Indianapolis Monthly - February 2024 Edition

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Photography by Rebecca Shehorn

Providing upscale catering & event services at unique and distinguished venues. 3 17 .8 4 6 .915 8 | R i t z C ha r le s . co m RITZ CHARLES | GARDEN PAVILION AT RITZ CHARLES | COXHALL GARDENS | INDIANAPOLIS PUBLIC LIBRARY | INDIANAPOLIS ARTSGARDEN | THE BLUFFS AT CONNER PRAIRIE | ARTISAN ACRES ESTATE

02 2024







Whether your locks are long or short, curly or straight, we have the tips on stylists, salons, and products to help you spice up your spring with a new ’do or relaxing treatment to boost your hair health.



Taking inspiration from their home’s delightful backstory, the couple behind The Colonial on Park has turned their historic house into a sanctuary that combines both elegance and a DIY spirit.

Contradictions abound as the new Gallery at the DeHaan Estate combines a storied site with the grand ambitions of a unique luxury furniture brand—and in doing so, opens up a walled urban palace to a curious public.






An array of platters serves as artwork.

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After almost 40 years, Indianapolis is poised to host the NBA All-Star Game once again, and we couldn’t be more stoked.

Nancy Keating’s mosaic toaster prioritizes form over function—with playful and dazzling effect.

Hasuno’s Cherry Blossom Roll is a delectable mashup of spicy, raw, and earthy.



Our Indiana expert muses on how the apocalypse came to Fort Wayne.

Hey, Tootsie boutique marries all-natural beauty and home products with vintage fashion in a winning combination.






Indy’s new diversity and equity officer Ben Tapper shares the wisdom and experience he brings to the role.

Dream of jetsetting with these global shop finds.


The intensity of Thai massage will leave you feeling soothed.



A first-generation Sicilian immigrant, World War II veteran, and centenarian has lived a life for the books—a cookbook, that is.



The owners of The Looking Glass Inn are hoping to pass the hospitality torch.





Plan a whimsical, romantic stay at The Junto hotel.

Five can’t-miss events in Indy this month.

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Carlos Hutchinson shares a tip on TVP, and the owners of Ash & Elm Cider Co. put down roots in Carmel.


From soy and coconut to turmeric and Thai chiles, Bambang Wisanggeni highlights the complex, multinational flavors of Indonesian cuisine.


Cozy up with these steamed buns, the meaty, pillowy comfort food with that stickto-your-ribs goodness.


Adults and kids alike can get their fix at Theo’s Italian, where pizza and pasta are elevated but still hearty.




A tour of the city’s best eats, from fine dining to favorite dives.

Cindy may still pine for me, but I’m no longer the free love hippie she once knew.


NEW YEAR. NEW HOME. Woodstock is custom design and fine homebuilding, up close and personal. At every point in the building process, you work directly with our owners, Bob Slawson and Nick Winings. Bob designs and creates the plans. Nick brings them to life. With premium lots in Hamilton County’s most sought-after neighborhoods and several quick move-in opportunities underway, we’ll create a home worthy of your dream lifestyle. It all starts with a conversation. To learn more about Woodstock and see examples of our lifestyle home design, visit or swing by and take a personal tour of our fully-decorated model home in Westfield’s Reserve on South neighborhood. 17129 Sanders Farm Circle is open every Saturday & Sunday 12-4.

Copyright 2024 Woodstock Custom Homes, LLC




69 Make Magical Memories!

B. Luxe Events, Inc.

Be Memorable. Be You. Be Luxe! 6


Need help deciding where to send your children to school? We’ve done the homework for you. This annual guide lists test scores, tuition rates, and contact information for public, private, and charter schools, as well as enrollment numbers, room and board fees, and degree programs offered at statewide colleges and universities. We also talked with Indianapolis school administrators about assemblies and events that not only enhance the learning process for students but also engage parents, friends, and community members.


FACES OF INDY Meet prominent local business leaders representing a wide range of industries, such as real estate, finance, education, medicine and dentistry, residential design, and restaurants and hospitality. They’ll share details about their professional successes, philosophies, and focus areas.

