Monday, June 6, 2011

The Ripple Inn - Revisit


It was a Tuesday, and we randomly had a babysitter, so we decided to try The Ripple Inn again—it had been awhile and we had enjoyed it on our first visit.  We also happily discovered that they offer ½ price bottles of wine on Tuesdays, so we felt like we were certainly starting off on the right foot.  We decided to eat in the bar, because there were several tables of people eating there, and the restaurant was still pretty empty (it picked up a bit later, but not a lot, but then again, it was a Tuesday).  The bar was quite busy though.
I was interested to see the menu had changed somewhat since our first visit, which naturally made me happy (variety is the spice of life)—although I was surprised to see the “ripple skins” off the menu.  Turns out they were on a blackboard above the bar, so I guess they still have them, they have just taken them off the menu.  We wanted to go with some new items anyway, so we went with an all-starters dinner and shared. 
We had the steak tartare ($12), which is something I really like when done well, and this was a nice version.  It was the raw steak chopped finely and mixed with shallots, capers and housemade mustard and served with the super skinny fries on the side.  The tartare was served in little quenelles across the plate.  There were a lot of capers mixed in, which gave it the salty kick, and I love mustard with tartare—although a little more mustard might have been nice.  There were also some wide slices of parmesan across the top of the tartare, which was unique and gave the meat a touch of saltiness. The fries are salty and super crisp, but hard to eat with the tartare—I tend to be a scooper when it comes to tartare.  You sort of had to make a bite on your fork and then put some fries on top of it if you wanted it together.  But it tasted good, and the beef was as fresh as it needs to be to eat it raw, and it was not an overwhelming portion—I would order it again.
We also tried the fried oysters with Dungeness crab ($12) which was sort of a hit and miss dish for me.  There were several fried oysters which had a nice crispy crunch that was nice with the slightly briny taste from the oyster, but they were set into what was almost like a soup with pieces of the crab in it—almost like a buttery crab bisque without any tomato.  There were also some pieces of grapefruit in there that gave it an interesting citrus taste.  The parts on their own were tasty (when you got the crunchy oyster parts, the fry was perfect), but the oysters that were in the broth lost their crunch and got soggy which was a letdown.  My suggestion? Serve the oysters on the end of one of their long plates with the soup part in its own bowl.  Then you could either enjoy them separately, or dunk.  As it was though, I wouldn’t order this one again.
Our one repeat dish was the chili-citrus mussels ($13)—and they were just as good as we remembered.  The mussels are fresh, and small (my favorite kind) and are served in a broth of white wine, with a citrusy flavor (lime dominated it I believe) and a bit of smoky chili flavor as well.  I think lime and smoked chili goes really nicely together, and they had just the right amount of citrus and wine that gave it a crispness, but enough butter that it felt rich as well.  These are some of the better mussels around.  Again, they were served with the same matchbook fries that were a good complement to the tender mussels.
Finally, I was intrigued to try the filet mignon street tacos that were new on the menu ($9).  There were two of them, and they were the size that is becoming prevalent with all the fish tacos, etc. that are popping up on menus around.  I thought these were interesting because they were made with steak instead—unfortunately, the meat was the biggest downfall for me.  There were a couple pieces that were soft and more towards the rare spectrum, but most of the pieces of meat were quite well done (as in too cooked for me) and were tough.  The rest of the stuff that was on the taco was really tasty though—and I liked the way they took common ingredients you might see in a taco and tweaked it a bit.  They had big pieces of avocado, crème fraiche, pickled red onion and pico de gallo.  I am a sucker for pickled red onions, and they gave these tacos just a hint of tartness.  If the meat had been medium rare (I didn’t even think to ask), these would have been quite tasty. 
We also shared the banana peanut butter tart, which was not how I remembered it from the first time we went.  It was puff pastry with a scoop of cool, creamy peanut butter filling in the middle and drizzles of chocolate across the top.  I enjoyed the creaminess of the filling, and that it wasn’t too peanut buttery (your lips weren’t sticking together) but the whole package didn’t knock me out or anything.
Overall, I like the Ripple Inn.  I like that they are coming up with an interesting, inventive menu that doesn’t just have the same stuff on it that half the restaurants in Indy have.  They are taking care to think about their ingredients and what flavors might go well together—it wasn’t a perfect meal, but it is a place that I will certainly be repeating just to see what they are coming up with.  And I like having a nice restaurant with moderate prices in Broad Ripple.  I still haven’t heard a lot of people talking about it though—would love to hear some feedback from people who have been there.
The Ripple Inn
929 East Westfield Blvd.
Indy  46220

The Ripple Inn on Urbanspoon


  1. OK, I have to ask, what is the green fuzzy business in the seafood photo. Please tell me it's not foam?!

  2. it is foam..guessing you're not a big fan? :)

  3. Hubs and I dined there for New Years - our first time. We both thought it was great, maybe a little pricey for the special event, but most was delish. Filet mignon was perfectly cooked and all the dishes were plated beautifully.

  4. My wife, daughter, and I ate there for my wife's birthday. Our server was very knowledgeable, the food was presented wonderfully, and the preparation was superb. I was disappointed it wasn't busier, but it was a Wednesday. Restaurants this good need to survive.