Monday, April 12, 2021

Cholita - Revisit

While hubby and I are vaccinated and can be a little looser with the rules about where to eat now, the kids still aren’t and we’re still on the quest for good patios (please continue to share your favorites), Cholita is a good option because it is enclosed with plastic sheeting, but there are still large gaps of fresh air, and the tables are pretty well spaced (although when we were there, there were several patrons walking about one end of the patio
without masks).


It has been quite a while since I have been here, definitely over a year—and I was looking forward to trying it again. I will admit the last time we went (probably at least 18 months ago), things had fallen off a bit—there was a lot of cabbage and not a lot of the meat/veggie stuffing or other more interesting toppings. We started out this visit with some chips and salsa ($3) and the queso fundido ($8). We also had a couple different margaritas. The chips and salsa hit the spot and I like their salsa. It has a nice flavor without being too spicy. The queso fundido is tasty too, although a little challenging to eat with the little wedges of soft tortilla on the side-they taste good together but eating it with the chips was easier. The cheese is super rich and I appreciate the spicy salsa chile morita (smoked jalapeno) they serve with it to cut through the richness and add a kick of heat. The margaritas are tasty, but I recommend the top shelf because the regular house margarita is a little tart.



The menu is pretty much tacos after that, and they have a lot of good options including a rotating monthly special. Hubby and I shared a fish taco, a fried avocado taco, a shrimp taco, and the special chicken tinga taco (a “side piece” includes three tacos and beans for $13.50—you can also buy a la carte and the tacos range from $3.75-$4.25). The fish was so, so good. It is fried cod topped with shredded Colby cheese and cabbage and has a “California wine sauce” and pico de gallo. This was my favorite of the night. The fish was a light tempura-type batter and tasted fresh and super crunchy. All the toppings were just right. 


The fried avocado also really good, and is topped with baja sauce, pickled vegetables, cabbage and pico de gallo. I really like the additional of crunch in the texture of the fried items in the tacos. That combined with the creamy avocado was tasty and I think the pickled veggies add a great hit of acid to balance all that. 


The shrimp is fine, but not as good as the others. It was topped with all the same things as the avocado, but maybe the lack of texture variation made it not as interesting. The shrimp was cooked properly though and had an adobo taste. It definitely brightened up with a hit of lime. 


The special chicken tinga was the last one and probably the least favorite. There was nothing wrong with it, but not as much creativity in the toppings—mostly cabbage and sour cream.  I am intrigued by the hot fried chicken version and will try that one the next time. 


All in all, it was a very tasty meal and a good place to go eat on a patio and be protected and warm if necessary. I am glad to see they have made it through the pandemic (and it was about as full as it could be). Who has been lately? What’s your favorite flavor?


Cholita

1001 Broad Ripple Ave

Indy  46220

317/389-5555

www.cholitatacos.com 



Monday, March 22, 2021

The Little India

We have been a bit in a rut with this whole Covid carry out thing…and I have been more determined to try new things. A couple of you guys recommended this place—it’s in the old Sobro Cafe location. The website is funny because it shows kind of a fancy dining area, but obviously it’s some stock images because the inside looks pretty much just like Sobro used to look if you have been there.



But no matter, we ordered carry out and when I went in to get it, the only people in the dining room were the owners’ kids playing on their tablets. It looks like it is a true mom and pop establishment—mom in the front and pop in the back cooking. And while there wasn’t anyone in the dining room, the phone rang off the hook while I waited to get my order—and there was a fairly constant parade of people and delivery service drivers coming in to pick up food. 



We went with our classic (and yes, I know, fairly unoriginal) order of chicken tikka masala ($12.95), palek paneer ($9.95) and lamb karahi ($12.95). I mean, we kind of have to compare it to our other stand-by Indian places to see which we like better right? We also got garlic naan ($2.75) and tried an appetizer of chicken pakora ($5.95). Please note I don’t necessarily think the pictures on the online menu are their actual food either, as the pakora looked quite different—the online looked like little chicken pieces, but in reality, they were basically like chicken finger size.


