Why do foodies flock to Fortville? Fortville is a small town east of Indianapolis located in Hancock county. The population is just over 4000 and there is only one main street. However, it’s fast becoming a foodie destination for the surrounding counties. What a great place to add to my Explore Indiana adventures!
With half a dozen delicious restaurants in downtown Fortville, there is a yummy meal perfect for any tastebuds. We’ve recently had the opportunity to check out three of them.
Interested in Italian Food?
Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar – Since Italian food is my daughter’s favorite, it was a no brainer for the two of us to check our Cortona’s on a recent lunch date. We arrived at an odd time (3:oo PM) for lunch, but the server warmly greeted us and seated us at a comfortable table for two. I have to admit I was a little leery of this one as the Yelp reviews weren’t as high as I normally like, but in the interest of this blog post, we went for it.
Luckily, we LOVED the food. The menu was full of typical Italian dishes but with a creative twist. For example, I enjoyed the Ravioli di Simone & Beth which was butternut squash ravioli with arugula, prosciutto (on the side for me) in a Madera cream sauce. Serious yum. My daughter opted for the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio. The dish was full of fresh clams, mussels, calamari, and shrimp and sauteed in a white wine garlic sauce. It was light and flavorful. We split an order of Tiramisu for dessert.
The service was impeccable – attentive without being overbearing, and I loved how invested in our meal our server was. She was ready with suggestions (thanks to her I found a new wine I LOVED) and happy to cater to our desires (the prosciutto on the side so my daughter could try the ravioli). The meal was a bit pricey for lunch, but we will definitely return the next time we are in the mood for upscale Italian in a comfortable setting.
Hop on the Brewery Trend
Local ingredients? Craft beer? Cozy setting? I’m 100% in. On a very cold and dreary rainy day after a wet soccer game, we dashed into Taxman Brewery trying to avoid getting completely soaked. What we discovered was a wonderful local brewery with delicious upscale bar food and an excellent list of local brews.
The menu is seasonal, so what we enjoyed may not be available when you visit, but based on everything we ordered, I expect it will be tasty no matter what time of the year.
First things first, get the loaded frites. I suspect these are on the menu year-round and you will not be sorry. Imagine double-fried Belgian frites topped with deduction beer cheese, bacon, sour cream, scallions, and pickled jalapenos – what a perfect way to warm up from the frigid soccer game.
The rest of the menu is very Belgian inspired with delicacies such as poutine, chicken and waffles, mussels and frites, etc. My son opted for the chicken and waffles and he was in heaven. I happily split the stuffed shells with my husband and we gobbled up every bite. No leftovers this time around.
Even better than the food at Taxman, is the beer. What a fun variety. Along with many Belgian inspired beers (Lambics, Ales, etc.), you’ll find inspired IPA’s, fruit beers and sours. This location also has a nice wine list and a fun cocktail menu. Definitely something for everyone. We couldn’t decide so ordered a variety of 4 oz. pours for just $2 to $4 each and shared them all. A few were such favorites that we may or may not have brought home a growler or two.
Taxman has 3 locations, with the original being located in Bargersville, IN (I see a road trip in our future) and the third near downtown Indy. Their beers can also be found at various restaurants around the city, but for the best experience, I’d suggest going straight to the source!
Tacos & Margaritas Are Always a Good Choice!
I don’t think you can really go wrong with tacos & margaritas for dinner any day of the week. Almost everyone can agree upon Mexican food and Fortville boasts a delightful local Mexican restaurant right on Main Street called Los Maguelles. We had wandered over to Fortville on a Monday and discovered that most of the downtown was closed. This would have been disappointing if we hadn’t discovered that Los Maquelles was open.
I don’t think I’d call the food authentic Mexican, but it is a very well-prepared Americanized Tex-Mex. The chips and salsa were excellent and the portions were plentiful. We all left satisfied and happy with lots of leftovers.
The menu is extensive and there were a number of really good lunch specials. We ended up enjoying a few of those and everything from the tacos to the quesadillas was fresh and tasty.
More Choices for Next Time
Aside from these three restaurants we’ve recently visited, Fortville is home to several other places with great reviews. I’ll update this post once we get a chance to visit them.
Next time we have an evening without the kids I’m going to suggest we head over to FoxGardin Kitchen & Ale. We ate there years ago, and I remember liking it but since it’s 21+, we just haven’t had the opportunity to return.
305 Wine Garage is another place I’d love to check out. I mean a wine bar? Of course, I’m interested. We walked by one day and it was closed but peeked in the windows and it looks like my kind of place. So that’s on the agenda for a future visit.
Finally, when we ate at Cortona’s we walked by a brand new Asian restaurant on the main street. It’s so new I haven’t been able to find anything about it online! So that’s a must-try, right?
Hard to believe all these gems can be found just outside of Indy in such a small town, but there you have it. Next time you visit the city and are looking for a great place to eat, consider heading over to Fortville.
Cortona’s Italian Cuisine & Wine Bar, 209 S. Main St., Fortville, IN 317-747-4242
Taxman Brewery, 29 S. Main St., Fortville, IN 317.482.1272
Los Maguelles, 222 S. Main St., Fortville, IN (317) 747-4936
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