OK, I am trying to play catch up still and so I am going to do quicker than normal reviews of 2 of ,what are usually a couple of my faves.
We went with the in-laws to Elements a couple of weeks ago and frankly, had one of what was probably my least favorite meals there. And usually this is one of my favorite restaurants. Anyway, I had one of their signature salads (that I love so much) and while it was good, it wasn't the best I have had for sure. It was white endive with blue cheese, pistachios and a vinaigrette. It thought it a bit light on the blue cheese and the pistachios weren't as good as some in the past which have included pine nuts or other more flavorful nuts.
For my entree I ordered Tasmanian sea trout. It was done in a shanghai style which as I have said before, I quite like. I almost always order fish at Elements because they do it so well. I had never had, nor heard of, this particular type of fish but assumed it would be similar to trout I have had before (like rainbow trout etc). Well, it was basically like salmon, only a tiny bit lighter. OK, here's the thing. I don't like salmon. I know, most people do, but I like white fish (pretty much of any kind) and some raw tuna type dishes, but usually not the fishes in the pink color family. So I was really disappointed. I was lucky though, because hubby really liked it and traded with me. He had ordered lamb so all was well in the world. The lamb was perfectly cooked, but the sides were a little dull. I only wish the waiter had explained to me what Tasmanian sea trout was, as he had to a nearby table after I had already ordered it. Oh well, you live and you learn. But again, to be fair, hubby REALLY liked the Tasmanian sea trout (but he also really likes salmon). So if you like salmon, try it, if not, skip it!
We also recently went back to the Tavern at Bugg's Temple (also on the night of an ominous looking cloud and storm system--seems hard to avoid this summer) with friends from out of town and had an outstanding meal (well, 3 out of 4 of us did anyway). I had the mussels (of course) and am happy to say, they were back up to their highest quality. In fact, everyone at the table fought for them and I should have gotten a double order. I then had the one side seared beef, which I have always wanted to get but haven't and it was really really good. A nice demi glace with it and I loved it. Unfortunately, I ended up sharing quite a bit of it with my table mate who didn't care for his suckling pig shepherd's pie (said it was way too salty), but really there was plenty for sharing.
And, big announcement! They have added an entire cheese menu in with their bar menu!!! I have been waiting patiently for Indianapolis to catch up to the rest of the world and offer some decent cheese plates for dessert and now you can make your own! They are priced individually so you can mix and match whatever you want. We had a selection of 3 served with some nice accompaniments (honey, nuts, etc) and it was good. And of course, we had the banana tart. I think as long as we go there, and they have it, we will be ordering it.
I would also like to say, the service is getting better each visit which is reassuring. Our waitress even remembered us and knew what wine we would want which was very nice. Unfortunately, they do seem to have a problems keeping several bottles cold at a time, so when we ordered our second, we had to wait to have it chilled down and ate a lot of our entrees without wine. No one is perfect I guess. But this is still one of our favorite restaurants and I was happy to see the food back to the high quality of previous visits.
Remember, they have a great patio looking over the canal. Get there while the weather is nice!
415 North Alabama
The Tavern at Bugg's Temple
337 West 11th
***Note: this restaurant is now called Euphoria, under new management but with the same chef.