Valentine’s Day Reservations


Curl Power ONCE UP ON A T I M E, there was a little girl in the land of Kokomo who wished her straight hair could be turned into a magical mane of ringlets. Inspired by Shirley Temple, Little Orphan Annie, or maybe even Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company, she made her wish known to her mother and, lo and behold, it was granted. A trip to the beauty shop, where the 5-year-old sat patiently (probably not, but let’s just pretend) for hours while wands and washes transformed her locks, came with a promise that the resulting waves would be permanent. Upon removal of the curlers, cotton, and finally the cape surrounding her head and body, the tiny lass emerged, looking very much like a miniature ’70s-era grandmother. A session with a photographer followed to capture the glory of these twirly tresses forevermore. I have faint memories of that day in the salon and the ensuing photo shoot at Sears Portrait Studio, but I remember two things more vividly: 1) my reaction to seeing my new curls (sheer glee—there was even a dance), and 2) the smell of the perm solution. The mere mention of modern perms for this issue’s cover package (p. 40) lit up my olfactory bulb with the recollection of the malodorous ammonia-like chemicals, which were reintroduced to my hair a couple more times during junior high and high school. Sadly, none of my childhood attempts to create permanent curls lasted very long. My hair is stubbornly straight, fine, and flat. In high school, when big hair ruled, I spent my early morning hours curling, teasing, and lacquering my locks with Aqua Net to preserve my style past first period. These days, my hair is positively unwilling to reach the same gravity-defying heights. I’ve made peace with the natural texture (or lack thereof), but a glimmer of that little girl with the goofy pride in her granny perm remains, prompting me to turn the pages to see if there’s any hope left that a local stylist could make my mane magical once again.

Andrea Ratcliff Editor-in-Chief



Jay Goldz

Derek Schultz

Christina Vercelletto

Indianapolis-based portrait and lifestyle photographer Jay Goldz has a decade of experience, an extensive background in graphic and web design, and a love of marketing. When he’s not busy brainstorming campaigns with clients or pranking his social media followers, he loves to cook (and eat!), though he has yet to try Indonesian fare (p. 33). He is an avid reader and travels as much as possible.

Freelance writer Derek Schultz’s love of the NBA began when he was growing up on the wrong side of the heated KnicksPacers rivalry. In the pre-internet days, he and his best friend, Matt, would tabulate All-Star weekend scores in the dunk and 3-point contests while rooting for Patrick Ewing. On page 11, he writes about the excitement he shares with our basketball-crazed city after 39 years waiting to host the All-Star Game again.

Lifestyle editor Christina Vercelletto has considerable experience covering beauty for an array of national outlets. The semi-complicated relationship many of us have with our hair fascinates her. This month’s cover story (p. 40) explores that. The big takeaway? Embrace the fabulous hair you have instead of wishing it were different.


Subscribe at to receive a weekly guide to the best of local food and drink.



Ivy Bayer




Andrea Ratcliff

Holly Whitney

Margo Wininiger



Julia Spalding

Vu Luong


Christina Vercelletto FOOD & DINING EDITOR




Robert Annis, Philip Gulley, Jeana Harris, Terry Kirts, Amy Lynch, Sam Stall






Ryan Johnson, Jes Nijjer, Ryan Snook, Tony Valainis ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES

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Weight-loss surgery can help change lives Meet with an experienced care coordinator and hear success stories at a free seminar Weight loss works differently for everyone. The specialists at Ascension Medical Group St. Vincent – Meridian Surgery — including dietitians, bariatric surgeons and more — get to know you as a person. Together, we will discuss your options and develop a care plan just for you. Meet some members of your care team at a free, in-person or virtual 90-minute seminar. You’ll learn more about surgery, hear success stories from others and get answers to questions.

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UNSP OKE N RULES . . . . . . 14 ASK M E ANY T H I NG . . . . . 16 WISD OM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 BEST BETS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


Back Home Again


It’s been nearly 40 years since the legendary matchup of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan at the last NBA All-Star Game held here. This month, Indy and new star Tyrese Haliburton take the global stage.





national reputation as an event city and basketball hotbed, this is the first time in nearly four decades that Indianapolis has hosted the NBA All-Star Game. The city’s last (and only) hosting job came way back in 1985, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and a rookie named Michael Jordan took center stage in the Circle City. That weekend included a legendary Slam Dunk contest, with Dominique Wilkins narrowly besting the young MJ at Market Square Arena. Indianapolis won a bid in late 2017 to host the 2021 event, but the pandemic tacked three more years onto the wait. TIME WAS ON OUR SIDE, THOUGH. The extra years turned out to be a boon for the city. A $400 million renovation of Gainbridge Fieldhouse would’ve barely been underway three years ago, but now the venue has new seats, upgraded bars and concession stands, and the spectacular new Bicentennial Unity Plaza along its Pennsylvania Avenue side. “We’re now able to showcase to the world a completely renovated building, the new asset of the Plaza, and all of what’s happening in Indy arts and culture,” says NBA All-Star 2024 vice president Dianna Boyce. “2024 is just a phenomenal opportunity.” THE WAIT WORKED TO THE PACERS’ ADVANTAGE, AS WELL. The team was trudging through a boring and fruitless 34-win season three years ago, with an unremarkable—and oft-injured— roster. Fast-forward to now: The Blue 12


The Hoosier Dome as it looked in 1985 when Indianapolis last hosted the NBA All-Star Game.

