Farm-to-fork cuisine gets a minimalist treatment at this spare, open restaurant tucked inside the just-added clubhouse at LaPorte’s Legacy Hills Golf Club. In a dining room that still smells of new construction, chef-owner Brad Hindsley—who grew up on a small northern-Indiana farm and started his own catering and event-planning company at the age of 19—focuses on pure ingredients, sustainable cooking, and minimal adornment. As such, tables don’t have saltshakers but rather palm-sized blocks of Himalayan pink salt and small graters for the freshest possible seasoning, placed alongside a boxed rosemary plant with tiny snipping scissors so that diners can pluck the herb straight from its source. Dishes are refreshingly pared down to the point that you can actually taste the root veggies in the turnip-and–sweet-potato puree, detect notes of backyard garden in the pickled peppers topping the veggie melt, and divine fresh corncob stock—not heavy cream—in the light and brothy corn chowder. Ingredients are sourced from farms within a 100-mile radius, including the four-acre TSW Farms (“less than 5 miles, and only four turns from Spire”) and Sunkissed Organics in nearby Pinola, for heirloom vegetables, currants, and berries. And if you sit outside on a nice day, you can share the lush country view with golfers on the putting green. Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–11 p.m. 299 W. Johnson Rd., LaPorte, 219-575-7272, spirefarmtofork.com
While in LaPorte, check out …
Garwood Orchards: More than 400 acres of fruits and vegetables provide plenty of U-pick opportunities through October. There are also horse-drawn wagon rides, a gelato bar, and (on the weekends) live music. 5911 W. 50 S, 219-362-4385, appleupick.com
Back Road Brewery: A small-production craft-brewing facility, Back Road conducts free tours and tastings on Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. 308 Perry St., 219-362-7623, backroadbrewery.com
T Bones Pier 11: This Italian steakhouse with a wood-fired grill sits on the shores of Pine Lake, drawing crowds with its sunset views. 1110 Lakeside Dr., 219-362-5077
Panini Panini Euro-Bistro: Sandwiches rule at this casual European-style bakery where the wine flows freely. 1720 Franklin St., Michigan City, 219-873-1720, panini-panini.com
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue. See more Destination Dinner stories here.