Indy has a lot of really good restaurants these days and Oakley’s is certainly one of them. I like that it is consistently good (even if every dish doesn’t always completely wow me) and the service is professional and the menu gets mixed up a fair amount. It’s been around a long time but manages to stay fresh and maintain a high level of quality.
I was with friends and we ended up sharing a bunch of the small plates—totally one of my favorite ways to eat. I love eating with people who are willing to share. The first round, we ordered the deviled eggs ($5)(I’m a sucker), the oyster rolls ($11.25 for 3) and the Creole gnocchi ($12.75). I loved the Creole gnocchi. There were several pieces of the gnocchi (but not a ton) as well as crawfish etouffee. The little crawfish tails were really tasty and similar in size to the gnocchi. The whole dish was in a spicy seasoned sauce—but not “hot and spicy,” just true New Orleans style spicy. It was really well done.
The oyster sliders were interesting. They were not what I expected. The oysters were pounded flat and then fried and stuck inside the bun with some apple slices as well as a sauce (we had so many things even I am having a hard time remembering all the ingredients). The buns were nice and toasty and I enjoyed them. One was just right though, there was a fair amount of bread to them and any more would have been a little too filling for me I think with everything else we had.
The deviled eggs were also good. I do love the whole deviled egg trend, as they are one of my life long weaknesses. These had a little piece of house made copa (which is similar to prosciutto—a cured pork with maybe a bit more fat). The copa was crisp and stuck in the egg. There was also a little ramp kim chee on top. They were very good. Like I said, I love a deviled egg and these were no exception. The thing that made these different were the things on top, not so much the seasoning in the eggs themselves which was pretty standard deviled egg (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
The next course we ordered several things including the toad in a hole salad ($10.75), which is one of my perennial favorites at Oakley’s, and anywhere, really. It is a crisp piece of brioche with a hole cut out and an egg put in and cooked runny. It was topped with lots of greens, as well as some pieces of asparagus, prosciutto, artichokes, pickled grapes, cheese and with a truffle vinaigrette and some dots of a red pepper sauce. It was really good. I loved the slight sourness from the artichokes and the pickled grapes. Really nice with the rich bread and egg. They do a nice job dressing things and making sure salads don’t come across as dry or unbalanced (and they are so pretty too). Veggie-wise, we also had a side of the roasted Brussels sprouts, which are some of the best I have had—they were quartered and roasted with some bits of pancetta (if I am remembering correctly) they were exactly the right amount of roasted so that they were cooked all the way, and not burnt, and amazingly crisp on the outside which a nice bit of salt. I could eat another bowl right now. We also ordered the harvest salad which had beets and fennel I believe, but I only had one small bite, so I’m not really really qualified to write about it.
We also shared the scallop appetizer-- it was also really beautiful and really tasty. The scallops were perfectly cooked and I did not get any little bits of sand in any of the parts I ate (I have bad luck with this). It was a hearty sauce and there was more of the copa served with it. It was described as having melted leeks, but I only noticed a few maybe on the bottom of the plate.
At this point we were ready to share a couple of desserts and call it a night. Again, we went with a classic that I have always enjoyed, the brownie with caramel corn. The brownie is baked to order, but it is better than the typical molten chocolate cake because it is a heartier brownie. They serve it with a little crème anglaise on the side and delicious caramel corn. A great classic combo of flavors. We also had the lemon crepes which were a special on this particular night. They were also tasty—the crepes had a lemony filling and little cubes of lemon curd alongside. It was nice to have the two different sweet/sour flavors side by side.
I’m not sure why I often forget about Oakley’s when I am thinking about a nice dinner. Because the food is worth remembering.
1464 west 86th Street