“WE’RE NOW ABLE TO SHOWCASE TO THE WORLD A COMPLETELY RENOVATED BUILDING, THE NEW ASSET OF THE PLAZA, AND ALL OF WHAT’S HAPPENING IN INDY ARTS AND CULTURE. 2024 IS JUST A PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITY.” and Gold are back on the rise after a renovation of sorts of their own. Only two holdovers from the 2021 squad (Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell) remain, and while Haliburton leads the charge, potential All-Star event participants such as Bennedict Mathurin (Rising Stars Challenge), Obi Toppin (Slam Dunk), and Buddy Hield (3-Point Contest) have added to Indianapolis’ new luster. CHANGES ARE AFOOT. This time, the NBA is bringing back the east versus west conference format that was the convention for decades. Also, the traditional format of four 12-minute quarters is also being revived. The starting All-Stars will be voted in by the public and the players themselves, while the reserves are chosen by coaches. THE GAME STARTS WITH HALIBURTON.

His flashy talents and consistency in the clutch pack a flamboyant punch that past Pacers’ All-Stars like Domantas Sabonis, Roy Hibbert, and Danny Granger lacked. He recently enjoyed a coming out party during the Pacers’ surprise run to the championship game of the league’s inaugural In-Season Tournament back in December.

GLOBAL RECOGNITION IS NEXT FOR HALIBURTON. The In-Season Tournament gave him a national platform. Next: the world. The NBA All-Star Game will air in more than 200 countries and 50 languages. Haliburton will also have a shot at the Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player Award, which has been won by an All-Star from the host city’s team 15 times over the years, most recently by Anthony Davis in New Orleans in 2017. IN THE END, IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT BASKETBALL. NBA All-Star 2024 is projected to have a $320 million economic impact on this area. We can expect media exposure for both the city and state and more than 125,000 visitors. The event has already made a difference beyond the capital city, with a $1 million Legacy Grant being equally split among 21 (a nod to the original host year before the pandemic delay) youth-serving organizations in 18 counties across Indiana. The recipient list includes the L&A Park Foundation, named after young murder victims Libby German and Abby Williams, Aspire Higher Foundation, Phalen Leadership Academies, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County. — D E R E K S C H U LT Z


UPON THE BASKETBALL STATE. This month, NBA stars, including LeBron James, Steph Curry, Luka Dončić, and even the Indiana Pacers’ own Tyrese Haliburton, take part in the NBA All-Star 2024 showcase in Indianapolis. The three-day event, which runs February 16–18, is highlighted by the NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, followed by the Starry 3-Point Contest and the AT&T Slam Dunk competition on Saturday, all at Lucas Oil Stadium, and culminating with the 73rd NBA All-Star Game at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday night.

We build custom homes in Indy’s most desirable communities. PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER


317-669-6300 | OUR PA R T NER S




Boom, Baby

Q: NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES GET DESTROYED ALL THE TIME IN SCI FI AND DISASTER MOVIES. HAS INDIANAPOLIS EVER GOTTEN WHACKED IN FILM? A: Indy has never had its bricks flipped by an earthquake, kaiju, alien battle fleet, or any other trope. But Terre Haute, of all places, has. The city was destroyed in the 1982 Steve Martin vehicle Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, in which Martin’s character saves the entire U.S. from destruction—except for poor Terre Haute. At the time, Martin had a love-hate relationship with the city. He played a gig there in 1978 and afterward couldn’t find an open restaurant. A few months later, he referred to it in a Playboy interview as “Nowhere, USA.” But there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Martin was invited back in 1979 for a municipal tour, and then, as a goodwill gesture, he premiered his first film, The Jerk, at a downtown theater. His Plaid character eulogized the town by saying, “Damn. They were just about to get a public library.” — S A M S TA L L





Indiana divorce rate

The shifting images on the south face of the Palladium are set to music. Bring a chair and/or a blanket. The original production Eos: The First Dawn is celestialthemed. New shows will be introduced as the seasons change. The display repeats every half hour, starting at sundown. As it gets darker later or earlier, that time adjusts, so double-check it if you’re headed there in spring or fall. Just outside The Tarkington is a popular viewing spot, but don’t block the entrance when a show is letting out. On a cold night, nab a parking spot and face north to watch from the comfort of your car. On a crowded summer evening, be prepared to hoist tots onto shoulders.

