54 MAIN BISTRO. 54 Main St, Hobart. 219.947.2817. bistro54main.com. The ever-changing menu created by Chef Scot Hinkel is sure to please gourmets, and the spectacular views are sure to entice anyone. This 1895 Victorian cottage is filled with local art offering organic wines, craft beers and specialty martinis with a gorgeous deck for outdoor waterfront dining.
ASPARAGUS. 7876 Broadway, Merrillville. 219.794.0000. asparagusrestaurant.com. Asparagus offers a rare opportunity to experience fine dining in a serenely elegant environment while savoring dishes from the cuisines of Thailand, Vietnam and the Americas, all informed with classic French culinary artistry. The restaurant offers everything from Seafood Pad Thai to Honey Kumquat Quail and Wasabi Herb-Crusted Lamb Rack as well as the signature lobster mango spring roll and a variety of satays.
BENNETT CURTIS HOUSE. 302 W Taylor St, Grant Park, Ill. 815.465.2288. The 18 room mansion was built in 1900 by George M. Bennett, then purchased by Illinois Senator Edward C. Curtis. The House is set on spacious ground shaded by 100 year old maples flanked by bubbling fountains, sweeping lawns, lush cool ferns & colorful flowers. The menu features luxury cuts of steaks, gourmet seafood and other specials prepared to perfection. Their five course wine and dine gives diners the best of everything.
BISTRO 157. 157 W Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.462.0992. bistro157.net. Trained in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu, chef and owner Nicole Bissonnette-Sanders has created a menu of classics-like a decadent sautéed veal and gulf shrimp, a pork rib chop with apple horseradish ham, and an herb-rubbed roasted half chicken-combined with her own creative takes on nouvelle cuisine with a number of fresh fish selections. There are some treasures on the extensive list of bottle wines, and many solid choices by the glass.
BLACKSTONE WOODFIRE GRILL. 7311 Mallard Lane, Schererville. 219.769.0000. blackstonewoodfiregrill.com. Tucked away on old Route 30 in Schererville’s Foxwood Estates, BlackStone Woodfire Grill is Northwest Indiana's destination for mouthwatering steaks, tender ribs and bone-in chops, tasty chicken, and perfectly-grilled seafood. The selection of wines and decadent desserts will tempt all gourmet’s senses.
BURGERHAUS. 3304 Calumet Ave, Valparaiso. 219.286.3296. burgerhausrestaurants.com. Burgerhaus serves creatively-delicious burgers based on international cuisine. The traditional burger goes abroad with a custom blend of the finest meat cuts infused with special seasonings from around the world. Burgerhaus is locally owned and operated by the Costas Family, and is a concept created by Jon and Evan Costas.
CAPPO’S CASUAL DINING. 6656 US 6, Portage. 219.762.5563. capposcasualdining.com. Cappo's Casual Dining offers a superb selection of Italian and ethnic food in a casual, family friendly environment. Cappo’s features beer and wine along with the meal, and also offers occasional specials to keep regulars coming back for more.
CHUCK & IRENE’S BAR, RESTAURANT AND HOTEL. 6110 Kennedy Ave, Hammond. 219.844.9812. chuckandirenes.com. Chuck and Irene’s offers traditional family cuisine in a comfortable and homey atmosphere. For more than 60 years, Chuck and Irene’s has been serving the Hessville community with their full-service bar, restaurant and hotel.
CIAO BELLA. 1514 US 41, Schererville. 219.322.6800. ciaobellaonline.com. The cuisines of three different regions of Italy are featured at the newly opened Ciao Bella, a ristorante, pizzeria and wine bar. The extensive wine list focuses on European and Californian wines. Delivery and take-out available.
CRACKER BARREL. Locations in Hobart and Hammond. crackerbarrel.com. For a home-cooked meal away from home, step into any Cracker Barrel to get a warm welcome and a warm, freshly cooked meal. Don’t forget to browse through the Old Country Store before you leave.
DON QUIJOTE. 119 E Lincolnway, Valparaiso. 219.462.7976. donquijoterestaurantandimports.com. Proprietor Carlos Rivero's authentic Spanish cuisine, lively and friendly atmosphere, and conviviality with his return customers make this downtown Valparaiso restaurant a destination. Grilled steaks and lamb and veal chops are abundant and cooked according to family recipes handed down for generations. The house specialty is a flan-textured vanilla cake.
EDWARDO’S NATURAL PIZZA. 7920 Calumet Ave, Munster. 219.836.2010. edwardospizzamunster.com. Edwardo's Natural Pizza Restaurant has been dishing out quality Chicago-style pizza in the region since 1986. Accompanied by their selection of fresh salads, savory pastas, and appetizers, Edwardo's is sure to please.
GAUCHO'S. 597 US Hwy 30, Valparaiso. 219.759.1100. gauchosvalpo.com. At Gaucho's, diners enjoy delicious and unique cuisine invented by the Gaucho cowboys of southern Brazil, who provided meats for the people of Brazil with their famous "Churrasco" barbecue. All dinners include a 35-item salad bar, Brazilian mashed potatoes, and fried bananas. Start or finish dinner in the Twisted Martini Lounge upstairs for cocktails, cigars and live entertainment in a modern, intimate setting.
