Valley Kitchen and Bar in Valparaiso, Indiana

Ribeye at Valley Kitchen and Bar in Valparaiso, Indiana

Valley Kitchen and Bar in Valparaiso, Indiana is not to be missed.

It was the best meal we’ve had in a long time.

Valley Kitchen and Bar in Valparaiso, Indiana

Maybe it was the “farm-to-fork” freshness. Maybe it was that they take simple ingredients and do amazing things with them. Maybe it was how fun it was to sit at the counter that overlooks the kitchen and watch the chefs create their masterpieces!

My wife and I arrived a little after 5 p.m. and this dinner-only Porter County restaurant was nearly full. We opted for a seat overlooking the grill.

We went with dessert first, getting the salted caramel chocolate tart. The dessert menu also features locally-made Valpo Velvet ice cream.

Valparaiso, Indiana Restaurant

Soup and salad started the meal off the right way.

Soup and salad started the meal off the right way.

We moved on to delicious potato soup (for me) and beet salad (for her).

For my entree, I ordered the lemon-dill walleye in a tomato sauce, and she opted for the beef special. It was ribeye with twice-baked potato slices.

We added the forked potatoes for two, which are a meal by themselves with carrots, onions and greens all perfectly melded together. Although our entrees were pricy ($27 and $30), the portions were extremely generous (enough for two meals for many people) and full of flavor.

Valley uses locally raised beef, chicken and other ingredients. The “farm-to-fork” concept permeates not just the food, but also the decor – everything from the wall and shelf decorations, to a cowbell to alert the attentive waitstaff that the next round of salads are up, to the restrooms being labeled “roosters” and “hens.” The bill is even presented in a tiny tin watering can.

Go There

Valley Kitchen and Bar in Valparaiso, Indiana

Diners watch the chefs work their magic at Valley.

Midwest Living’s editors chose Valley as one of 17 Porter County restaurants on the Indiana Dunes Country Culinary Tour, describing the food as simple, yet upscale.

When we dined, there was one pasta choice, one pork, one beef, one chicken, one fish and one vegetarian entree. But there’s something to be said for having a smaller menu and doing each dish right.

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

Just don’t forget to tell ’em that  little Indiana sent you!

Valley Kitchen and Bar
55 S. Franklin St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Don’t miss a moment. Subscribe to little Indiana and receive instant updates to stay on top of everything “little.”

Big City, little Indiana: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Big Cities in Indiana. Discovering Indiana’s mom and pop shops! Now get little Indiana on your Kindle.

Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! That’s advertising with the little Indiana family!

You don't want to miss this. Sign up for free updates.