Mezza Luna

We returned here recently after more than two years, and it seems to have gotten even better. Last time I remember having The Chip…so good (pasta in a smoky chipotle cream sauce) that it made that much of a lasting impression. This time I opted for the pasta primavera and the vegetables were just crisp enough and the pasta had this foreign delicious sauce on it (butter, ha!) Chris went for his standard choice, eggplant parmesan. He enjoyed it, too (I think he might have wanted more cheese), and although I have a hard time with Italian restaurants that serve mashed potatoes, these were garlicky and nasty (good nasty) and delicious. Nasty, too, was the appetizer bread (although we came this close to ordering the calamari) and the side salad was pretty decent, expect for the typical Indiana tomatoes.

All in all, I’m glad we went back. It was warm and toasty (the fire was going), dark and romantic, and my Cosmopolitan gave me that fuzzy feeling that makes me want to play footsie under the table. Nice dinner.

Puccini’s Smiling Teeth

I’d heard so many good things from other people about this place; Chris has enjoyed it in the past and enjoyed his chicken marsala. They used sweet marsala, however, and the carmelization of the onions made it almost too sweet. Delicious, though. My pomodoro was average…nothing too special. It’s a shame I make myself order the “healthy” dishes and don’t let myself get something with multiple cheese or sausage. Everything smelled good and with the exception of the weird lady sitting at the booth next to us, everyone was very friendly and smily for a Tuesday night.

Illinois Street Food Emporium

This bustling neighborhood bakery and deli serves everything from healthy sprouts and tomatoes on grainy bread to tall mousse cakes with chocolate shavings resembling Beyoncés hair. The turkey, bacon, and avocado croissant was an instant favorite with us. Vegetable soup was hearty and perfect for a rainy day (and I bet it would have been good even if it had been sunny). While seemingly a perfect spot for a Sunday brunch, they unfortunately do not serve this meal. Whole desserts are available for take-out, however, so you can still get your fix.

Broad Ripple Brewpub

Grilled entrees and surprisingly decent pub fare, including Scotch eggs (read: hard-boiled eggs rolled in bacon and fried in fat…can you say heart attack in a convenient dumpling shape?). Beer brewed on premises is great on a summer evening. Even our Scottish friend enjoyed herself. She tried buffalo for the first time, Chris went for bangers and mash and I ended up with a veggie burger and veggie crisps (sweet potatoes and taro instead of regular potatoes makes for some nice variety). The Jenny-style pasta is very good as well, so this goes beyond standard burgers and fries.