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!


601 East New York Street

Indy 46202


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

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.


11529 Spring Mill Road

Carmel, IN 46032


Monday, August 3, 2020

Big Lug -- Revisit

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog lately, I have been kind of picky about where I will eat right now due to concerns about safety. We are only eating outside and I am looking for places with nice space, employees who are following the rules and you can see they are taking precautions. One of the first places we went—and one of the places we go the most right now is Big Lug. I love their patio right on the Monon and we all agree that we really enjoy their food. So I am just going to highlight a few of our favorite things we’ve had over the last few visits. We have our regular favorites and have tried several specials recently.

To start with, I love the slushy alcohol drinks they are offering this summer-there’s a frozen margarita and a rhubarb version as well—they are even better swirled together (between $9-11). My family also usually orders the fried cheese curds ($8) to start as well—my kids describe them as fancy cheese stick nuggets. I like that they give you a couple of dipping sauces as well—green goddess and chipotle sauce. Both are good. They know how to fry things well at Big Lug and you will see that theme continue on several other things we typically order.

Like the “People’s Champ” ($7 small/$11 large)  (large pictured) for instance, which is sort of like their version of a popular fast food chicken sandwich—they brine the chicken in pickle juice and then fry it in their light batter. Its served on a small or large knot bun with more pickles. This is a very good sandwich and is typically ordered by someone at our table in either the small or large size.

Oh—and for the last month or so they’ve also started doing breakfast bagel sandwiches on Saturday and Sunday mornings and these are tasty as well—pictured is the bacon, egg and cheese bagel ($5) but they have a bunch of other flavors too—a good option if you’re out on the Monon in the morning. 

Burgers here are also a good option and I have had the Phrisco Melt on numerous occasions. The fam also often goes for the straight poutine, particularly when the weather is colder. But what has been one of the most popular sandwiches with the male half of my family recently is the Cuban ($8 half/ $12 full). It has braised pork belly, ham, Dijon, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and all on a smashed grilled Hoagie bun. It’s very well done for sure.

Recently we have had a couple of specials as well—most recently I had the Heirloom BLT special ($14). These were beautiful sliced heirloom tomatoes, lots of bacon, Bibb lettuce, and everything spiced mayo. I liked that they season the tomatoes and that they cut the bacon into smallish pieces, making it easy to eat (although making me sad when a couple pieces fell on the ground). I had the onion rings for my side (I appreciate the flexibility that they give you to switch out any sides you want—even though I am sad to see the tater tots are off the menu. I have a weakness). This sandwich was great and was exactly what I wanted for a summer lunch. And these are exactly the kind of tomatoes you want on a BLT—I like that they wait til they have good ones in season to offer this sandwich. One of the last times we went we also tried their specialty taco pizza ($12) which was very interesting with a tortilla layer on top of the crust and then, ground beef, refried beans, pico de gallo, cheese, black olives, green onions and some drizzled sour cream.

All in all, this is one of our regulars that everyone can agree to. I like that that they have a weekly specials menu to give some changing options, that they change the regular menu every once in a while, and that there are many things on the regular menu that are super tasty. I also appreciate everything the owners have done to support the local community during this pandemic from offering groceries from their restaurants to opening one of their restaurants to Second Helpings. This is a place that is worth supporting for that alone, but the food is damn good too. 

Big Lug Canteen
1435 East 86th Street
Indy  46240

Monday, July 20, 2020

Provision - Revisit

So right now when I go out to eat, I only will eat outside—so finding the right combo of a nice outdoor area and good food isn’t always easy—but likely the next few posts you will read will be some of our outdoor adventures. Speaking of which, please please share any great ideas for places to try with great patios, especially places that might be new to me! And I am already getting stressed about thinking about when it gets too cold to eat outside, but I am a worrier. 

Anyhow, we wanted a higher end sit-down place where we could get a reservation for an outdoor table—it seems a lot of places won’t guarantee outside tables. But Provision was a good choice. We’ve always liked the upstairs patio and it was a beautiful night. And we could reserve it. 

The tables are nicely spaced as well, and the servers were all fully masked even before the Mayor’s orders. We started with some appetizers—the tuna tartare ($22) and the king crab toast ($36). We also got a bread basket ($7). I have had all of them before, and all of them were very good. The bread basket at Provision is one of my favorite in town—next to Vida maybe. Cunningham Group seems to put out a good bread basket. Provision’s version has baguette from Blue Dog Bakery in Louisville (if you haven’t been there, you need to go—they do make some of the best baguettes in the Midwest), pretzels, naan, cereal bread and butter as well as dipping oil. All really good. Definitely worth the price. The tuna and the crab dish have always been good and this time was no exception. I like the seasoning on the spicy tuna mix with the crunch of the rice cake underneath—there’s a slightly spicy aioli as well. I really enjoy the crab dish, which is in a buerre blanc sauce with a bit of heat and served on super buttery brioche. It’s really rich and decadent—I tried to eat it as a main dish before and it was a little much. Definitely a great thing to share with a group. And a really tasty, buttery bite.

