If you think
the only dining options in the seat of Tippecanoe County are the fast food joints off I-65 between Indy and Chicago, or the student-centered locales near the Purdue campus, you’re in for a surprise. On a tree-lined street in downtown Lafayette, across the Wabash River from the busy university, you’ll find Restauration, a warm, casual spot from the team behind La Scala, a popular Italian restaurant a few blocks away. Yes, the ubiquitous farm-to-table label applies, but less out of adherence to trendy expectations and more to meet family needs. Owners Kirsten and Francisco Serrano, who have a daughter with celiac disease, longed for a place where every ingredient could be accounted for and special dietary needs could be met without sacrificing flavor. That means no processed foods in the kitchen, lots of seasonal produce from land the Serranos farm themselves, and scratch-made staples, from mayonnaise to soup stock. The handful of things that aren’t made on-site are sourced from nearby vendors with the same rigorous ingredient standards. The result is a creative menu that pleases everyone, from wheat-loving omnivores to gluten-free vegetarians. A grass-fed beef burger comes stuffed with local, organic pepper jack cheese, served best with crispy, hand-cut yucca fries. Meat-free options include a quinoa bowl full of curried chickpeas, vegetables, asparagus gremolata, roasted radishes, and Swiss chard. And save room for dessert. The flourless torte, made with organic, fair-trade chocolate, is so smooth and creamy, you’ll be planning your return visit before the plate is scraped clean. 731 Main St., Lafayette, 765-250-3970
Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.
1 hour 10 minutes
Know Before You Go
Tucked in the back of the large menu is a dream cheat sheet for those with food sensitivities, including all potential allergens and the dishes that include them.
What’s Your Hurry?
Head 9 miles north to Wolf Park, a research and educational facility focused on the study of wolves and their importance to the environment. In addition to the wolves, visitors can see coyotes, foxes, and buffalo during regularly scheduled public tours May 1 to November 30, with private tours available by appointment. 4004 E. 800 N, Battle Ground, 765-567-2265