Thursday, August 1, 2013

Stanford's

Kincaid’s up in Carmel has recently switched concepts to become Stanford’s.  I always enjoyed Kincaid’s for lunch because they always had good seafood and some innovative dishes. I started eating at Kincaid’s in California for working lunches and was happy to find one in Indy. The new place is the same company, but with a more casual concept.

The interior looks much the same with a few tweaks (the missing tablecloths on tables that are meant to have tablecloths probably not a good look) but I don’t miss the dated blue water goblets.  The menu is pretty straightforward. There are a few similar things to Kincaid’s, but on the whole it is different. Hubby and I were having a hard time deciding on what to order and the waiter was a bit indifferent to the choices when I asked, so we ended up deciding to split a house salad and a couple of apps.

So the house salad ($6.95) was described as “mixed seasonal greens” with tomato, bacon, egg, cucumber, jack cheese, and choice of homemade dressing. We got blue cheese. Apparently “seasonal greens” means iceberg with a hint of romaine which is not at all what I expect when I see “mixed seasonal greens” on a menu. That was disappointing. Pretty sure there was little to no jack cheese on there as well (we asked for no cucumbers). The homemade dressing didn’t really impress me either. I would totally skip a salad here in the future. The only redeeming quality of the salad was the little piece of bread that came with it. It was a square of warm focaccia with cheese on top. The bread had nice toasty edges and was well seasoned. 

For the apps we shared we had the grilled artichokes ($8.95) and the salmon bruschetta ($9.95).  I have been on an artichoke kick as of late and was excited to see them on the menu. The first thing I noticed about the artichokes were how bright green they were. I wondered how they got them to stay this color. Pretty much every other artichoke I have ever eaten has ended up an olive green color after it is cooked. The second thing I noticed was how completely waterlogged the artichokes were. I don’t know if they were boiled and not drained properly or maybe somehow microwaved? Maybe that would account for the bright color?  Anyway, way too watery and there was basically no crispiness from the grilling which is one of the things I love about grilled artichokes.  They were served with a sundried tomato aioli and a roasted garlic butter to dip in. The aioli was so chunky with the tomatoes that you couldn’t really dip in it. As much as I love artichokes, this dish was just not working at all.

The smoked salmon bruschetta faired better for me. There was a couple of pieces of nicely grilled thin sliced bread lightly coated with an herbed cream cheese and then topped with well-dressed arugula, capers and cherry tomatoes.  The salmon was hot smoked and was very tender and was drizzled with basil puree.  Stacking a bit of everything on the bread, while a messy endeavor, was a very tasty one. There was a nice amount of acidity in the dressing and you didn’t even need the grilled lemon served with it (honestly, it was a bit too much if you did use it).  I really enjoyed the bright flavors of this dish and would eat it again. Hubby was just annoyed by how difficult it was to put together.

My son appreciated the salmon dish on the kids’ menu (I think Kincaid’s had this option as well) and also the fact that it was more cooked than I would cook it myself. He loves his red meat rare, but not his salmon. My daughter had a burger and seemed happy (I didn’t try either). The fries are pretty good though.

The place was freezing (come on what is up with this?) and we regretted sitting inside. My son’s teeth were chattering at one point. Granted the servers are all wearing long pants, long sleeves and probably a T-shirt under that, but surely the customer is who you should cater to? Considering the place was nearly empty, I was surprised at how slow our service was as well. Pretty sure it would be a real challenge to get hubby back there based on the overall experience.

The place was pretty empty when we were there (and it usually was at Kincaid’s for lunch as well). I just wonder how their business is at dinner. Has anyone else been there?

Stanford’s
14159 Clay Terrace Blvd
Carmel, IN 46032
317/575-9005
www.stanfords.com  

Stanford's Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

  1. My wife is big on salads and felt the same about hers. I don't recall what she had for dinner. I had the prime rib dip, and it was good.

    The service was fairly slow as well for us, and it was empty (4th of July evening). Overall, It wasn't super impressive. I wouldn't not go back there, but I doubt we'll plan to go there for any reason specifically. There's other spots around there that I would go first.

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  2. We've been there a few times. They seem to really be struggling to get people in there. A month or so ago they were giving away free bacon cheeseburgers to everyone who came in to try and lure people in. Each time that we've been in we have been surprised at how empty it is. I've always thought the food was pretty decent and they have good bar specials from 5-7 with half price apps, etc.

    I think they are just in an odd spot after the construction...not real visible now and their patio is now kind of right off the highway which is much different than it was a few years ago before the new roads.

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Thanks, Erin