My daughter and I shared the halibut dish that came with udon noodles, mushrooms, tosaka (a type of seaweed) and yuzu-chile glaze ($46). I appreciated that they split the dish in the kitchen so we each got our own serving. The fish was good—maybe a tad bit dry. I loved the noodles and mushrooms with the slightly tangy, slightly spicy broth. My daughter actually preferred the fish to the noodles and I liked the sides the best, so there you go. It was a good dish though. 

My son had 10-ounce Iowa premium filet ($46). He could not stop talking about how good this steak was. It was perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned (from the small bite I convinced him to give me). They give you a little portion of Robuchon potatoes, which are like equal parts mashed potatoes to butter and are always delicious. We also got a side of “loaded tater tottler” ($9). This was my least favorite thing of the night—It was sort of three large fried potato pieces with a lot of spicy mayo underneath and bacon on top. Just didn’t really come together for me somehow. But really this was the only miss of the night.  Hubby had the charred shrimp appetizer ($21) for his main and was very happy—it is perfectly grilled shrimp with avocado, curry emulsion and kimchi apple. A great blend of acid and heat and smooth richness from the avocado. They definitely know how to cook shrimp.
We also shared some desserts, which were really good—especially the Indiana sugar cream pie ($10) with Turkish coffee ice cream. Even though the kids ordered the triple chocolate tarte (love the potato chip crust)($10) and really enjoyed it, everyone was fighting over the pie.

All in all, this was a great (although pricey) meal. It was so nice to enjoy a bunch of things, all cooked really well, on a nice night outside in the fresh air. It gave a little sense of peace in what is a fairly stressful world right now. Sometimes a great meal in a great environment can make you kick back and relax a little, even with a global pandemic. I have struggled with going out at all but was really glad we did in this case.  And remember, keep the recs coming!

2721 E. 86th Street #200
Indianapolis, In 46240

Thursday, July 9, 2020

King Dough -- Revisit

One of the last places I went to eat before the shutdown was King Dough and it was one of the first that was requested by the fam when we decided to venture out (and I mean to sit outside and eat somewhere). So at King Dough, they are basically offering their food as carry out (don’t worry you can get drinks too) and then you can sit and eat it at their outdoor tables. So they aren’t really serving it to you, but they put it in a box and they do give you some disposable plates etc. to use. 

We got a bottle of wine to share (you can only get whole bottles FYI) and the kids all got some drinks. We had to wait a bit to get a table in the shade but got one just before our food was ready. We had the meatball starter ($14), a Stinky Pete pizza with an egg on top ($18.25), a burger and fries ($13), and a baby margarita pizza ($8.5), also with an egg on top. 

I was happy to see that from my first visit till now, things here are consistently good. The crust is what makes the pizza so yummy I think and even though this one didn’t have quite as much of the “stink factor” that the first one I had did, it still tasted great.  My only knock on both pizzas were neither egg was cooked quite enough, leaving a bit of gelatinous white. The burger is a surprise hit for a pizza place, and I think it ends up being one of the better burgers in town. They serve a 5-ounce smash burger with American cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and secret sauce on a sesame seed bun. I like that the bread is not too much for the burger and it is just a super tasty, and again, consistently solidly good (this is probably the 3rd time ordering a burger). Well worth ordering, even at a pizza place.

And I didn’t mention the meatballs, but they have become a perennial order as well—and for a person who is generally not a meatball lover, they are very good. Really tender and great with the fresh marinara and ricotta. 

All in all, a good relatively safe (as far as distancing and cleanliness goes) option if you really need to get out of the house and get some food. Honestly, if I lived closer, I’d be getting carry out a lot from them. Too bad they don’t have a location further north. 

Also, please keep sharing your favorite safe, outdoor places to eat...this is about as far as I am going right now---not quite ready for inside seating,

King Dough
452 N. Highland Ave
Indy 46202

Monday, May 18, 2020

Turf Catering Kitchen - Revisit

I have written about this place before, but I need to make sure you keep them in mind in these crazy days. It’s purely selfish, I don’t want them going out of business. To be fair, I could say this about a lot of places, but I had been missing their sandwiches for a while, and they just started doing them again for lunch, so you should check them out if you haven’t, or get one again if you have in the past.

My kids have never gotten to try the sandwiches before because they were always in school when we got to grab lunch (they are only open Monday through Friday) but it is now one of their favorite places as well.