The proportion of Hoosier couples who call it quits serves as a counterpoint to the Valentine’s Day drivel. Indiana’s stats are a touch on the high side, but we’re a paragon of faithfulness compared to Arkansas and Idaho, where marriages have an 11- and 11.1-percent chance of tanking, respectively. I l l u s t r a t i o n b y RYA N J O H N S O N



L E T ’S L I V E I T U P.

Fort De Soto Park

Shake up your next beach vacation in St. Pete/Clearwater. Start with 35 miles of white sand and warm, emerald Gulf waters on America’s Best Beaches. Add eclectic neighborhoods and breathtaking natural areas like Fort De Soto Park. And then top it off with all the world-class art and dining you could ask for. Let’s shine—plan your perfect beach getaway at


Some have asked why Indianapolis ASK ME needs a diversity ANYTHING officer. You have two employees and an annual budget of $687,685. Given that Indianapolis is the most diverse it’s ever been racially, ethnically, and probably linguistically, it’s crucial we think about whether our city services are meeting the needs of all our residents. How are we 16


creating new services to meet needs that didn’t exist before? An example is language access. We have emerging Burmese and Haitian populations. Some come here speaking English as well as anyone else, but for others, English is a second language at best. It can be difficult for them to get on our website and understand how to find city services, how to pay taxes, or who to call when something goes wrong with trash pickup. It’s important

that information is translated into languages that represent our population.

What drew you to the position? It sounds hokey, but when I saw the job posting online, it just felt like me, the embodiment of how I show up. I saw it as a role that would challenge me and force me to grow, and that combination was really appealing. P h o t o b y JAY G O L D Z

What’s your typical day like? It could be doing research on best practices, [or it could be] meeting with community members and stakeholders in different parts of the city and exploring the impacts of equity on any new policies or programs. For instance, I might be looking at our workforce, how diverse we are, and whether that diversity is spread out across different pay grades. How did your early life shape you? Mary, we don’t got the time! In short, though I’m only 35, I feel like I’ve lived probably four lifetimes. I was homeless as a young child and survived domestic violence. Then I was adopted into a middle-class white family in Merrillville … my experiences being both Black and white. I’ve been deeply rooted in faith at times and agnostic at other points in my life. I’ve been on the different sides of so many arguments, so I think that I can be a bridge between different worlds. That both inspires me to eradicate any injustice or inequity I see, but it also moderates me and allows me to understand where people are coming from. Even if I can’t reach a point of understanding, I can usually invite some curiosity in, and that helps me lead with a role of relationshipbuilding rather than antagonism.

How did your degree in divinity prepare you for the job? Going through seminary helped me redefine my relationship with myself in terms of my racial identity, my family of origin, and my faith. It was very foundational for who I am and how I show up. When you’re doing pastoral work, especially as a chaplain, you’re sometimes sitting with people in the worst moments of life. So there’s nothing you can throw at me that’s harder than sitting with a family who’s watching a loved one die. It gives me confidence going into any conflict or place of fear that it can be handled. What does Indianapolis do well? I’ve heard about progress being made in terms of the responsiveness of law enforcement officers and their relationship with the community. There is a continuing desire by IMPD leadership to listen, to engage, and to understand what the community


wants. And vice versa. Community members are on calls with IMPD sharing their perspectives and pushing for things they need. And there are conversations between our Black and Jewish communities, our Black and Mexican communities, and between different immigrant and refugee populations. Those are signs that we’re learning how to understand diversity in ways that bring us together rather than push us apart.

Where can Indianapolis do better? Plenty of places. Language access, not only for the immigrant refugee communities, but for those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired. If you look at SAVI’s Racial Equity Report Card, one of the most glaring systemic inequities is the infant and maternal mortality rate, particularly in our Black and indigenous communities. And relationships between our Black and brown communities and educational and healthcare institutions can always be improved. How do you spend your downtime, assuming you have any? I enjoy talking about world problems, oddly enough. That’s just me. Give me a shot of bourbon and a couple of people who want to go deep, and we can have a good time. I also like to work out and spend time with my family and kids. Parenthood is a weird gift, so I try to appreciate it as much as I can, learn from my kids, and figure out how to intentionally teach them the things I think they need to have a beautiful, meaningful life.

