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Take Out Artist

Story and Photography by Morgan Walker

Hello, my fellow takeout-loving Paducahans! In this new column I am thrilled to be sharing some of our town's fantastic dining options that can be thoroughly - and stylishly - enjoyed from our very own homes. Whether you order takeout because cooking for one can be depressing and strangely expensive (like me!) or you prefer to enjoy spending time entertaining your guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen, what's stopping you from serving it like it's your own, Instagram-worthy, home cooked meal?

For this issue I went with a relatively new local favorite on Paducah's vibrant restaurant scene: Italian Grill on Broadway.

Italian Grill offers a huge menu with a wide variety of fresh, flavorful Italian fare. What's not to love? In my opinion just about anything on this menu would make a fabulous takeout meal. However with the onset of spring, I went with a lighter, brighter, healthier option, the Bruschetta Chicken. Lucky for my swimsuit drawer, Italian Grill is not your average "the heavier the better" Italian restaurant. Whether you're ready to throw down with a giant bowl of pasta (that's freshly made in-house) or you're in the mood for something lighter like I was, Italian Grill truly has something for everyone ... and we'll address the dessert later. You didn't actually believe the person behind this column was a health nut, did you?

For this light yet totally satisfying dish, savory grilled chicken is topped with a simple but delicious bruschetta and served with my personal favorite vegetable (no, really) broccolini. If you've never had broccolini, and you even remotely like broccoli, you must try it. With its complex, peppery-yet-sweet flavor, it will change the way you feel about green vegetables forever!

I love that I can always count on Italian Grill to have fresh broccolini, especially since it's extraordinarily hard to find in local grocery stores. The broccolini is sautéd perfectly with garlic and a little butter, and I have to say with a vegetable like that I don't even miss the carbs. Let's not overlook the crazy portion size of this dish, and all dishes at Italian Grill for that matter. Do you SEE the amount of chicken and bruschetta on that plate? As far as I'm concerned, this is two meals in one. Italian Grill definitely helped me up my lunch game the next day with some seriously enviable leftovers.

Because my weeknights generally involve a glass or two of wine, I paired this fabulous dish with a juicy Pinot Noir made with organically grown grapes. Bonterra Organic Vineyards' 2013 Pinot Noir was a perfect complement to this light meal, and is a great value for a solid, weeknight red wine. It is light yet bursting with flavor, but has a nice dry finish, which conveniently cut some of the butteriness of the broccolini.

Now for dessert ... please take my advice here. No matter what you order for dinner, get the Caramel Turtle Pecan Cheesecake. Just keep in mind you may need to tackle this one with a dining companion. It is very rich, as it should be.

I tend to overlook the cheesecake on most dessert menus, simply because I usually find it to be underwhelming, regardless of the flavor. That is not the case with this cheesecake, which offers the perfect balance of dense, creamy texture, and all of the extras. No part of this dessert is overcompensating for another. It is everything you want it to be - you have my word.

The next time you feel like treating yourself to an incredible meal in your pajamas without the fuss of cooking at home, give Italian Grill on Broadway a call. You won't regret it!

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