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When Bluffton native Tiercell William Schwartz returned to his hometown after a decade-long stint in New York, he longed for a place to get a drink and a big-city meal. So he opened his own restaurant with an urban vibe in 2010, lending his initials to a menu featuring a variety of local farmstead ingredients and innovative cocktails. Schwartz’s contemporary touches include plenty of exposed brick, subdued lighting, and a patio that overlooks the open-air stage at Kehoe Park on the banks of the Wabash River. Creative aperitifs range from an aromatic blueberry-lavender mojito to The Vesper, inspired by James Bond’s love of Lillet blanc, a French wine–based liqueur, mingled with gin and vodka. Towering, meaty crabcakes with chile-lime aioli alone may justify the mileage. But duck-confit sliders, addictive frites, and prime rib on Fridays and Saturdays will bring you back to this surprising standout among the cornfields and acres of nearby farmlands. Try the porterhouse pork chop with mashed potatoes flecked with cheddar cheese, as well as fresh sesame-crusted tuna with a variety of salsas and sauces. Desserts, many prepared by Schwartz’s grandmother, include doughnut bread pudding and an elegant raspberry layer cake. Tues.–Thurs. 5–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5–10 p.m. 360 N. Main St., Bluffton, 260-353-1360, twfable.com
While in Bluffton, check out ...
Chef Minon’s Snug Cafe: Dating to before the Great Depression, this classic downtown diner has claimed Argentinian toque Hector Minon as its chef and co-owner since 2010. Alongside subs, burgers, and a bountiful all-day breakfast menu, Minon prepares homemade lasagna and specialty pizzas. 126 W. Market St., 260-824-0718, snugcafe.com
Heyerly’s Meat Market: A convenient grocery stop for locals, this friendly, old-school meat market offers a variety of cuts and specialty items, including housemade Italian and andouille sausage, Indiana maple syrups, and produce. 728 S. Main St., 260-824-0300
Club Soda: The old wool-storage factory that provides the backdrop to this darling Fort Wayne club lends a nostalgic air to any evening. Sip a cocktail on the spacious patio or enjoy executive chef Jesse Arnold’s duck egg rolls or coffee-crusted pork chop with live music playing on the main stage three nights a week. 235 E. Superior St., Fort Wayne, 260-426-3442, clubsodafortwayne.com
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue. See more Destination Dinner stories here.
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