How can we each contribute to making Indianapolis a better place? Number one, leave your neighborhood a little more often. This is probably most true for white residents. Indianapolis is more and more diverse. Just drive to a different part of the city, take a chance, and experience it, whether by eating at a restaurant, going to a festival, or attending a local meeting. Just get out of your bubble and expose yourself to our diversity. Number two, pay attention to what’s happening in your local neighborhood groups. See if there’s a chance to get involved, maybe through school boards, a neighborhood association, or a church. And three, just continue to work to better yourself. Maybe it’s reading more, educating yourself on issues, exercising, or going to therapy. If we can all be healthier and more well-rounded, that would go a long way toward improving our city. How will you measure your success? I came into this job wanting to do X number of things, so I’ll look back at whether we were able to move the needle on those items. Qualitatively speaking, I’ll measure my success by whether we are continuing to see improvements in community relationships, like between IMPD and our Black neighbors, and whether more members of our diverse populations are engaged in our civic process. You sound hopeful that you can make inroads through your work. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t. FEBRUARY 2024 | IM


Mangia! THIS INDY CENTENARIAN IS STILL COOKING UP A LIVELY LIFE— BUT JUST DON’T MAKE A FUSS OVER IT. BY S A M S TA L L I NDIANAP OLIS tech executive Karen Mangia has written four business books, but her latest project, Sundays With Salvator: 52 Recipes to Cultivate Conversation, Connection, and Community, couldn’t be a bigger departure. It’s laced with traditional Italian recipes, accented with family photos, and peppered with the wit of her grandfather, Salvator Mangia. “I started thinking about what would happen if I wrote about someone who’s inspiring and has wisdom to share,” Karen says. Her grandpa certainly has plenty of that. Salvator, who is 100 years young, is a first-generation American whose father immigrated here from Trabia, Sicily. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, then built his own insurance business from the bottom up. And he is incredulous that anyone would want to hear about any of it. “I don’t think that my life was anything different from anyone else’s,” he says. “I didn’t do anything exceptional. 18


I just tried to enjoy life and take care of my family.” But one thing about him is undeniably extraordinary: the fact that at his age he is really living, not just existing. Salvator has kept both his good health and his sharp mind for an entire century. He lives independently in his southwestside home, converses on current events more knowledgeably and ardently than most, plants a garden every spring, takes daily walks for both exercise and to chat with neighbors, and shrewdly trades stocks— maximizing profits by wielding three iPads and two laptops simultaneously. He also cooks dinner every Sunday with his family—a tradition they’ve upheld since he moved back to Indianapolis from Florida in 2005. Karen, who has watched family dinners grow anachronistic in our scattered world,

Sal Mangia’s Meatballs ½ lb. ground beef or veal ½ lb. ground pork 1 small onion, diced 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley, stems removed, minced 1 egg 1 tsp. salt ½ tsp. pepper ¾ c. Italian-style breadcrumbs ¼ c. freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Form into 2-inch balls. In a large pot, heat enough goodquality marinara sauce to cover meatballs and bring to a simmer. Add raw meatballs. Cover and cook 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over al dente spaghetti; top with more Parmigiano Reggiano.



decided to offer up 52 Mangia-clan recipes (one for each Sunday of the year). It took the spring and summer of 2023 to create proper recipes— from Salvator’s special meatballs to his lasagna—because, in many cases, no measurements or ingredient lists had ever been written down. Karen wanted to help people who’d never had a Sunday-dinner experience replicate one. “It would be good to hear not just how to live to be 100, but how to truly live,” she says. Salvator’s advice includes nuggets like, “Own your vices or they will own you,” and, “Be humble or be humbled.” He also strays into practical matters, like the importance of eating fruit and vegetables at every meal and staying active. He boils it all down to enjoying what life gives you, cherishing family, not getting full of yourself, and living in the moment. In other words, Salvator has practiced mindfulness all of his days without knowing that mindfulness has become a trendy psychological approach to life. He receives notes from folks who enjoy both the food (the meatballs are a favorite) and his sage observations. And it all leaves him mystified. “I would never have dreamed that my life was worth writing about.”


