Immersive restaurants in Derby City

Get lost in the sauce.

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Grassa Gramma transports you to a plaza in Italy.

Photo by LOUtoday

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You don’t need a plane ticket to travel the world. These two Derby City restaurants will transport you to two different countries the moment you step in the door — no TSA required.

Grassa Gramma, 2210 Holiday Manor Center

Through the towering wooden doors of this Holiday Manor restaurant, a brick walkway leads you past a cathedral-style bar into a two-story dining room where a stone fountain serves as the centerpiece to this capsule of Italy.

The grandeur goes beyond being a replica of an Italian piazza to include other various nods to Italian culture — like the lush red Gucci-themed booth decorated with gold framed photos of the high-end fashion brand.

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The Gucci-themed table at Grassa Gramma.

Photo by LOUtoday

Its menu prides itself on being a “devotion and not revisionism” when it comes to northern and southern-style Italian dishes — like chicken marsala and cacio e pepe. Each meal at Grassa Gramma — which translates to fat grandma — also begins with a complimentary pour of house red wine.

Don’t skip: Tiramisu
Deal: On Mondays, you can get a pre-fixe meal with your choice of salad + entree for $19.

La Bodeguita de Mima, 725 E. Market St.

If you’ve ever wanted to visit Cuba in the 1950s, step into this bright yellow NuLu eatery that pays homage to the matriarch of Chef Fernando Martinez’s family, “Mima.”

Inside this classic Cuban restaurant and rum bar, the walls are covered with patterned wallpaper, framed photos of Cuba + other memorabilia — like an old time cash register at the bar.

The food is even served on replica sheets of the Cuban newspaper “Heraldo de la Habana.”

Don’t skip: Barquitos de Malanga — bite size tarot root boats filled with black beans, ope vieja, queso fresco + guacamole, chives, and cilantro.