Hubby and I hadn’t been to Oakley’s in awhile, and we hadn’t been there for lunch together since before we moved to Indy (we went one week when we were house hunting). I was hoping for one of their incredible soups to strike my fancy, but alas it wasn’t to be. (I think it is time to take butternut squash off the menu by the way—it’s almost May). The soup of the day was black bean which never has really gotten me excited so I went a different direction and decided to revisit the tarts.
I have a thing for puff pastry which the tarts are made on, and even though the last one I had was a little too pizza-ish in flavor, I thought I would give it another go. This time I had the chicken tart which was puff pastry with a bit of tomato coulis type topping, thin sliced chicken breast, a large round of mozzarella, and pesto and balsamic glaze drizzled about. It was served with a small side salad.
This tart was excellent. Really good. This time the tomato did not overwhelm the other flavors. The chicken was really tender and moist, the cheese added a great texture and richness and the pesto and the balsamic made it for me. These two things were excellent and added just the right amount of unique flavors that let you know you were in a skilled chef’s hands. The pesto did not overpower but just added the fresh green taste and the balsamic gave it the perfect sweet and tart balance. The side salad was basic, and dressed with vinaigrette. Didn’t wow me, but it was fine. But hubby had a couple bites of my tart and was quite jealous.
Hubby had the salmon pot pie which he had quite fond memories of from our first visit 4 years ago. He couldn’t remember if it was the same, but he wasn’t quite as impressed this time. It was a lovely presentation—served in a little cast iron pot it was the creamy salmon mixture with cauliflower, pearl onions at the bottom topped with more of the puff pastry as well as some sort of lemony pesto and artichokes which was a little heavily seasoned for hubby. This was one of those cases where the presentation was beautiful—hubby said he thinks Chef Oakley is one of the best platers in Indy and I tend to agree. But sometimes too many layers can lead to too much going on (wow, never thought I would say that, I do love my layers of flavor). But there was something on top he didn’t care for too much. Once he got down into the salmon part he enjoyed it much more than whatever was on the top. I had a bit of the bottom—it was very creamy and rich and had a nice flavor. But mine was better.
Hubby was also happy to see they had wine by the quartino and not just by the glass. You know, one glass just isn’t quite enough, but 2 is too much for lunch. A quartino is technically a third of a bottle, so just a slightly bigger glass (they call it a glass and a half). I loved in England they had two sizes of glasses everywhere, small and large, and they had lines on the glasses to measure that you got exactly that amount every time. I think it must have been regulated by the government or something. You never got those crappy small pours on the first glass like you so often do around here in order to entice you to order the second glass.
Anyway, it was a great lunch, we sat outside on the sidewalk in full sun and it was gorgeous. The food was good, the service was good, and so was the ambience. I was a little concerned that there was only one other table there at lunch, but maybe they make up for it at dinner.
1464 west 86th Street
www.oakleysbistro.com (and by the way, one of the better websites around for local restaurants too. Well done.)