring aromas of fresh seafood, those tantalizing scents of broiled shrimp, steamed crab legs and succulent walleye seduce your nose and spark your salivary glands.

The Schererville Lounge …

Lucrezia Cafe’s Italian cooking wows diners

How could we resist roast quail with a marsala cream sauce and a mushroom risotto over a bed of lightly braised spinach? The short answer is, we couldn’t. It was the first week of this early blossoming spring and the unseasonably warm weather it briefly …

Theo’s delivers plenty of bang for the buck

Theo’s Steak & Seafood in Highland is a classic Northwest Indiana steakhouse restaurant with a Greek accent, a place that serves large portions of well-prepared food, delivered with fine, attentive service by people who know what they’re doing. Theo’s, which has been remodeled since we …

Giovanni’s just keeps getting better with age

I’m not sure whether the economy is rebounding or that Northwest Indiana diners are going stir crazy and perhaps feeling, like the budding plants and courting birds, a little confused by the unseasonably mild winter. But on a recent Friday night at Munster’s landmark Italian …

Thai food served with authentic, exotic touches

It was a cold, wet and windy evening when weather forecasters were predicting a major winter storm. Much like the television political pundits, however, their prognostications never materialized. But they had the effect of clearing the streets and only a few brave diners emerged from …

Ursuline’s Kitchen does Cajun food right

We felt the pulsations of the strumming bass and gliding guitar of the voodoo and blues rock even before entering the dark, quirky atmosphere of Ursuline’s Kitchen in Merrillville. For several years Ursuline’s has featured the sounds of C-4 Blues Band out of Hobart and …

Bistro 157 menu delights with every dish

It was a few days before Valentine’s Day and my wife and I were hoping to dine someplace romantic. It wasn’t hard choosing Bistro 157. This downtown Valparaiso landmark consistently serves some of the best food in the Chicago area in a stylishly intimate setting. …

Case Del Mar serves tasty food in a lively atmosphere

It was a Wednesday night at Casa del Mar Mexican Bar & Grill in Munster and finding a table was hard, because the multitalented guitarist and singer Dave Alamillo was performing and it was half-price margarita night. That, plus the dependably good food and cheery …

Seasons’ menu bursts with New Orleans cuisine

What could be better than sipping a cold beer and listening to live jazz?  Eating Cajun, Creole and traditional Southern cuisine while sipping a cold beer and listening to live jazz, that’s what. And Seasons Catering and Restaurant delivers that and more. Seasons is a …

Beach Cafe returns to Miller with new vigor

When an established restaurant changes hands, loyal fans often cringe. Will the new owners retain the staff, service, menu and reputation of the place they love? Or will they ride on the coattails and good name of their predecessors while slowly running the place into …

Sabor’s tropical fare goes beyond Mexican

From the time you enter Sabor Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Highland, it feels like a different world. The infectious rhythms of salsa permeate the atmosphere. A giant, wall-size Mexican mural is painted on corrugated steel and other brightly colored paintings by Hispanic artists decorate …

Valley brings farm-to-fork concept to Valparaiso

I love the idea of Valley: A Farm to Fork Kitchen & Bar in Valparaiso. It’s a clean, spare restaurant with a small, limited menu featuring locally grown foods prepared simply, but with style and fresh ingredients. Valley Kitchen, located on the courthouse square, was …

List Asparagus among NWI’s fine-dining options

Some restaurants are more than just places to salve your hunger. Some elevate dining to an art. Through its spare, but stylishly intimate ambience, the quality of its cuisine and the imaginative presentation of its dishes, Asparagus in Merrillville elevates the dining experience to something more …

Tex-Mex as you expect it at Margarita’s in Valpo

Margarita’s Bar and Grill is a cozy new Mexican-American eatery on the square in downtown Valparaiso, Northwest Indiana’s fine-dining capital. It offers good Mexican food at reasonable prices but with few surprises. This restaurant is located in a long, narrow room featuring rough-hewn wood floors, …