Photograph by Little Robot Photography
Ready to take date night to the next level? We recommend the long, scenic drive to Brown County, Indiana, where you’ll find the Story Inn, a former general store surrounded by meandering herb and vegetable gardens, and horses lazily nibbling away nearby. On the menu: comfort food classics cooked with plenty of big city panache. (Upstairs: four cozy little rooms that fill up fast.) Chef Eric Swanson is committed to seasonal cuisine.
To that end, two full-time gardeners supply him with everything from strawberries to haricots verts and a wide variety of herbs and micro-greens. We went for broke, ordering a charcuterie and cheese board, loaded with Capriole goat cheeses (from nearby Greenville) as well as a variety of cured meats from Smoking Goose in Indianapolis.
A rib eye and a filet followed. Both were cooked precisely and garnished with simple starches—sweet potato steak fries and buttery mashed potatoes, respectively. Vegetables are ordered à la carte, but served family style. While the maple balsamic Brussels sprouts were good, not a speck of cheddar grits was left in the bowl by the time we finished.
Saving room for dessert? Pair a slice of their decadent lemon bundt cake with a steaming mug of Brown County coffee, roasted just up the road in Nashville. Ask for a cup to go, if there’s no room at the inn.
Story Inn, 6404 State Road 135 South, Nashville, Indiana, (812) 988-2273, storyinn.com. Breakfast seven days, lunch and dinner Tues–Sun.