The tikka masala and the palek paneer were excellent. The chicken was tender and pretty plentiful (sometimes I feel like there is not a lot of chicken in the containers). The spice level was definitely present (it is listed as spicy on the menu) but isn’t so spicy that you don’t want to eat it—just the right amount (for my family) that slowly builds as you eat it. The palek paneer—which is basically like creamed spinach with hunks of cheese in it, was also very, very good. The spinach part of this dish was super fresh tasting—even though it was creamed spinach. I am not sure how to explain it except it was very spinach-y. There was also a lot of cheese chunks (which is my preference) although it is pretty big pieces and I like them a little smaller, which isn’t a big deal  because you can just cut them up and stir them back in. 


The boys in my family are the main lamb eaters with Indian food and thought the quality of the lamb, and the tenderness was really good. They didn’t like the sauce (ginger, onions, bell peppers and spices) as much, thought it was a little bland. They are excited to try some other lamb dishes though because of the quality of the meat. We also were intrigued by the Indo Chinese dishes which have a Chinese flair to them. There were several that look really good. 


The chicken pakora were a miss for all of us (the dogs felt very lucky though). There were a ton of them, but they were cooked in a chickpea batter but ended up tasting a bit like chicken in pancake batter—and didn’t re-heat that well so the crust was kind of soft. 


All the entrées came with rice and the naan was solid. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with naan right? And it was tasty. 


All in all, we were very happy and will definitely go back. Our go-to dishes are very good and we are excited to try some new stuff too. And always nice to support a local place like this. Who else has been and what did you like?


The Little India

653 East 52nd Street

Indy 46205

317/220-8300

https://thelittleindiarestaurant.com/menu-list/

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Send a Friend Lasagna

Ok, here’s a quick post to tell you about “Send a friend lasagna.” I heard about this service on twitter around the beginning of the pandemic, and have only continued to hear more as it goes on and on and on… I even sent one to my parents at the beginning of the lock down when we couldn’t see them as much. My parents loved it, but I just hadn’t gotten around to getting one for myself.

Recently, I had the opportunity to host a small group of friends who have all been vaccinated, as well as feed my own kids and family so I ordered a couple different options. We had the straight up regular one (meat, noodles and cheese) ($30), the gluten free version for a friend who cannot eat gluten ($44) and the gorgonzola lasagna ($40) for something different. I will say, I like lasagna, but I don’t get super excited about it unless it is super good—and these lasagnas qualified. Everyone really enjoyed all the versions. The straight up version is exactly what you want—just enough meat and sauce combined with the right noodle strength to hold it all together.


The gluten free was a hit with my friend who has recently learned she can’t eat gluten—and she had plenty to take home to share with her kids, one of whom also can’t eat gluten. The gorgonzola version was also very tasty too—soooo rich with lots of cheese and cream as well as ham and chicken. It didn’t hold together as well as the standard version, but it didn’t really matter because it tasted so good! But you had to eat it in small doses—I really liked a bit of both on my plate. And we ate it for several meals due to all the leftovers. 


They deliver straight to your door when you need it, which is super convenient. It was a little challenging to get them all on the table at the same time, as the gluten free cooks at a higher temperature and for longer, but I made it work. I wished I would have rested the gorgonzola version a bit longer just because it seemed like it could have benefited, but ultimately, it didn’t matter because it tasted so good. And like I said, it was a meal that lasted for days. IF I wasn’t hosting others, I would just freeze smaller portion sizes for my immediate family and eat it over the course of several months. (You can easily feed at least 8 servings from one lasagna).


This is a great option when you want a family meal that is clearly homemade, but you don’t want to make it. Highly recommend. And there are some other flavor options if you are looking for vegetarian or just noodle-free. If lasagna is your thing, you are gonna want to try it. 



Send a friend lasagna

https://sendafriendlasagna.com/

317.694.9529


Monday, February 15, 2021

One Trick Pony - Fishers Test Kitchen


Well…several of you guys had been mentioning how good One Trick Pony burgers were and I was intrigued. You know I love a good smash burger and I figured Neal Brown could do a good job with that right?


So Friday night, I got online, planned ahead and ordered online for a 6:00 curbside pick-up to be in home in time for a hungry son who would have just been home from tennis. Well, that planning was for not. I mean, I can understand a few minutes delay….but long story (and it seemed really long), they totally lost my order, but never realized it til I sat waiting for another 15 minutes, called again and eventually just had to go in and order everything again—told that my order would be rushed and well, it wasn’t—I stood and watched as they made every order that came in in the order they ordered, even though I had ordered my food at 4:50 to be picked up at 6:00. Anyhow, I finally got my food and was out the door just before 7:00. By this point, I had some hangry people on my hands and I was just hoping the food was good.