GINO'S STEAK HOUSE. 1259 W Joliet St, Dyer. 219.865.3854. 600 E 81st Ave, Merrillville. 219.769.4466. ginossteakhouse.com. The chefs at Gino's, who have more than thirty years of combined experience, use only the freshest ingredients in their homestyle cuisine. All main dishes are served with the restaurant's signature marinated peppers, and entrées include fish and lobster delivered daily. A premium selection of wine, beer and cocktails is available at the full-service bar.
JELLY PANCAKE HOUSE. 399 E. 81st Avenue, Merrillville. 219.736.0100. The newest breakfast hotspot in Northwest Indiana starts early at 6am, with a menu that features eggs that can be accompanied by steaks or pork chops, large omelettes, freshly squeezed orange juice, crêpes, skillets, French toast, waffles and pancakes that take the old favorites to a whole new level. Homemade soups, burgers, salads, wraps, and varied entrees are among the choices for lunch.
KELSEY'S STEAK HOUSE. 2300 US Highway 30, Valparaiso. 219.465.4022. 5630 US Hwy 6, Portage. 219.762.2242. kelseyssteakhouse.com. This stalwart Indiana restaurant has built and maintained a first-rate reputation for a great meal at a fair price over many years. But in recent years, Kelsey's has expanded the menu in imaginative ways to include a range of choices such as rib bites, escargot and oysters Rockefeller.
LUCREZIA. 428 Calumet Rd, Chesterton. 219.926.5829. 302 S Main St, Crown Point. 219.661.5829. lucreziacafe.com. Lucrezia has been a Northern Italian favorite since owners Michael and Nada Karas first opened it in the mid-nineties, in a historic downtown Chesterton building. Signature dishes include chicken Vesuvio and roasted lamb shank braised in its own juices accompanied by roasted potatoes and braised red cabbage.
MINER DUNN. 8940 Indianapolis Blvd, Highland. 219.923.3311. A local favorite for several generations, Miner Dunn is the quintessential Northwest Indiana diner. Their famous burgers are well known, as well as their other sandwiches, sides and desserts.
MARTINI’S. 1004 Calumet Ave, Valparaiso. 219.464.0801. martinisinvalpo.com. Martinis Culinary Cocktail Lounge offers a full service bar with an extensive martini list of more than 120 selections, top shelf spirits and craft beers there is something for every palette. From the tempting appetizers to the homemade soups, sauces, pastas, seafood and certified Angus meats, Martinis seeks to be the premier dining and entertainment experience.
ROUND THE CLOCK. Various Locations, roundtheclock.com. Open 24 hours, Round the Clock restaurants have been a Region staple for and a popular favorite for family dining. Breakfast is always robust and flavorful, while lunches, dinners and desserts are sure to please any crowd. Round the Clock restaurants serve as a favorite meeting place for formal and informal gatherings alike.
SIAM MARINA THAI CUISINE. 16846 S Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park. Chef-proprietor Tammy Pham has evolved into a legend for her mastery of a full men with dozens of vegetarian options as well as traditionally spiced and marinated poultry dishes. The spring rolls and peanut sauce are prepared in-house daily, along with special soups. The authentic pad Thai has a loyal following, and fresh coconut works in many of the dishes, including dessert.
TAPAS CAFÉ. 2486 W Lincoln Hwy, Merrillville. 219.769.7008. tapascafe.net. Tapas Café offers a fusion of always-fresh traditional artisan Spanish-Iberic meals. Tapas include a wide variety of appetizers of Spanish cuisine. They may be cold such as Salpicon de Mariscos or warm like the Calamari a la Plancha. Appetizers from the southwest such as the nachos or quesadillas are also available. Salads are guilt-less but flavorful.
T-BONES PIER 11. 1111 Lakeside, LaPorte. 219.362.5077. pleastshore.com. This Italian steakhouse is carefully tucked into a cove of scenic Pine Lake. The spacious dining room is reminiscent of a traditional supper club, but a terrace overlooks the harbor and instead of being at a roadhouse, you are on the beach. As expected, the seafood hits a high standard; a range of salads, pizzas and pasta selections round out the lighter supper fare. This is the place to indulge in a T-bone, New York strip, filet mignon or flat iron steak grilled over a wood fire.
T.J. MALONEY’S AUTHENTIC IRISH PUB. 800 East 81st Avenue, Merrillville. 219.755.0569. starplaza.com/dining/diningtj-maloneys. T.J. Maloney’s is one of the area’s top social destinations for meeting with friends, family and business clients. In addition to the genuine atmosphere, the pub features signature, authentic Irish menu items, blended and balanced with American favorites. Irish classics include Corned Beef and Cabbage, Shepherd’s Pie and T.J.’s Famous Fish and Chips, while burgers, hearty sandwiches and homemade soups round out the savory experience.