The Italian House on Park in Westfield

By Melissa Purcell

   What’s better than a quaint, old house? A quaint old house that serves Italian food! Nestled in the oldest area in Westfield, the pungent smells of tomato and garlic will entice you right into The Italian House on Park.
    The house at 219 Park Street is actually what inspired the idea for a restaurant. Scott Wolf and his wife Nyla spotted the property and purchased it with after deciding it would make an excellent spot to dine. A look inside swayed the decision to Italian.
    Open since September, the restaurant seats 60 and includes an eat-in bar. Its décor is intimate and homey. The gentle lighting is relaxing, with a fireplace adding to the ambiance. Arched doorways, stained glass and high ceilings decorated with Italian flare add to the welcoming atmosphere.
    The menu is subject to change depending on customer demand. Appetizer and entree specials are offered daily and may be added to the permanent menu if successful, as in the case of the calamari.
    The menu is full of authentic Italian fare with favorites, according to General Manager Jim Nethercott, being the Lasagna, the Sea Scallops, and the Penne Alla Vodka. For those wanting a variation from Italian cuisine, the menu features Bistecca, a rib eye dinner, and Filetto beef tenderloin.
    Nethercott currently takes care of scheduling, training, and costs for the restaurant, and fortunately was able to help in planning for the opening and remodeling. Part of that included choosing a menu that offers authentic Italian cuisine, but with a twist. Developing something unique engaged the talents of Chef Felipe Lopez, who brought his culinary degree and experience with Napoli Villa in Indianapolis to the kitchen at The Italian House.
    “He would select recipes based on his experience and research. Then he, along with the Wolfs and I would sample the selections, then decide if it would be added to the menu. Through this process we finally came up with the current offerings,” said Nethercott.
    New to Westfield in his role as manager of The Italian House, Nethercott is embracing the community. “We look forward to being a part of Westfield,” stated Nethercott. “We are really excited to be here as the city continues to grow.”
    The Italian House plans to be active in the community with activities such as Westfield’s Party on the Patio events, food tastings and chamber meetings. Catering is also being offered. Although they will provide some off-site catering, most of it will be confined to the Backyard Bar, which will hold 50 additional patrons. This will be an excellent place to hold holiday parties and family gatherings for local residents and businesses.
   The Backyard Bar, fully enclosed and fully operational, will also be serving food to patrons on the patio beginning this spring. Entertainment and a fire pit will be available outside with comfortable seating areas.
   The Italian House on Park plans to reach out to the community through a wine tasting in the Backyard Bar on March 23rd from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. This is the first of many events coming up throughout 2016. Check out our web site and sign up for our mailing to list to be notified of upcoming events.
    The wine list at the restaurant offers mainly Italian wines, along with some Spanish and California selections. Staff is trained to help patrons match wines to the various menu items.
    So far, business is brisk at The Italian House. Fridays and Saturday nights are always full. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially on the weekends.  
    While the restaurant’s current focus is on locals and Hamilton County residents, Nethercott’s goal is that The Italian House continues to grow and become a city-wide destination.
    “We want to be the first on the list when clients pick a restaurant for date night, family gathering, girls’ night out or just a good meal with friends. The Italian House on Park should be the restaurant people think of when they want to do something special.”
    With that in mind, extended hours and a possible lunch menu may be considered.
    For now, the restaurant is open Friday and Saturday from 4-11 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday, 4-10 p.m.
    So, the next time you’re in the mood for some tasty Italian cuisine, follow the tantalizing aromas to the house that inspired it all – The Italian House on Park.