Luckily, the food was very good. I thought the burgers were great actually—and I was pretty cranky at that point. They are grinding fresh meat behind the counter (I could see it there as I waited….) and cooking them on a flat top—smashed flat and a little crisp on the edges. I had the “dandy” burger, a single ($5), and it came topped with American cheese, pickles, onions, shredded lettuce, and dandy sauce (also tomato but I went without). The buns are soft and white and just enough to hold up to the meat but not overwhelm the flavors. I love shredded lettuce on a burger, and I liked the dandy sauce, which seemed like a mayo/ketchup blend with some pickle chunks mixed in. Or something along those lines. I had a flashback to the Barking Dog burger, which was always one of my favorite burgers in town before it closed. It had a similar flavor and thickness.


Hubby and my son had the “build your own” burgers (for my son a double with extra cheese -$9.50). My son has always gets a double with extra cheese and nothing else. Hubby got onions and bacon and the dandy sauce. Both were really good as well although I think the dandy sauce makes it. But the beef makes it too, which is obviously important. Speaking of beef though, my daughter had the impossible burger ($6), which is the only non-beef entrée offered. I was impressed with how it looked—the appearance was tasty. She was happy with it, although my son tried it as wasn’t as impressed as he was with the real beef burger, but what can you expect? But if you are vegetarian or not a beef eater, it looked like a solid option.


We got a taste of all the sides—they have crinkle fries ($2.95/$4.95), onion rings ($3.95/$5.95) and cheesy fries ($4.25/$6.25). We had one of each. We heated them all up a couple minutes in the oven when we got home (this is my sure-fire way to re-crisp up fried items—just don’t leave them in too long or they get too hard). I think our favorites were the onion rings. I don’t usually love really fat onion rings, but these were delicious. They were an extra crispy panko-like texture—really good. I also am not a big fan of crinkle fries and these did not change my mind, but the beer cheese on them definitely did. With that cheese sauce, I happily ate my share of fries. I really enjoyed the flavor of the beer making it unique from your typical nacho cheese. So ultimately, I would get both the rings and the cheese fries again. Maybe beer cheese on the side if we get them to go so I can crisp up the fries first and then dip in the cheese. And I look forward to eating that burger again. It’s the kind of burger that makes you keep thinking about it—and everyone at my house really enjoyed it. Oh, and the one positive about my long wait was that I spent the $10 in tokens they gave me for the Test Kitchen on cookies from the booth next door— they’re called Fat Stack cookies coming out of the Korave Korean BBQ booth. One was double chocolate cookies and cream and one was funfetti. They were huge and very tasty—especially after heating them back up a little (like I said, this has become my pandemic area of expertise—reheating carry-out food to make it shine). 


Based on my experience, I would not even try to order the burgers in advance though. I would just go in and order and wait. And some day, who knows? Maybe we’ll even eat inside. 


One Trick Pony 

Fishers Test Kitchen

9713 District North Drive

Fishers, IN 46037

317/953-6400

https://fisherstestkitchen.com/




Monday, February 1, 2021

Doughnuts and Dragons


The other day I was out running errands early on a Sunday morning—my teenagers were still asleep. I was thinking I would surprise them with doughnuts, but our go-to Taylor’s isn’t open on Sundays. And I didn’t want to drive a bunch. I literally glanced around and saw Doughnuts and Dragons, which is just down the street from my house.

Honestly, I don’t know a lot about it, but it looked open and it has doughnuts in the name right? So I headed over to check it out. So I chatted with the two ladies behind the counter and they told me that they had opened just a few months before the pandemic and had built a pretty good business with the large space that serves doughnuts, craft beer and lots of board games and space to play all your games like D & D etc. They were hurt by the pandemic, and had to close down for a bit, but were back and trying to slowly build their business back up.


Anyhow, I ran in and was impressed by the looks of the doughnuts! Some interesting flavors and some decadent looking options, as well as some of your standard classics. Luckily, like I said, I had teenagers at home who will (and can) eat doughnuts all day with no ill effects, so I bought a bunch to try. I got the s’mores ($2.25 each), the chocolate iced with sprinkles ($1.75). plain glazed ($1.50) and a cinnamon sugar braid ($2.00). I got a 10% discount for ordering more than 6 as well (it’s even higher if you buy more than 12). 


