946 S. Meridian St.
Indianapolis Indiana 46225United States
Recently reopened Iozzo's Italian Garden combines traditional family recipes with seasonal cuisine.
Sartora Iozzo would be proud of Katie Harris, his great-granddaughter. In 2009, she reopened Iozzo's popular 1930s restaurant (then, the largest restaurant in the Midwest, allegedly seating 850). Much about the new Iozzo's Italian Garden restaurant resembles the old, including family recipes Sartora brought from hometown Monte Rossa in Calabria, Italy, however, the size is significantly smaller. The dining room is one large room with enlarged pictures of the restaurant from its beginnings in the 1930s, including a large photo of Sartora himself. Chihulilike pendulum lighting and wall sconces light the open space, and Frank Sinatra tunes play in the background. There is an open courtyard in the back where umbrella tables are set up, and there's even a large movie screen and bar. Like the old days, the menu is extensive. Appetizers include $7 ciabatta brushetta and an antipasto platter of stuffed mushroom caps, calamari and mussels for $10. Six thin-crust, brick oven pizzas are offered as appetizers (the fantastic Margherita is the most authentic, the BBQ chicken the least). The Italian wedding soup broth is salty, but the minimeatballs are savory and the spinach perfectly wilted. Besides traditional pastas, chef Kathy Jones bases entree specials and seafood on the season's bounty. Entrees come with a house salad, veggie and pasta side, starting at $18 for chicken. Italian and California wine selections recommended by attentive servers average $8 a glass and nearly 90 bottles are in stock, starting at $24. Sea bass steamed in parchment with lemon, rosemary and white wine for $28 was worth every cent. But save room for the lemoncello tart dessert, $8.