Family owned and operated since 1962, Napoli Villa Ristorante Italiano is one of Indy's top, locally owned Italian restaurants. Beginning as a small pizzeria, Napoli Villa Ristorante Italiano has grown into a full service restaurant over the last 50 years.
Relying on Italian hospitality and good food, Milano Inn has stood watch as Indianapolis has evolved. It was founded during the Great Depression, flourished as manufacturers prospered during the 1940s and survived as subdivisions lured families to the suburbs starting in the 1950s. It has seen the rise and fall of Market Square Arena and the Hoosier Dome. Skyscrapers, world-class hotels, and a resurgence in urban living has revitalized downtown in recent years and, as always, Milano Inn has welcomed those from the neighborhood and beyond with warmth, and tried and true family recipes.
Somewhat off the beaten path, Iozzo’s boasts one of the coolest outdoor dining areas in town: a secluded courtyard behind the 19th century brick building, shaded by trees and enlivened by flowers and plants. The interior doesn’t lack for old-world charm, either. Although essentially southern Italian in style, the menu offers vibrant flavors, home-made sauces and frequent fish specials. Quality is consistently good. And you get a sense that they really know what they’re doing in the kitchen. The wine list is quite extensive, with a good number of well-chosen, moderately-priced selections and a few surprises: Shafer Hillside, anyone?
A good pizza shop can be difficult to find, especially when you’re looking for one that brings a Chicago-style taste to a non-Chicago locale. But if you find yourself near South of Chicago, you’ll find a pizza shop that aims to please and hits the mark well. The owners, Bob and Beverly, are from Chicago but have lived in Indy 16 years. They’re very passionate about their work and eager to please. The first five toppings are free at South of Chicago. Deep dish is available in a personal size, or treat the family to a 14-incher that feeds three for less than 20 bucks with drinks included.
This colorful little strip-mall joint was purchased by a couple of regulars. Mostly a breakfast/lunch spot, they've expanded their hours for dinner three nights a week. Word is they've got 40 omelets. MMM. OMELETS.
Authentic Italian favorites on 86th Street — kind of. It's tucked away behind a strip mall on the southeast corner of 86th and Ditch. Chef Mario DiRosa hails from Naples, Italy, creating Italian cuisine like the famed lasagna with veal meatballs. Rumor has it that Amalfi Ristorante makes the best eggplant parmagiana in the city. Be sure to try the gnocchi, hand-rolled stuffed potato dumplings. Leave the kids at home: Only 18-year-olds and older are allowed in this restaurant.
The new location on College may be spiffy, but the quality of the fare here is consistently wonderful. Thoughtfully prepared and smartly presented for a reasonable price, Ravioli della Mamma is composed of large squares of fresh spinach and cheese ravioli served with a pesto cream sauce. Rich yet delicate, creamy but never cloying, it might be one of the top vegetarian entrees in the city.
Café Nonna serves customers traditional Italian Gelato using original recipes from Italy and 28 flavors of soft serve ice cream.
The food remains excellent at this Northside mainstay — homemade pasta, perfect sauces, fresh ingredients. It's traditional Italian all the way, for what that's worth; don't expect the envelope to be pushed. But you can count on a Tortelloni alla Papalina featuring huge, fat, perfectly al dente parcels of pasta stuffed with ricotta and dressed with intensely-flavored crimini mushrooms; a perfectly-prepared Veal Ossobuco; and a house-made tiramisu that's outstanding and ethereally light.
Patrick Aasen, who made a name for himself as chef and owner of Arturo's on 86th Street and Keystone Avenue, seems to have lost his touch with his latest effort in Carmel's Arts District. The gorgonzola ravioli is laden down with a sauce so thick it makes it tough to finish the dish; the spaghetti carbonera is spoiled by strongly flavored onions; and the veal parmesan is soggy and overdone. A restaurant of this pedigree should deliver more.
Fresco Italian Café on the Canal offers a wide selection of homemade Italian sandwiches, fresh salads, flatbread pizza, specialty mixed drinks, wine and local beers. And of course, the Italian beef sandwich we’re known for.
Occupying a highly desirable location facing Meridian Street at 126th Street, J. Razzo’s is about as visible as a restaurant can get in Carmel. Service is professional and calmly efficient; the atmosphere is cool and relaxing; there's no Sinatra on the soundtrack. So why hasn't J. Razzo's become a Carmel destination? Quite simply, the food, which ranges from from somewhat better than good to less than mediocre. The cioppino, an Italian fish stew, is properly cooked and nicely spiced, but the veal parmigiano was slathered with a pasty, processed-tasting tomato sauce, and the gnocchi was cooked to a porridge-like consistency.
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