The newest Cunningham Restaurant Group addition to Hendricks County, Indiana is Theo’s Italian located in The Shops at Perry Crossing. This upscale, casual dining environment opened in early October and has been a popular weekend spot with crowds waiting for a table.

The fresh food and casual environment make for a great start to a date night, celebration with loved ones or just a relaxing dinner after a long day of shopping.

The Vibe

Overhead View of Theo's Italian (Photo Courtesy of Theo's Italian Facebook Page)

Theo's Italian is located in the space previously occupied by Stone Creek Dining Company, which moved to another location within the mall. Walking through the large double-door entrance, the first thing I noticed was the wall of greenery that runs through the middle of the restaurant.

The trees separate the bar on the right and the cafe-style seating and booths on the left. There’s even some upstairs seating that gives a great overhead view of the stunning new eatery.

The bar offers the perfect casual meeting spot with nearly every detail accounted for including lighting underneath the counter, ledges to rest your feet and hooks under each seat to hang a purse or jacket.

Adding to the casual vibes, the music played throughout the restaurant is nothing like a traditional Italian restaurant. The playlist includes hits from a range of musicians such as Elton John, Imagine Dragons and even KISS.

The Food

Meat Sweats at Theo's Italian

Theo’s menu begins with the freshest ingredients from the CRG Grow program. Herbs and produce are grown in their own greenhouse with organic pest treatments and purified water for sustainability. Every bite at Theo’s is a testament to the restaurant's commitment to quality and sustainability.

The lunch menu offers a "Pick Two" option for $14, featuring a combination of soup, salad and Pinsa. For those craving a heartier option, the build-your-own 7" Pinsa allows customization with toppings like pepperoni, sausage, chicken and more.

When visiting for dinner, start your meal with their popular breadsticks or burrata & focaccia. If you have a large group, the antipasti board comes with plenty of food and flavors for everyone. The salads, such as the brussels sprouts Caesar, showcase a fresh and creative twist, while the sandwiches are filled with quality meats on the freshest bread.

Theo's offers a variety of house-made pasta dishes, including the popular four-cheese ravioli stuffed with ricotta, gorgonzola dolce, parmesan and mascarpone. The most popular item on the menu is one of their specialty pinsas – the Meat Sweats. The crispy flatbread dough is overflowing with sausage, pepperoni, pancetta and prosciutto along with red sauce and a mix of cheeses.

If you have room for the dessert menu, there are four classics to choose from – Italian cream cake, tiramisu, cheesecake and gelato.

Our Experience

Lobster Tortelloni Nero at Theo's Italian

Thankfully, we made a reservation as it was a busy Friday night. Seated in a corner with windows, our date night started with a first course of Theo’s Burrata & Focaccia. The creamy burrata cheese with artichoke, tomato and basil pesto sets the stage for what promises to be an artful and refined dinner menu.

Next comes the Lobster Tortelloni Nero which comes with noodles stuffed with a mixture of ricotta and crab along with calamari and shrimp mixed in the dish. Mix in some garlic, tomato, red chili and Swiss chard all in a white wine cream, and you have a bowl of creamy seafood goodness.

Most of the ingredients that make up the Margherita Pinsa are grown fresh in the Cunningham Restaurant Group greenhouse. The combination of the ripe tomatoes, creamy mozzarella and the trio of garlic, basil and Parmesan showcases an authentic and traditional dish.

And for dessert, we opted for the cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and a sweet strawberry sauce on top. The round cheesecake might be a bit much for one person but nearly perfect for two to share.

Theo’s Italian