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Three outdoor dining options in Kosciusko County to help you ease into the end of summer

Opportunities to enjoy outdoor dining dwindle as sure as the days get shorter in these last few days of summer.

In a season already limited by less than ideal weather, grabbing a bite or two under the stars becomes a priority for those of us wishing to enjoy the milder weather while we still can.

These three Kosciusko County locations offer outdoor dining for the whole family, granting their customers a brief respite as they strive to stave off the end of summer.

The Garden

Located next door to Cerulean Restaurant in the Village of Winona, the Garden consists of a covered outdoor bar area (21 and over only) and a separate general seating area on the patio for all ages.

It’s a burger lover’s dream come true, offering variations on this classic sandwich such as the chicken burger, the Sitka salmon burger, the duck burger and the lamb burger. Traditionalists have no need to worry — the Garden has a beef burger that will have you seriously considering whether it’s the tastiest burger in town.

Pork belly tacos and braised pork are also available, along with a small side menu and weekly dessert special. The kids will be happy, too, as the Garden has grilled items sure to satisfy even the most discerning of our youngest generation.

For liquid refreshment, try the daiquiri with Plantation 3 Stars rum. It’s not the normal rum used in the daiquiri, but if ever I spy a bottle of it behind the bar, that’s going to be the rum they pour.

The Back Porch

The outdoor sibling to the Pier Restaurant at Syracuse’s Oakwood Resort, the Back Porch presents diners with the opportunity to enjoy a meal lakeside on Indiana’s largest natural lake. Located at the northwest corner of Lake Wawasee, the Back Porch’s exquisite dining options are only matched by the views offered from its tables.

While many of the dishes on the menu are most certainly high end, the atmosphere is anything but. A relaxed and casual feel dominates the laid back crowd, reflecting the lake lifestyle that draws people to this area year after year.


Catch a glimpse of the sunset, watch the boats dock and then take a stroll around the resort grounds to walk off some of your dinner. You’ll be reminded of why visitors come to this area every summer and why many of us are lucky enough to call it home.

Redwood Firewood Grill

Moving to its new location on Center Lake this year, Redwood Firewood Grill gained one weapon in its arsenal that it didn’t possess before – waterfront dining.

With a deck that seems to go on forever and sunset views to rival any in the county, the owners have capitalized on the setting, encouraging dining on the deck with entertainment on the weekends and sprucing it up with lighting to make the mood even more magical.

For those of you into lighter fare during the summer months, try the Cobb salad. You’ll find yourself ordering it time and time again and then thanking your forethought for choosing a diet that allowed the deliciousness contained in this salad.

For more food, drink and good times in Kosciusko County from Tom Westerhof, subscribe to the Bites and Bitters email newsletter.

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