Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tulip Noir

Wow, I have been having a little good run of meals lately. Nothing makes a girl happier! A friend and I went out to try a new breakfast/lunch place called Tulip Noir. It was fabulous (thanks to several of my readers for the recommendation!)

Tulip Noir is located in another strip mall on west 86th street, actually right next door to Sawasdee Thai restaurant. The décor is very modern, bordering on sparse, with baseballs hanging from the ceiling (?). A piece or two of art, not much else. The service was extremely friendly, and we were acknowledged pretty much immediately upon entering. Our server was very perky and enthusiastic. My guess is the place is owned by a Mom-- I noticed that in the bathroom, there was a stool for kids to reach the sink. Having two little kids myself, I really appreciate such things.

Anyway, we managed to show up in the last few days of the Spring menu (they change it 4 times a year, seasonally) which seems to be something I am really good at doing for some reason, but I am really glad I got to eat this menu because it was really outstanding.

As for drinks, it is a restaurant with a very extensive tea and coffee menu, with few other choices. Not generally wanting tea or coffee with lunch, I went with a flavored sparkling water which would have been fine had it been cold (I personally don’t like sparkling waters with ice, but hey, maybe that is just me).

The menu looked great and my friend and I were having a hard time deciding what to order, so we agreed to split everything. We got the mushroom and asparagus crepe and the chicken ciabbata sandwich as well as a side of the cauliflower and broccoli fritters. She also had a cup of the soup of the day which was a brothy spinach soup. (Man, that grilled cheese with two kinds of cheese, apples and bacon was quite tempting though!)

The portions were perfect for sharing—there were two little wedges of the crepe, two pieces of the sandwich and two fritters. And I thought all of these things were great. The crepe was perfectly crispy, the way I think crepes should be, and was full of sautéed mushrooms and (skinny) sliced asparagus with lots of pieces of goat cheese on top. The goat cheese melted into the crepe, giving it the right amount of tang for the pure savory flavors of the mushrooms and asparagus. The only thing I didn’t like was that the mixed greens on the side seem to not have any dressing on them at all.

The chicken sandwich was made of a grilled pieces of ciabatta filled with natural lemon garlic chicken (super tender slices that were not tough and hard to eat like so many chicken sandwiches that just slap an entire breast on there) with dill, provolone, sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, spinach and avocado sauce. I took the cucumber off (ok, I hate cucumbers, although strangely, I love pickles, but that’s another story) and the sandwich was superb. It was not so thick that you couldn’t get your mouth around it, but it had enough of everything that you got a little bit of everything in just about every bite. And the flavors were great. Again, same problem with the little side salad—not enough dressing (they only way I knew there was any dressing, was by looking underneath the greens to see a bit on the plate).

The fritters were nothing like what I expected; they were more like little potato pancakes made up of finely grated broccoli and cauliflower instead of potatoes. They were served with a yummy, creamy gorgonzola sauce on top—it was almost like eating a bowl of broccoli gorgonzola soup with a crunchy edge. The flavors are great—who doesn’t like broccoli and gorgonzola together?

I didn’t try the soup, but my friend said it was the only thing that really wasn’t that great. It was a total puree, and she is more of a chunky-type soup girl. Other than that though, I think she totally agreed with my assessment of the food.

I thank all of my readers who have recommended this place—it is a real find and I can’t wait to go back and try the new summer menu very soon!

Tulip Noir
1224 West 86th
Indy 46260

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review! Based on your experience we stopped at Tulip Noir on our way from Wisconsin to Ohio today, and we agree entirely. We had the summer menu: summer salad and a grilled veggie sandwich for me; summer salad and the tomato bruschetta for Companion. Both were fab. Thank you for pointing us to such a terrific place.