My daughter got the burger, which my son had had the week before and was very impressed. It’s currently a double decker brisket burger ($12)  with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onions. Oh, and their version of an “in and out sauce.” Ok, both my kids get it without the lettuce and tomatoes, but they loved the burger—and I think my son knew he would get a bite if my daughter ordered it because she rarely finishes things. He decided to try something new and got the chicken melt ($12). It was roasted chicken, onion, cheddar, mustard. Again—he got no onions. He really enjoyed this one too—it was super-hot and melty. And similar to my all-time favorite Turf sandwich, the turkey club ($12)—which is a hot sandwich with smoked turkey, lettuce, tomato, bacon, Swiss and black pepper mayo (love that mayo). You can’t go wrong with the turkey club for sure, but hubby convinced me to try something new because I was really intrigued by the grilled cheese with truffled egg salad. 

I was so not disappointed. Amelia’s bread, grilled with cheese, and stuffed with egg salad with a distinctly truffle taste. The bread was toasted perfectly, the cheese was melty, and the truffle scent and taste were just right. And it was one of the more unique sandwiches I have had in ages. I like that while the have standard sandwiches that you often see (that turkey sandwich for instance), they also mix it up and give you some new things to try. 

These are some of the more interesting sandwiches going in town, and they are delicious. Probably one of the top 3 carry outs I have had in quarantine. The kids have decided it needs to be a weekly event, and I agree. I look forward to trying some of the various options and would be happy to eat any one of the above-mentioned. Also, they give you house made chips with each sandwich that are also delicious (super thin and crisp) and I always get a little tub of pimento cheese. It’s one of my favorite pimento cheeses in town and I like spreading the pimento cheese on the chips. They are also doing some limited grocery items as well (flour and yeast for instance if that’s still a problem).

If you like an interesting sandwich with super high-quality ingredients, get on over there. They are also taking orders to bring to healthcare workers. I think Friday lunch is going to be our day as a family, although I can’t lie—I wish they did the regular menu for dinner once or twice a week—it would be a regular dinner choice for us based on my somewhat disappointing carry out we have been doing since quarantine started. We are being cautious at our house about going out even after the restaurants can open so we are always still looking for great carry out options. So feel free to let me know your favorites.

Turf Catering Kitchen
8155 Castleway West Drive
Indy 46250

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Juicy Seafood Indy

Well, about 9,834 days ago, before quarantine, the family and I finally got up the nerve to go try one of the “Juicy” places that are popping up all around us—seriously there are at least 3 in a 3-mile radius of my house. Trying to decide which one to try, I was looking online and ended up letting health department grades make the choice. We went to the one that is in the old Squealer’s in Castleton—officially Juicy Seafood Indy.
So here’s the deal with the whole “Juicy” thing (because I honestly had no idea what to expect other than crab. So the schtick is they service your choice of various shellfish in a giant plastic bag filled with several choices of spiciness and well as several choices of seasonings—the choices are lemon pepper, garlic butter, Cajun and juicy special (which is all three mixed together). Each bag comes with potatoes and an ear of corn. You can add 2 boiled eggs or ½ pound of sausage to a bag for $1.75.

They have a bunch of combos if you want a variety of seafood (or you could easily share). Dungeness crab will always be my most favorite shellfish (that and soft-shell crab) so when I saw that, I knew that’s what I was going to get. It is the most expensive except for the three-lobster tail dinner at $30, but Dungeness is just better. So you get basically a whole crab’s worth of legs, and the crab itself was good. I had no problems with the quality of the crab. I had the lemon butter seasoning and low spice level. The taste of the seasoning wasn’t bad, but it was pretty much flavored oil so it was pretty greasy feeling even though it wasn’t fried. I think if I went again—and it’s possible we might—I would just ask for some of the dry seasonings and have it steamed in the bag with some extra lemons. Maybe just a little “garlic butter” to dip in.  The corn was pretty inedible to me—super squishy—but that’s pretty much to be expected. The potatoes were boiled potatoes. They were fine. Anyhow, when they serve it to you, they shake it all up before serving it to you.

Hubby also got one of the combo  bags—his was filled with a lobster tails, some shrimp with heads on (you can do either on or off) and crawfish (about $30)--and he added sausage. The crawfish was not good and the shrimp and lobster were fine. He actually really enjoyed the sausage though. He had the Cajun seasoning. Overall, he liked mine better—both the seafood and the seasoning. I think he would be happy to share some Dungeness and add some sausage.
The kids went for the fried side of the menu, which seemed like a bad choice—but as it turned out, most of it wasn’t bad. They did share some of ours too. My daughter had the fried whitefish basket ($11) and my son the fried shrimp and tilapia combo ($12). We also had some buffalo wings ($6) and hush puppies ($3.50) for starters. (My son is on a buffalo wing kick right now and orders them most places that offer them). My daughter’s fish had bones that were a bit of a turn off, but my son enjoyed his fried platter and the wings. I’d say the hush puppies were underwhelming. My son said his wasn’t as good as my crab, but he said he would eat it again if he got some crab too.

