It seems kind of odd to feature an entire town as a “Business of the Month,” but because of some notable establishments in this little town, along with revitalization efforts along the Town Square, we couldn’t choose just one business.
In the upcoming weeks in March, you will read about a restaurant, an art gallery, a bed and breakfast, and a couple of other surprises in Howe. For today, slip on your Fedora, think “Italian,” and imagine the taste of amazing lasagna at a popular downtown restaurant.
Iannarelli’s Italian Restaurant
Owner Terry Iannarelli’s grandparents, born in Italy, came to the United States during the Great Depression, traveling from the territory of Calabria in the southern part of Italy.
Grandmother Iannarelli created the sauce recipes and taught Terry’s mother how to cook Italian foods, who then taught Terry.
“My grandmother always thought her recipes would grow into a family run business, and she was right,” said Terry, who at first cooked for family and friends. Those people then encouraged him to open a restaurant. Iannarelli’s in Howe is in its tenth year of business.
While all the sauces used in the restaurant are the original recipes from Terry’s grandmother, the pastas are not homemade. Terry does mix his own combination of cheeses, and his made-from-scratch pizza dough is made off-premises. The dough recipe is also created by Terry.
When I visited, I ordered their signature dish, lasagna. It was layered in the typical fashion with meat sauce, ricotta, and a blend of cheeses.
Keep in mind that I visited Iannarelli’s four months ago, but even now, I can still picture the huge serving and almost taste the memory of the lasagna, it was so good. It reminded me of my college days when I would visit a downtown Indianapolis Italian restaurant just for its lasagna. At Iannarelli’s, the salad was okay, the bread was good, but the lasagna was fantastic enough that I would drive 40 minutes again to eat at this Howe establishment.
Iannarelli’s menu offers numerous pasta, pizza, and sandwich dishes; they even feature a Weight Watchers menu for the calorie-counters.
Terry says most of their clientele is not local. While most customers are from the surrounding area such as Fort Wayne, other visitors come from far-away places.
“Just awhile back,” mentions Terry, “a couple came from Sweden to stay with friends out on Cedar Lake. They got off the train in Detroit and came directly here to eat.
“We have had ambassadors from Africa, from the U.S. Embassy, who have come to this area and enjoyed our food.”
I must also mention Terry’s wife, Joyce, who partners with Terry in the kitchen, and she makes the desserts. I can’t wait to go back and try her Tiramisu. Joyce layers the pound cake with custard filling and real whip cream, and then tops it with chocolate and cocoa powder.
Iannarelli’s Italian Restaurant is located on the town square,
405 Third Street, Howe, IN.Phone: 260-562-2500