I am always excited when we get some new restaurants in town—and I think so is everyone else around Indy based on the hype that nearly every new place seems to get these days online. Or maybe the PR people are just earning their money. Anyway, I waited as long as I could (I try to wait at least a couple of weeks) and hubby and I went to check out Delicia.
The first thing you notice about Delicia (other than the slightly problematic parking shortage in that area) is that the restaurant has a really modern, and quite buzzy feel to it. So far, they don’t take reservations (hopefully that will change eventually), and even at 6:00, the place was pretty well near capacity. This makes me happy because I think it shows how enthused Indy people are for new places—and even places with menus slightly out of the ordinary such as the “new Latin” menu served here. Prepare yourself for a loud night, not a quiet date place, but it is certainly a very social spot.
Before we had our drinks, they brought us an amuse bouche of a soup that had a nice, spicy (not chili pepper hot, but spicy) flavor. My only warning on this one--the cups they brought us were so darned hot, it burnt my tongue which was a little bit of a bummer at the start of a meal. So be careful. Or blow on it or something. Anyhow, we moved on to a margarita ($8) and the ceviche appetizer ($11). The margarita was very limey, maybe a little tart for me, but actually seemed to get better as you drank it. The ceviche was also very limey, but in this case, seemed appropriate and I really enjoyed it (it cooled off my mouth a bit too which was nice). There was limed-marinated white fish, octopus, scallops and a large shrimp (that we cut up and mixed in) as well as hunks of avocado, tomatoes, onion and peppers. It was good—if it needed anything, maybe just a touch more heat. Make sure you dig down to the bottom of the bowl to get all the flavors in the marinade that sinks to the bottom. I think this dish is a good one to have alongside some of the other dishes to give that fresh citrus flavor profile with all the heartier richer, meat-based dishes.
The next thing we had was the sopes de pato ($8). These were really very good as well. Totally different from the ceviche, they were little slight crisp corn cups topped with shredded duck that was slow cooked in a tomato and habanero sauce. They were topped with a bit of a spicy crema, some sprinkles of cheese, and slices of radish and jalapeno. The duck had rich flavor—if you didn’t know, you might even think it was pork. They had a fair amount of spice to them. These were hubby’s favorite item of the evening.
We were kind of going on a small plates theme because we were having a hard time deciding what to get, so the next thing we tried were the tostones ($13). These were little cakes made of plantains that were served with a bowl of sausage meatballs topped with red onions and a dish of chimichurri sauce. Basically, this was one that you were supposed to top yourself. This was the weakest of the dishes for us, although certain parts of it were very good. The tostones (the little cakes) were cold and tasted a little stale on their own. The chimichurri was a little too oily and didn’t have a lot of herby flavor. Hubby really enjoyed the meatballs on their own, and they had a spicy kick to them. I loved the pickled red onions served on top of them and used them all up on our last savory dish (and the only full entrée we ordered), the empanadas.
The empanadas ($16) were fairly straightforward, but turned out to be another of our favorites. They are large pockets of puff pastry filled with shredded beef , Chihuahua cheese, and drizzled with habanero cream. The pastry was cooked just right so it maintained its flaky texture but without being really dry, which I find to be the case with empanadas. And man, when you threw some of those pickled red onions on top, it was delicious. (I will be from here on out asking for some of those on the side, particularly if I order that dish.) I would happily order this dish again, although there are two of the empanadas and they are quite large, so it is a good dish to share. The herb rice on the side didn’t do much for me—I didn’t find it had a lot of flavor.
We also tried the churros (which are sort of like tubular shaped crunchy doughnuts) with chocolate ($6), which I thought were just ok. I mean, dipping something crunchy and sweet (with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg) into dark, slightly spicy chocolate can’t be all bad, but the churros themselves were inconsistent. One would be super crisp and one would be sort of soft. Honestly, it was hard to tell which was the one they were going for.
All in all, Delicia is a great addition to Indy’s food scene. It’s something different, and judging by the crowds, I think Indy wants that (hear that all you burger/pizza/wings places??). It is a really nice modern interior (although the lamps in the bar area, which are cute, are hung a little low considering how many people I saw bumping into them/wearing them on their heads). The feel of it and the energy of the crowd reminds me of a restaurant you might see in Chicago. One other comment on the interior though-- I am hoping they are planning on some light dimming shades for the front windows because the sun coming through at sunset is brutal. The service could use some polishing as well, as it was spotty throughout the night, particularly in regards to drinks.
I do look forward to going back and trying some of the other options on the menu. Several of you have mentioned this place to me already, and there are several reviews out there already. Tell me what you’ve had and what you liked so I can plan accordingly next time.
5215 N. College Ave