Sunday, February 24, 2013

Family Date Night: Iozzo's

Scott and I have decided to start instituting family date night in our family. One of our first family date nights was for my birthday at Fogo da Chao. The kids were well behaved and didn’t mention farting or spill anything during dinner – with two elementary-aged kids that is considered a success.
About every two months, we plan to take the kids to a new restaurant. We’ll dress up, make reservations and we make sure they understand this is an event to be on your best behavior. They will learn how to use good manners and we hope to encourage them to try new foods at the same time. Scott and I both tend to enjoy locally-owned and often ethnic restaurants  so this weekend we went to Iozzo’s Italian Garden on South Meridian in Indianapolis.
Italian seemed safe since we know our kids love pasta with tomato sauce. One kiddo ended up with pizza, the other with chicken tenders. Sigh. But they still tried a few new things regardless. Wilson had some clams, both tried edible flowers that were used as garnish – which Wilson loved – and Annyka had some grilled vegetables. I’m not sure what was so great about it, but the salad was amazing. It was a simple salad – mixed artisan greens, tomato and cucumber slices and house-made balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t know of the mixed greens were especially good or if it was the dressing, but it was delicious.
One of the ways I often judge a restaurant is on their approach to allergens – specifically gluten-free dining. Iozzo’s was great. I had noted when I made the reservation that one person in our group was gluten-free. They asked about it before I had a chance to say anything and the server was well-versed in what he needed to point out on the menu. They had quinoa pasta and they let me know that all sauces were GF. I had the Chicken Diavlo. It was very spicy and I love the sauce that seemed to be made from fresh tomatoes. Next time I may have to try one of their fish dishes though – they specialize in Southern Italian seafood.
We have a list of other restaurants we would like the kids to experience:
            Machu Picchu (Latin American)
            Abyssinia  (Ethiopian)
            Barcelona Tapas (Spanish)
            India Garden
            Tata Cuban Café
            Greek Islands
            Saffron Café (Moroccan)
I can’t wait for April’s family date night! We’ll probably be celebrating two 8th birthdays that evening!

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