So much has been written in recent years about the local food movement. Restaurants have sprung up across the nation espousing the ‘farm-to-fork’ movement.

For the unititiated, it’s simply buy local produce and use local products on the restaurant table. I travel enough to get in and out of lots of restaurants and I’m constantly surprised how few ‘farm-to-fork’ operations maintain the ‘local’ concept when it comes to wine.

The same can be said for any restaurant whether its part of the farm-to-fork movement or not.

A somewhat pleasant surprise occured over the weekend visiting the historic Key West Shrimp House in Madison, IN. The Shrimp House had several area Indiana wines on their menu. They had wines from the Thomas Family Winery and Madison Vineyards.

In photo at right was my Saturday night entree: A shrimp, scallops and crab meat platter with sides.

Additionally, Madison Vineyards labels makes a Key West Shrimp House label exclusively for the restaurant.

Unfortunately, I didn’t find the remainder of the wine list very interesting. For a place that serves fish, you would hope to find one Sauvignon Blanc or perhaps even a Seyval Blanc or an Indiana wine similar to a Sauv Blanc – there are plenty! I was suprised and pleased to find Mondavi’s very nice Fume Blanc on the list but it was available only by the bottle.

The restaurant has a long history. Many years ago there were multiple Key West Shrimp House locations across Indiana including Indianapolis. The first one opened in Indy in the 50s. The Madison location opened in 1968 and continues as a family-run restaurant today.

The food is good. It’s what you would expect in land-locked Indiana. I’m assuming most all of the product comes in frozen but the sides have a homemade quality most would enjoy.

In the last year I’ve been in Michigan and Wisconsin wine regions and those areas often struggle to get local wines into restaurants. Hats off to Scott Koerner at Key West Shrimp House for bringing local vintners’ wines to Madison regulars and tourists!

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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