Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Deeter's Nasch & Nip

We settled on Deeter’s the other day (the casual side of the long running Glass Chimney restaurant in Carmel) because hubby was itching for some liver and onions—he had had it before and remembered it being really, really good and he wanted to see if he remembered correctly.

Anyway, this place is very old school—the décor is what hubby describes as “early mortuary” and I have to say he is about right. I don’t think it has changed in the 30 years or so it has been open. Wood paneling, textured walls, red velvet chairs and dark paintings. Well, you get the idea.

I think the menu is probably the same as it has been as well, with the addition of certain specials (which I think were the specials the last time we were there nearly 2 years ago). Also, I think the servers and assistants are the same as well and they know this place inside and out. Now, in the last couple of years the original chef owner retired and there was quite a time when it looked like the two restaurants would close. However, obviously that didn’t happen, and the investors who bought the restaurants obviously saw that the formula and recipes were working, and didn’t change a thing.

The food is old school too, but the ingredients are high quality and executed pretty well. All the entrées come with soup or salad, and the entrées are pretty good sized, so you don’t really need an appetizer at this place, but we got one anyway. I wanted the sautéed chicken livers, but since hubby was having veal liver for dinner, we got the fried calamari instead. You know, when we saw them, we were a little skeptical. But when you ate them, you realized, they were actually pretty good. They were nice and crunchy (pieces of the main body only, no tentacles) and the squid itself was soft and not rubbery at all. They were served with lemon and cocktail sauce. The cocktail sauce was good—pleasantly spicy, but not so over the top that you couldn’t taste the underlying food (and you gotta love it in the silver server). The calamari was also really good with just a squeeze of lemon. I ate some both ways, and enjoyed them. And the portion is certainly big enough to share.

We both went with the house salad with the house dressing, green goddess, with our dinners. It was a decent salad with a nice dressing. The green goddess was a bit like ranch dressing with more herbs and I think a bit of celery in it. The salad was a basic lettuce—iceberg and romaine with some sliced red onions and a tomato. Nothing spectacular, but not bad.

For my entrée, I had the pan fried walleye, which our server said was her favorite. It was two large filets of walleye, pan fried so that it had a crispy crust and served with a lemon butter sauce and capers. There were certainly capers, but I didn’t see or taste much of a lemon butter sauce. The fish has a great flavor on its own though, so I still enjoyed it, but maybe a bit of actual sauce would have been nice. I squeezed a lemon over it and enjoyed it. With each entrée, you also get a choice of a side—I think the standard sides were sautéed cabbage, the house potatoes or the vegetable of the day. You can also “upgrade” to certain other sides. I went with the spaetzle and hubby upgraded to French fries. Both our sides were good as well. I thought my spaetzle went really well with my fish (there was a TON of it though). The pasta was lightly crispy on the outside (I assume it was lightly pan fried as well) and had a nice texture and flavor. Hubby’s fries were really good too—they were very lightly battered, seasoned fries. They were really crispy and had great flavor. Not sure why they were so addictive, but they were.

Hubby had the veal liver and onions and enjoyed it once again. He didn’t think they were quite up to the memory he had from the last time. But he did really like it—and grumbles about not being able to find them more often.

All in all, this is a restaurant that is continuing to put out a good product—of course, you would hope after 30 years of preparing these same dishes, they would have them down, and they do. They give you a lot of food for sure, and you really don’t need an appetizer. The wine list was a little limited for me, and I had a hard time making a choice. Hopefully, in the main dining room, it is more extensive (I have eaten there before but it has been quite awhile, so I don’t clearly remember). I do like the more casual side of Deeter’s better I think, because while the décor is similar in both, Deeter’s more casual feel balances the cheesiness of it. Whereas, the last time I was at the Glass Chimney, you feel like you are really in a time warp (especially when you are dressed up yourself).

Anyway, this is a very traditional restaurant, with a traditional menu, but like I said, the quality of the food is good, and we enjoyed ourselves.

Deeter’s Nasch & Nip
12901 Old Meridian Street
Carmel, IN 46032

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