I think the favorite among everyone who tried them was the s’mores. We are also a family who loves s’mores things and this one was done well—sometimes marshmallows turn too hard or chewy but these were just lightly singed but still soft. The chocolate on this one as well as the chocolate iced was soft and rich and tasted freshly made—speaking of which, they do make them all fresh in house. The chocolate icing is very fudgy, not as much like a hard icing you might get other places. The more basic glazed and cinnamon sugar ones were also solid. If this is your favorite doughnut, I don’t think you would be disappointed. All in all, I felt like it was a nice discovery for me—especially since like I said, Sunday doughnuts are a necessity. And my daughter, who has started playing D&D since the pandemic started (something you can do online) thought it would be cool to have her friends meet there once it is safe. They also have a very large selection of craft beers if that’s your thing as well. 



We went back a second time because my kids are sort of hooked, and hubby wasn’t home the first time we ate them. This time we got some repeats, and also ordered a butterbeer, more glazed (one of hubby’s faves), the banana nut muffin, and the cookies and cream. Honestly, hubby really liked the glazed and was very pleased. The banana nut, the butterbeer (which is like a butterscotch glazed) and the cookies and cream are actually a cake-style doughnut and had that denser consistency—they were fried so they had a little crispy crunch to them. The cookies and cream had vanilla filling in it too. Somehow, we didn’t get any cake style the first time so I was really glad to try these this time. They were all really very good. Loved the way the banana nut had the flavor of a fried banana nut muffin with icing. And a lot of nuts.



I am so happy that we discovered this place and my teenagers are gonna be there a lot I think. If you want a fancy doughnut, and maybe a beer on the side, this is your place (or even if you just want a doughnut to go). I feel for them opening in such a difficult time and they are worth a try for sure. A high-quality product. If you have been or decide to check it out, let me know what you think and your favorite flavors!


Doughnuts & Dragons

3838 E. 82nd St.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN 46240

317-288-0554

https://www.facebook.com/DoughnutsAndDragons




Monday, January 18, 2021

Ramen Ray- Revisit

Since COVID and quarantining began, we have developed a pretty regular list of places we get carry out from on a regular basis. Ramen Ray is one of these. They do a great job with carry out and even though it has to use a few more containers than is ideal, by keeping the noodles and everything else separate from the broth, it keeps the perfect consistency of the noodles and the eggs don’t get overcooked. And if I want to heat the broth up separately for a minute when I get it home to make it a bit warmer, I can easily do that too. My only complaint is they aren’t open Sunday nights which always seems to be the night we want ramen. They also do delivery through some of the third party services.

My regular order is a half order of miso ramen with an extra egg and chopped pork. The noodles are tender and great, the eggs are perfect and I really enjoy the chopped-up pork over the big slabs of pork which are more challenging to eat with a spoon and chopsticks. Hubby also gets the miso—sometimes a full order, sometimes half, depending on his mood. There is a spicy miso option as well, but last time I had it, it was so spicy, it was almost too much.



The kids both prefer the shoyu, which is a soy sauce type broth—and they also get an extra egg—which gives you three halves…just the right amount if you ask me. We also usually get at least one order of dumplings—you can get pork or veggie—we always get the pork. They are lightly pan fried and I like the vinegar/soy dipping sauce to give a little bite of acid to go with the rich ramen.


All in all, a solid experience—and the guy in there is starting to recognize me which shows you how much we get it. One of the things I like about it, is that it is carry out that isn’t pizza or fried food and feels a little healthier. So, let me know what your favorite slightly “healthier” options are these days. 



Actually, please tell me new and unusual places you have found good carry out. I need some new inspiration---but something I can carry out. At least for now. 


Ramen Ray

5628 East 71st Street

Indy 46220

317-288-7120

https://ramenray.com/





Monday, January 4, 2021

Mr Beast Burger

I have two teenagers in my house and a son that loves watching YouTube. Both my kids were intrigued to try this food that apparently was created by a guy who is a famous youtuber and somewhat of a wacky philanthropist/entrepreneur. Apparently, he makes a lot of money and likes to give it away in unique ways. That is about all I know. Oh, and that when he started this delivery/pick up only restaurant concept recently that he often gave wads of cash with the orders. It’s been a few weeks now since he started the “pop up” type kitchens  (I guess they use kitchens of other restaurants) around the country and so now you just pay for your food and don’t get the free stuff. But the kids were intrigued to try it just for the kitsch factor and I am always game.

