A lot has changed in the past 70 years: humans landed on the moon, rock 'n' roll stormed the charts, and the Internet revolutionized the way people laugh at cat pictures. While innovations are good for grabbing headlines, the chefs at Country lounge see the value of keeping things classic. In addition to juicy steaks and sauce-laden pastas, their bill of fare calls back to art deco decadence with bygone dishes such as shrimp de jonghe and oysters rockefeller. Dinners unfold at tables clad in burgundy-colored cloth, and a full-service bar offers post-meal cocktails.
Inside a Victorian cottage overlooking Hobart, Indiana’s historic waterfront, guests dine farm-to-fork style from a menu that change weekly. Owners David and Linda Papp and chef Scot Hinkel take the notion of farm-to-fork seriously: they hand-pick all the produce from farmers’ markets, work closely with local farmers, and refrain from using walk-in freezers or time machines. The result is dishes composed of fresh, seasonal ingredients. Along with the 1895 architecture and waterfront dining, the bistro also features a boutique bar serving small-batch organic spirits, American craft beers, and organic, sustainably farmed wines.
Though its name suggests a rather limited menu, Asparagus happily defies expectations with a range of Thai and Vietnamese dishes that pair various ingredients and flavors with its eponymous vegetable. Stalks of asparagus may arrive alongside a roasted Cornish game hen, stir-fried with tofu and baby bokchoy in a Thai chili paste, or mixed with sautéed shrimp and scallops in a ginger-soy glaze. If asparagus isn’t your thing, try the grilled rib-eye with house mustard sauce or the French-inspired lamb shanks braised with a reduced cabernet sauce. The restaurant’s chefs are known for their artistic arrangements, which certainly feel at home in a dining room decorated with cross-cut bamboo and artworks acquired by the owners on trips to Asia. A baby grand piano sits in the lounge, which comes to life every Saturday night as musicians hammer away at keys or drum with raw stalks of asparagus.
The Southern flavors at Season's Restaurant extend far beyond the food. Founded by event coordinator Carmen Danzy, the restaurant hosts regular jazz, open-mic, and gospel nights, washing down its Cajun-influenced cuisine with live music. In a softly lit dining room punctuated by pictures of New Orleans sights, servers deliver classics such as Southern-style fried chicken, blackened-shrimp po' boys, and grits warmed with piping-hot sax solos. Meals can be paired with sides such as candied yams or baked mac 'n' cheese—all washed down with a selection of beer or wine.
Walter E. Smithe's huge showrooms contain more than 500 collections of high-quality designer furniture and home accessories, stocking brands including Drexel Heritage, Nourison, Hancock and Moore, and Bradington-Young. Fill a brass-trimmed vase ($119) with flowers, pencils, or wishes, or keep winter moisture stylishly contained in a hand-painted umbrella stand ($99). Walter E. Smithe's selection of four-legged pieces includes an Ontario end table ($299) and a Louise chair ($599). Most products come with impressive warranties, including a 10-year guarantee for every cushion on the comfy Kayla sofa ($1,749).
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.