By Keshia McEntire

I’m a paradox when it comes to adventurous eating.

If a friend, family member or my Pinterest feed entices me with a strange new delicacy I’d be the first to try it. But when I eat at a restaurant I transform into a comfort food connoisseur. I figure if I’m treating myself to a nice meal I want to be certain that I will I like it, so I quickly discover tried and true favorite dishes at most local dining spots. 

Woody’s Library Restaurant Heartbeat Indy Carmel
Broiled goat cheese, warm bread, and bison meatballs are my favorite appetizers at Woody’s Library Restaurant.

The beauty of events such as Savor Hamilton County is that unique (and discounted!) menus push me out of my comfort zone, tempting me to try new options and discover fresh favorites. This week, I stopped by two restaurants in the Carmel Arts & Design District that are participating in Savor Hamilton County and found a couple of new gems to add to my list. 

My first stop was Woody’s Library Restaurant, a cozy eatery that felt somewhat like a seaside bookshop due to its stocked bookshelves, calming fish tank and quirky decorative cork bottles. I noticed an outdoor dining area which would be nice to take advantage of on a warmer day. 

During Savor Hamilton County, Woody’s is offering a three-course dinner menu ranging from $22-$30 per guest. Lunch portions are only $10 per person. Take a look at the full menu here. 

At Woody’s, my Husband and I decided to stick to appetizers because we planned on visiting another establishment for dinner.  I had a chance to try Pretzel Breadsticks, Asian Tater Tots and more. I found a new favorite in the Bison Meatballs; which were seasoned with a flavorful mix of Cajun seasoning and honey chipotle barbecue glaze.

After we had our fill of appetizers, we decided to treat ourselves to Italian eats for dinner. Just up the road we found Donatello’s Italian Restaurant. Donatello’s is offering a three course meal for $25 during Savor Hamilton County. Menu options include Chicken Marsalis and Shrimp Cocktails. You can view the full menu here. 

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Shrimp with a zesty lemon glaze at Donatello’s Italian Restaurant.

I must admit I deviated away from the Savor menu to try Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms, which was my favorite dinner dish. I also tried another appetizer: shrimp seasoned with a zesty lemon glaze. I know that it’s quite common, but I have never had shrimp pared with lemon before and I love how the flavors mingled. It is a new favorite.

More than 25 restaurants are participating in Savor Hamilton County, and you still have time to take advantage of the special offers. Savor Hamilton County runs until March 24. For a full list of participating restaurants visit savorhamiltoncounty.com.

Need more local eats? Consider brunch at Biscuits  or dessert at Smallcakes.