In the old days, food fights meant something more deadly than a flying slice of meatloaf. Draw straws for a seat facing the door with today's Groupon to Iozzo's Garden of Italy. For $15, you'll get $40 worth of al dente pastas and heady wines. Though a renewed staple of the Indy community, Iozzo's Garden's success suffered a long hiccup after an unfortunate incident in 1941 involving a drunken sailor and a restaurateur with a gun. Reopened in 2009, Iozzo's rich history and family recipes are just as savory and saucy as before, with a significantly decreased chance of gun and knife fights.
The crisp table linens, exposed brick, and hardwood floors at Iozzo's Garden embody the simple elegance of the restaurant's old-fashioned fare. Impress your sweetie with a romantic dinner and wine within the charming family eatery. Use your Groupon on the Garden of Italy dinner for two, which includes a small antipasti, choice of soup or house salad, spaghetti with Iozzo's family sauce, meatballs or Italian sausage, and spumoni ice cream ($39.95 for two). If the rest of the menu is too tempting for the set dinner, start off with mussels puttanesca ($9.95) and a cup of Italian wedding soup ($3.75) before dining on tender smoked-mozzarella ravioli ($16.95), chicken piccata ($17.95), or fragrant, herb-crusted leg of lamb ($25.95). Share a delicate tiramisu ($5.95) with your date, or try the perfectly flaky and creamy cannoli ($6.95).
A new study suggests that your nonna was right: noodles can actually make you happier and more likely to purchase cycling tights. Mouthfuls of marinara-covered angel hair have been shown to up the amount of happy-making serotonin in the brain. Get this Groupon to fend off seasonal depression, splurge on comfort food, or gift your parents with a restaurant that will remind them of their Venetian second honeymoon.
- The selection of light, crisp pizzas is enough to stake a claim on; a lobster ravioli hits its mark; and a vibrant yellow gazpacho hints at some real skill behind the swinging kitchen doors. – Terry Kirts, Indianapolis Monthly
- …the velvety meatballs were divine…The [fettuccini Alfredo] was studded with spice and sundried tomatoes, and the Alfredo was drier, tangy, more Parmesan-based. – Jennifer Litz, Nuvo
- This is a very cozy little spot…you feel like you are in a small bistro in Tuscany, it was quiet for early dining - ambiance and romance were in full gear. – OpenTable.com user who dined on 12/29/09
Iozzo’s Garden of Italy
Born in Calabria, Italy, in 1888, Santora “Fred” Iozzo immigrated to New York City at the age of 17, hoping to create a new life for himself and the family he planned to build. After working on railroad lines in Massachusetts and Ohio, Fred landed in Indianapolis and quickly established an empire of grocery stores throughout the city. The economic onslaught of the Great Depression proved to be too much for this empire, though, and shop after shop began to close. Fred decided to begin anew yet again, founding a restaurant in 1930, naming it Iozzo’s Garden of Italy, and heading up operations until its unfortunate closure in 1940.
Along with her husband, Greg, Katie Harris decided to honor the memory of her great-grandfather Fred by reopening the restaurant in 2009. The reimagined establishment incorporates a few modern touches, but it mainly draws inspiration from traditional Italian culture. The chefs form meatballs by hand and make everything from alfredo to bolognese sauces in-house. At the same time, they embrace a slightly more modern approach by offering whole-wheat and gluten-free pastas, throwing in menu curveballs such as maple-bourbon pork, and serving holographic chicken piccata. Their culinary diligence earned them a Best of Metromix award in 2011.
With its rustic brickwork, wooden floorboards, and Tuscan-yellow walls, the eatery’s dining room exudes a rustic charm, and the pendant lamps and linen-draped tables add small touches of contemporary refinement. Outdoors, the courtyard area echoes the Old-World ambiance, recreating the feel of an Italian alleyway complete with a faux street lamp and cobblestone walkway.