The menu is pretty straightforward—3 styles of burgers topped with different things, some chicken fingers and chicken sandwiches and fries-seasoned, unseasoned and loaded. We got each of the burgers—the “Chandler,” the “beast” and the “Chris” style ($6.99-$7.99). The burgers are described as “smashed crispy beef patties” with their house seasoning and then the various toppings—the chandler being the simplest with just cheese and the seasoning. The Chris style has the “crispy” patties with cheese, seasoning, bacon and fries on the sandwich. The beast has the “crispy” patties, cheese, pickles, seasoning, brown mustard, ketchup, mayo and diced onions. Well, that’s what the menu said anyway. The patties weren’t really smashed crispy patties—they were just kind of regular patties. The meat was pretty tender and I did like the seasoning flavor. The cheese was nice and melty. I specifically had ordered the beast and there wasn’t any of the toppings on the burger except the pickles and cheese—no sauces or onions from what I could tell. The buns were nice because they held up well. But honestly, there was nothing about this burger that really made it stand out. I liked the minimal packaging, but when you are expecting a crispy thin burger, this was a little disappointing. It was a fine burger and traveled decently. That’s about it—it was fine.



The fries were pretty disappointing They are crinkle fries ($3.25), which are never my favorite, and you can get them seasoned or unseasoned—the seasoning is described as red pepper, garlic, paprika, sugar and a touch of lime. We got some seasoned and some unseasoned and honestly, couldn’t really taste much seasoning. A couple of them appeared seasoned, but that was pretty much it.  They were pretty soft, even after my patented re-heat in a hot oven to crisp them up (I do this with all carry out fries since we started getting a lot more carry out during COVID). My favorites of the fries were the loaded “beast style” fries ($4.99). They weren’t all that loaded, but had some American cheese melted on top and were drizzled with mustard, ketchup, mayo and diced onions. I think there were also supposed to be pickles but they weren’t there. We also got a couple of chocolate chip cookies ($2.49)—they were tasty—not a soft bake, more of a crunchy style—but chocolatey and good. 



All in all, it was fun to try and the kids were definitely intrigued. Would I order it over other local places with smash style burgers? Um, no. Let’s face it…would I order it again at all? Unlikely.  But the burger wasn’t terrible, and I appreciate that some of the profits are donated. I sort of wish they actually put the stuff on the burgers and fries as advertised… The kids seem to think that it probably won’t be around long because it is meant to be a pop-up type situation, but I couldn’t find any info about timelines so I really have no idea.




Mr. Beast….

There’s not really any address

Or phone number. 

Just look on doordash or 

Whatever your preferred third-party delivery service is..


Monday, September 28, 2020

Vida -- Revisit


This past weekend was our wedding anniversary, and we really wanted to go to Vida, even though I didn’t think they had outside seating (which they actually do—at least 4 tables that I saw). Anyway, we went for it hoping that the spacing would be good and hoping for good air filtration. We were the only ones inside for the first half of our meal, and after that the tables were very well spaced apart. I am still nervous about eating inside, but as the weather gets colder, I am starting to consider it. How are you guys feeling about dining in a restaurant?


Anyway, hubby got the 4 course (which is $65), in which you pick 4 courses from the menu, or you can go the a la carte option, which is what I did and then we split everything. But first, they brought us an amuse bouche that was cold soba noodles with a little bit of tuna and some carrots and fish eggs—I have had this flavor combo before here at Vida—and I love the sesame flavor here and the kick of salt from the fish and eggs. I could easily eat a whole appetizer of this.


Our first ordered course was the Hamachi crudo (a la carte is $16), which was two large but thin slices of raw hamachi with slices of perfectly ripe mango, a little avocado mousse, sliced radish, habanero onion and cilantro. This was so good. I wasn’t sure how I felt about mango because it really needs to be just perfect, but it was. And the dish was salted/seasoned just perfectly too. The fish almost melted in your mouth.



Our next course was the wall greens salad ($12) and the crispy chicken thigh ($12). The salad was a good mixed salad with some of my favorite things—blue cheese, nuts, sliced figs and a tangy vinaigrette. The lettuce was soft and supple (and I assume came from their wall of greens, based on the name). The chicken was even better though because you got a little of a similar salad aspect, but with a slight sweet, slight spicy perfectly tender fried chicken thigh underneath. And the flowers on top made it look like art. Art that tasted delicious.


