Ok, we went to Bugg's Temple last night. I was really excited to try a new, and non-chain, restaurant. And I thought it would be sweet to see the relics they purchased from the Althetic Club since hubby and I were married there. Awww...
Anyway, I will have to say the first thing that greated me in the door (and it was not a person since we came in the stairs and it is just that, a stairwell) was the smell. It smelled like a barbeque restaurant with all that smoky scent. I am super sensitive to smells, but my gosh it was strong.
We made it up to the Tavern room and chose our table. There were others there but not tons of people. But hey, on a very cold Wednesday in Indy, dining with anyone else is great.
It took awhile for the server to get to us, but she was pleasant enough, though seemed a bit bored. I asked if we could order off the bar menu as well and was told yes. My advice, look it over, it is completely different from the restaurant menu.
We were given a amuse of a lamb and bean stew type thing. It was quite good. And I am always impressed a) with any amuse in this City as there are so few chefs doing it, and b) a warm amuse because that takes a little extra effort not to just pull some pre-made item out of the fridge.
The bread on the other hand could stand to be heated up or fresher. Nice they gave you a choice of 3 types of bread, but the "french" roll I took was suspiciously sourdough-y and so hard I had to pry it open with my knife.
The appetizers were good. My husband's tuna tartare was excellent and not the least bit smoky which relieved me somewhat, and my mushroom soup was rich and think and a little chunky, the way I like soup. And with truffle oil on top (REALLY the way I like it). A dab of creme fraiche and some roasted musfhrooms. It was good. But so rich. I couldn't come near to finishing the whole bowl.
For my main I ordered 2 things off the bar menu, the mussels and the twice baked fingerling potatoes. Hubby had the suckling pig off the regular menu (which we were told was sort of a house specialty). I must say this first; Hallelujah! There are good quality mussels in this City! I have had some really bad ones here and it has made me sad because I like them so much. I have even had ones that tasted ok going down at a well-known mussel specialist only to be up all night in the bathroom, if you know what I mean.
They were smoky for sure, but so tasty. And small, which in my humble opinion, is how mussels should be. I don't like massive ones the size of your head. They just don't keep that delicate flavor. Anyway, they were in a broth of smoky tomatoes, bacon, shallots and garlic and wine broth served with lemon wedges, which gave them that tangy edge that I am always in search of. And make sure you eat all those tidbits with the mussels. Oh my. They were delicious. And I didn't visit the bathroom once in the middle of the night. The twice baked potatoes were very good as well--someone's valiant effort to make potato skins more sophisticated. And it worked. And they were cheesy and yummy. And smoky (from smoky bacon).
Hubby LOVED the suckling pig. I am not a huge pork person so I didn't try it (I know, and I am living in Indiana, what is wrong with me??), but it was smoky and apparently amazing to him as he told me about 700 times.
The food is so rich and large (even my bar portions were more than enough) there was no way we could try dessert, and honestly, even without my major bloated stomach, nothing just jumped out at me. But something for next time.
The menu was dated "Winter 2008" so I am hopeful they will change it at least seasonally.
One more thing about the smokiness. I could smell it on myself all night. Sort of like when you go to Benihana, only a different smell.
I am looking forward to returning to Bugg's temple. If and when I do, I will be hard pressed not to get those mussels. They were so good.
Ok, I know I say I am going to talk about a certain restaurant next time and I don't so I am going to stop doing that and just write when and what I feel like! That is the best thing about the blog. I can do whatever I want.
Maybe some day someone will read it.