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DINING: Cobblestone Grill offers tasty lunch until 5

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Dining - A&E

One of the pleasures—and there are numerous ones—of Zionsville’s Cobblestone Grill (160 S. Main St., Zionsville, 873-4745) is that its lunch menu is offered beyond the traditional midday-meal hours. That may not seem like such a big deal, unless you’ve been hungry in that blurry too early for dinner/too late for lunch area between 2 and 5 p.m. Been there? Thought so.

Many places just shut down to focus on refilling the salt, upgrading the dishes, dimming the lights and lighting the tiny candles. But this Main Street landmark, which opened in 2000, keeps lunch going until the clock strikes five, creating a more sophisticated version of the earlybird dinner.

The Caprese Bruschetta ($8.95), traditional toasted baguettes topped with delicious diced roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil and a light touch of balsamic and olive oil started our meal. OK, that’s a lie. We really started with the bread, direct from the ovens of Chez Jean Bakery. Yes!

Half of our party of four focused on salads and hit two winners. Liz’s Signature Salad ($5.25), named for co-proprietor Liz Esra, featured mixed greens, red onion, tomatoes, spiced pecans and bleu cheese crumbles in a housemade raspberry vinaigrette. The latter three ingredients turned the ordinary into the outstanding. Strawberry Mandarin Chicken Salad ($9.95) transcended thanks to fresh chicken, a generous supply of strawberries and mandarin oranges, and an assertive Asian dressing that worked magic on the greens, Asian veggies and crispy wontons.

Cobblestone boasts of its fresh seafood, which made us optimistic that the Crispy Tilapia Filet sandwich ($7.95) would help shake the memory of the over-battered, heavily fried versions we recently had elsewhere. While what arrived could only loosely be described as a sandwich, the substantial piece of fish was breaded and fried just enough for taste but not enough for guilt. A Remoulade sauce was a nice accent rather than a requirement.

Pasta Mediterranean ($9.95) was the meal’s only letdown. The penne tossed with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, feta cheese, Parmesan, garlic and olive oil felt overly familiar without quite being comfort food. Not bad, just without the flavor to inspire bowl-cleaning.

To keep things interesting for regulars, Cobblestone Grill offers different quiches, crème brulée and pies every day. The latter, on our visit, was a Dutch Apple so thick we thought we’d never arrive at the bottom crust (which turned out to be the best part). The journey there was a fun one. Hats off to its source, fellow Zionsvillian My Sugar Pie (www.mysugarpie.com).

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