For the main dishes we had the ribeye ($42 a la carte) and the cacio e pepe cappelliti ($28 a la carte). Hubby wanted the ribeye really badly after having a bite of someone else’s the last time we were there. He was not disappointed. There were roasted potatoes and black truffle gnocchi and a few Brussel Sprouts leaves on top. It was rich and delicious. The pasta was soooo good. It was little stuffed pastas with Trillium cheese, crispy roasted broccoli, slices of pecorino cheese and black pepper. Fresh pasta is so worth it—and the cheese inside was delicious. The most amazing part was the broth it sat in that was rich and buttery with just a hint of lemon. The waiter brought us some extra freshly made focaccia for soaking it up and it was much appreciated (oh yeah, the complimentary bread plate is always awesome too—this one had the herb focaccia and zucchini bread).






Finally, we had the ricotta doughnuts ($11 a la carte) which I think have been on the menu since the start. And there’s a reason. They are little like beignet-sized doughnuts with a bourbon maple glaze, candied bacon and caramel ice cream. Seriously, a perfect mix of sweet, rich and salty and savory all at the same time. And one of the best dessert wine lists in town (just ask). 


Our service was also spot on, and it is one of the nicer feeling atmospheres in the city. And I love the extra space between tables. I know it’s not cost effective, but I would love it we could maintain some of it even post-pandemic for having more private conversations. 



Overall, one of the best meals I have had since I can remember. I am already thinking about how I can plan some private dinners in some of the private spaces for some even safer dinners. Seriously, this is probably one of Indy’s best fine dining places right now. Check it out and don’t let them close!


Vida

601 East New York Street

Indy 46202

317/420-2323

www.vida-restaurant.com 




Monday, September 14, 2020

Blupoint Oyster House


I was excited to hear about a new place in Sobro with a good-sized patio and specializing in seafood. The stuff I read online was decent, and the menu looked very appealing, so we headed over to give it a try a couple weeks ago. Actually, this review is a combo of two visits—one with just hubby and one with the kids. They have a nice large outside patio (the inside looks cute too but I am not there yet) and a wine list that is also appealing to me.

At each visit we started with one of the tartares—the salmon tartare ($14) the first visit and the tuna ($15) the second. Ok, these were the biggest letdowns of both visits for me. There was nothing wrong with the quality of the fish but they were both pretty bland. The tuna was a little better because it had some capers in there that at least gave a salty kick every once in a while, but I would have guessed with anchovies, serrano peppers, and olives (according to the menu description) there would have been more flavor but it really just tasted mostly like tuna with a couple of capers. The salmon one said it had sesame oil, sriracha vinaigrette and sesame seeds, but again, I got very little flavor even when I dipped in the very minimal dollops of sauces on the side. Add some soy or something. And both needed a much bigger kick of acid. They were both served with freshly fried tortilla chips which were tasty, but because the fish was just ok, we didn’t eat that many.


But moving on, we also tried the panzanella salad ($8). We actually had this both times. The salad included cubes of ciabatta croutons, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, and red wine vinaigrette. This one had the kick of acid I was craving and was well done (other than I really wished for a couple more of the croutons).
With the kids we also tried the fritto misto ($15). This was excellent. It was lightly and perfectly fried shrimp, calamari and oysters with a yummy, slightly spicy aioli (my favorite dipping accountrement). This is one of the better fritto mistos in town I think. The crispy exterior just kind of cracks to reveal super tender seafood—even the calamari isn’t chewy. And throwing some oysters in was a nice bonus that you don’t see at many places in their fritto misto.

On one visit, we tried the gambas al ajilo ($12) as well. This was a nice piece of bread topped with several shrimps which were all cooked just right. The sauce had a fair amount of garlic, but also a lot of paprika and chiles. There were six of the shrimp, so it was pretty sizable. It was tasty. A squeeze of lemon would have been perfect. (I know, I am predictable.)

 



With two visits we also tried two of the pasta main dishes and both were excellent—in fact I would venture to say their pastas are their strengths. The first time we had the squid ink bucatini with lemon cream sauce, chile flakes and we added the shrimp ($18 + $5). This was really well done. The sauce was rich and decadent but had a distinct lemony flavor which helped balance it. The pasta was cooked just right as were the shrimp. Both hubby and I agreed we’d easily get this again.