So the whole atmosphere of this place is interesting—as noted, the big bags have a fair amount of “sauce” and are quite messy, they give you bibs and rubber gloves to eat your food with. A bit of foreshadowing I guess. And I guess you don’t have to worry about too many people touching your food since it’s in a plastic bag. My daughter was somewhat disturbed by the negative environmental impact of so many giant plastic bags coming out of the kitchen, and I can’t say I don’t agree. I do like knowing there’s a place to get Dungeness crab out, as it’s not something you see a lot of places. I think everyone would go back, but I am not sure how soon it will happen.

Décor-wise, it’s like a cross between Joe’s Crabshack and Red Lobster. Also, on a Sunday, it was packed. We had to wait. I think they were short a few servers too because service was a little spotty and a little slow, even though our server was really nice and helpful with ordering.
Anyway, I am wondering if you do pick up from them, if they just give you the giant poofy plastic bag…

Juicy Crab Indy
5899 E 86th Street
Indy  46250

Monday, April 6, 2020

Root & Bone

Whenever there’s a new restaurant that highlights fried chicken on the menu,  you know I gotta try it. Made a reservation with the fam and headed over. This is apparently a third location of a restaurant started by Top Chef winners—the first two locations being in Miami and NYC.  The menu touts itself as “honest southern food.”

We started with some “Grandma Daisy’s Angel Biscuits” ($7). You get an attractive cutting board with two biscuits on it, honey chicken jus, sea salt and benne seeds (which are like artisanal sesame seeds as far as I could tell). I liked the biscuits—they have a crispy exterior and soft interior, but I did not care for the honey chicken jus—it was just too much like drinking sweet buillion. Give me some soft salty butter any day—or do what I did and eat them with the pimento cheese from the next dish. (They also have fried chicken biscuits as appetizers which might be a better option, but I did not try them).

The fried green tomato “BLTs” ($11) were probably the most disappointing dish of the evening for me. These were little stacks of fried green pickled tomato, a pig dollop of pimento cheese, tomato jam, and then a slice of pork belly bacon and some greens on top. The best part was the pimento cheese aspect of it as I mentioned. I enjoyed just eating it with the biscuits. The fried green tomato part didn’t really stay in the crust, I didn’t really care for the tomato jam (too sweet for me) and the bacon was so fatty it was hard to eat. This one would be a skip for me, although I would enjoy it if they sold a side of the pimento cheese. It was tasty.

At this point, we hadn’t loved anything, and were a little nervous. We ordered a bunch of things to share—of course as mentioned, we ordered a half portion of fried chicken ($19). When it came, based solely on appearances, I wasn’t sure, but it was really quite good. It’s not a thick breading, but it had nice flavor and the meat was exceptionally tender. They say it’s brined in sweet tea—didn’t taste tea per se, but it was very tender. Even the breast. 
We also ordered the shrimp and grits ($23). So this was an interesting and very tasty take on shrimp and grits. There was a nice pile of very creamy grits topped with just cooked shrimp (certainly nowhere near overcooked). There were pickled onions, some sweet corn, andouille sausage and beer jus on top.  Oh yeah and some soft broiled cherry tomatoes. I tell yeah, there was a lot of stuff going on, but it was good stuff. The tomatoes were the only part I wasn’t sure about, but mixed together with the other stuff, they added nice acid.

We also got the cast iron seared trout ($26). It was local red trout with a corn johnny cake, charred lemon, asparagus, and gribiche sauce—which is a sauce made with parsley, Dijon and boiled egg. I didn’t get a lot of the sauce on my bite (it was a little swish on the side of the plate), but the fish was cooked just perfectly and was well-seasoned. The johnny cake was kind of charred—I am assuming it wasn’t meant to be black. The rest of the plate was good.

Luckily, we had also ordered some sides anyway—the star of the two that we ordered was the gooey corn spoon bread ($8). So it was like a super soft corn bread—almost more like corn pudding topped with a huge dollop of cheddar and buttermilk cream. This was a table favorite for sure. The buckwheat cheddar waffles ($6), which sounded interesting, were a little less successful. They were two small very soft buckwheat waffles that had melted cheese on them and were served with bourbon maple syrup. This came across as a dessert with cheese on it. I expected the waffles to be less sweet than they were and then when you added the syrup, it really felt like dessert. Or breakfast. In fact, they feature these waffles in a dessert, which is probably a better way to eat them.

I liked the interior, and it was packed on a Sunday night, so I know some of you have been. What was your experience? 

Root & Bone
4601 N. College Ave
Indy 46205