Kelly's Table

Kelly's Table

A home away from home . . .

Kelly’s Table is a small, intimate restaurant that’s a bit off the beaten path. And owner and Chef Patricia Molden wouldn’t have it any other way.

Molden says she never thought she’d end up running her own restaurant, especially after getting a degree in comparative literature at Northwestern University.

After graduating, she backpacked across Europe, where she fell in love with French cuisine and wine. When she returned to the U.S., she apprenticed with a chef in Chicago, met her husband, who was from Michigan City, and wound up in LaPorte County.

Eight years ago, after being asked to open a restaurant by the owner of Creekwood Inn, a bed and breakfast on the east side of Michigan City, Molden took the plunge.

“My dad had just died and I wasn’t sure I could, but I heard him saying, ‘Go for it.’ ” Molden did, and she has relied on family recipes to build her menu. “We were just a great big food family. My parents entertained, back in the day when dinners and cocktail parties were part of what you did at home.”

The menu at Kelly’s Table, which is named after an “unpretentious place run by Tom and Audrey Kelly in Chicago,” is purposely kept small. Molden describes her inspiration as a “warm and homey place” where Tom Kelly searched across Chicago for just the right cut of meat and the freshest vegetables.

While Molden says there is no way she can recreate the atmosphere of that long-ago Chicago restaurant, she has done her best. But when it comes to seeking the right cuts of meat and freshest food, she follows Tom Kelly’s path.

“Our beef tenderloin is our biggest selling item,” says Molden. “Everything is hand selected by me. I trim it, I cook it and I’ve set up the restaurant to be the freshest and nicest possible.”

The signature drink at Kelly’s Table is the 509 Special, named after the rush-hour South Shore commuter train that leaves Chicago for Michigan City. It’s made of Irish whiskey, lemon juice and orange liqueur. Molden says it’s delicious.“I’ve found that since I’ve been in the restaurant business, I want to please people. Dining is a very personal experience, and I have to approach my menu that way. I have to provide a personal touch. When people leave here happy, that’s what gives me pleasure.”

Kelly’s Table has just 10 tables and can seat up to 54 people, but Molden isn’t one to hurry people out the door. She loves it when people like to linger and chat after dinner. ?

Kelly’s Table is at 5727 N. County Road 600 West, Michigan City. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
For information or to make a reservation, call (219) 872-5624
or visit the Web site