We also had the linguine and clams on the second visit (the picture you see is half portion as they split it in the kitchen) ($18). They make theirs just like I do, and it is my favorite way—some white wine, chile flakes and garlic in the sauce. Simple, and just right. It had a nice balanced flavor and everyone was happy with this one too. 




My son also had the seared salmon entree ($24) which was served with roasted potatoes, olives and asparagus. It was served with salsa verde on the plate as well. He enjoyed the flavors but thought the portion was small--he is a 15 year old boy who just finished tennis practice so not surprising. But it wasn't huge. It was also cooked through so depending on how you like it, this may or may not be your thing. Or maybe ask for it medium rare (that's what I would do).


With the kids we had a couple of the desserts. My kids were happy with what I would assume was a foodservice chocolate cake. They have a strange love for foodservice cake and this one did not disappoint them (I on the other hand do not think cake should ever be cold). We also had the tartufo which was gelato covered in cocoa—simple, cold, and delicious. 


Overall, it’s a pleasant place to go. There are definitely some ups and downs food wise, but the pastas and fritto misto and solid. I hope they tweak the tartares because I love to order them and I can see potential with the quality of fish they are using. Service was good as well. 

Let me know if you have been and what you think!

Blupoint Oyster House
5858 N. College Ave
Indy 46220
317/559-3259
www.blupointindy.com 


Monday, August 31, 2020

Convivio - Revisit


As you know, we are only eating in restaurants with outdoor seating right now. It’s the compromise we have made so that we can still go out to eat and feel a little bit safer with all of hubby’s health conditions. Anyhow, I was talking to a friend about being in desperate need for a date night (we suddenly realized we hadn’t been out by ourselves since this whole pandemic started—it seemed rude to leave the kids at home I guess since we were all a bit deprived for outside interactions). Anyway, this friend recommended Convivio because they have nice outdoor seating and a nice atmosphere in general. We had been before but not for several years.


She was right and we got a lovely table on the patio that had the screened in part (there are several nice tables along the bocce court too but harder to get full shade). They use a scanned menu, which I like for less spreading of germs. They have a nice wine list as well. We decided to split a couple of appetizers and share one pasta dish, which was a good choice as the pasta portions are large. They start out by bringing you focaccia and a tomato oil which was very good. They know how to do focaccia. 



I have this thing in the summer where I want good marinated tomatoes all the time—since they had a tomato bruschetta ($9.95) on the menu, we ordered that as well as the frito misto ($13). The tomatoes weren’t bad in themselves, but I want some vinegar in mine. I have a need for lots of acid with my tomatoes. They didn’t seem to have any on their tomatoes and when I asked for some balsamic they brought it eventually but said it took a while to find in the kitchen which I thought was weird for an Italian place, but whatever. Once I added the vinegar, I liked it much better. The bread was toasted perfectly. I liked the little hunks of cheese mixed in as well giving a nice texture change. 



Their fritto misto is very good and they do a great job with the light texture of the breading but also keeping the seafood (shrimp, octopus and calamari as well as some zucchini) tender and the breading light. We both enjoyed it a lot. I think we ate every single piece. Sticking with the summer theme, we went with the Caserecce all Genovese ($22.95). It was the Caserecce noodles with pesto, sundried tomatoes and shrimp. The noodle is a short noodle that sort of looks folded in on itself. The pesto tasted like summer and the shrimp were cooked just right. One portion was more than enough for 2 people.



We were totally not going to have dessert but then we did. And I do not regret it. It was a crepe filled with vanilla gelato and topped with chocolate sauce and strawberries. You could tell the crepe/gelato part was frozen in advance but it tasted so good on the hot night we were there. And because it was frozen, it held together really well and was super easy to eat. I would easily order this again. Just seeing the picture here again makes me want to eat it again.


All in all we had a lovely dinner. I feel like seasoning on some things could be amped up a little (the bruschetta and maybe a little salt and more lemon on the fritto misto) but we got what we needed and made them work and taste really well. Our server was very nice and helpful and although beastly hot out, we felt pleasant the whole time we were there. 



A good place to keep in mind in Carmel with some solid outdoor seating options.


Convivio

11529 Spring Mill Road

Carmel, IN 46032

317/564-4670

www.convivioindy.com