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Best Italian Food

Outdoor dining at Lucrezia


Locations: 428 S. Calumet Road, Chesterton; 302 S. Main St., Crown Point

Phone: 219-926-5829 (Chesterton), 219-661-5829 (Crown Point)

Nada and Michael Karas continue to grow their Lucrezia brand with the opening last year of Lucrezia Trattoria in Culver. It joins Lucrezia Café, which opened 18 years ago in Chesterton and Lucrezia Ristorante, which opened 13 years ago in Crown Point.

The couple also has a sister company, Good to Go by Lucrezia, a gourmet store in Chesterton carrying olive oils, balsamic vinegars and a wide array of wine, pastas, cheese and more.

Some of the secrets of the success, according to Nada Karas, are the staff, the fresh, from-scratch food and a passion for what they do.

“We have a great staff that has been with us for a long time. It’s a big part of our success. We consider our staff our family and many have worked here for numerous years,” says Karas. “Our historic homes and quaint alfresco dining set us apart, too.”

Everything, including desserts, is made on-site from scratch. “There are no frozen, vacuum-sealed entrée pouches coming in from a corporate location,” says Karas. “We don’t own a microwave or a deep fryer.”

Lucrezia’s signature dish is the roasted lamb shank, which is braised in red wine, onions and fresh rosemary for 4 to 5 hours and served with red cabbage and roasted potatoes.


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