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02 2024






(1) Polar Plunge February 2–March 2 What better way to mark Leap Year than by leaping into a frigid body of water? This fundraiser for the Special Olympics will test your mettle and warm your heart. polar-plunge

I l l u s t r a t i o n b y H AT S U E

(2) Monster Jam February 3–4 Lucas Oil Stadium is taken over by larger-than-life trucks, including the Grave Digger and Megalodon, driven by larger-thanlife personalities tooling around on two wheels.

(3) Mariachi Herencia de México: Herederos

(4) Indianapolis Boat,

February 9 This Latin Grammy– nominated 13-piece band plays five instruments, including the Mexican vihuela, while singing. Catch them at The Palladium.

Feb 16–18, 21–25 Start looking ahead to summer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. You’ll find plenty of inspiration, whether your interest is boats, lakeside living, RVs, fishing, or tourism. indianapolisboatsportand

Sport & Travel Show

(5) Mamma Mia! February 27– March 3 Here we go again! The long-loved musical with catchy ABBA tunes will have you dancing in your seat at Clowes Memorial Hall. FEBRUARY 2024 | IM




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02 2024

SHOP TALK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 TRENDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


B ODY+SOUL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 REALTY CHECK . . . . . . . 28 TRAVELER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


Toast of the Town Mosaic artist Nancy Keating took first place in the 2014 Professional Fine Arts Division’s glass category at the Indiana State Fair with this vintage 1960s toaster upcycled into art. Is it any wonder? The design consists of hand-cut and -shaped iridescent pieces of Italian Sicis glass, miniature mirrors, and steel beads. Two removable slices of hand-sculpted art glass toast complete the whimsical work. (Alas, it does not actually toast, but that hardly matters.) This piece is dubbed Flower Power; other designs are available for purchase. Inspired to create your own art? Keating teaches a Mosaics 101 workshop in her Carmel studio. $425. Art on Main, 111 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-564-4115, — C H R I S T I NA V E R C E L L E T T O P h o t o b y W I L B U R M O N T G O M E RY




Hey, Tootsie ADDRESS

3239 N. Raceway Rd. HOU RS

Wed–Fri 3–6:30 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.–3 p.m.




Jennifer Magley Media Consultant DO YOU HAVE GOTO SHOPS?


My clothes must have a story to tell. Local consignment shops like Amanda’s Exchange or Nuova Vita Vintage craft a narrative.

Tootsie Role A BIG-HEARTED BOUTIQUE ON THE WEST SIDE KEEPS THINGS NATURAL. B Y M E G A N F E R NA N D E Z M E LISSA SANDULLO’S dream of owning a bakery was off to a good start until a health issue forced her to close, as the work was too physical. “What I loved about the bakery is that it would light people up when they saw the cake they’d ordered,” she says. “I still wanted to create a space that did that. And where everyone feels like they belong.” So she switched to other passions: all-natural products and vintage clothes. She started paying attention to ingredients when her mother battled cancer. As for retro fashion, buoyant, playful cuts and patterns are just her style. Hey, Tootsie sells a line of chemical-free skin care (“Basically anything you’d find at a beauty counter,” Sandullo says) and home cleaning products. One room contains racks of new and vintage clothing in sizes XXS to 3X. Back shelves are sprinkled with kitschy planters and leather cuff bracelets from Hoosier makers. Sandullo’s father gave her the big porcelain “shop cat” she asked her followers online to name. (Anastasia Beaverhousen won.) Hey, Tootsie—we feel the love.



Solid. But patterns have been creeping in. I’m 6 feet tall, so it’s a lot of pattern when I go there. HOW DO YOU PICK ACCESSORIES?

SCOUTED (1) Plaid jacket, $65 (2) Pebble crochet mama

and removable baby kangaroo, $52 (3) Hey Tootsie! whipped shea body butter, $25 (4) Hey, Fella! beard oil, $15

The bigger, the better. I’m not trying to fit in. But they must be functional, meaning earrings aren’t too heavy and rings stay on, since I am a big hand-talker. FASHION TREND YOU LOVE?

Women wearing whatever they want at any age. —ASHLEY NIX FEBRUARY 2024 | IM








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(1) Japanese

rice bowl. $7. One World, 8466 Castleton Corner Dr., oneworld


(2) Philoso-

phy and tarot book. Inquire for price. Indy’s Global Village, 4233 Lafayette Rd.


(3) Hand-

loomed yak wool shawls. $28 each. Shop Tibet, 835 E. Westfield Blvd.

(4) Tiger

Balm herbal ointment. $4. Patel Brothers, 4959 W. 38th St., patel

(5) Heavy

Vietnamese scissors. $6. Viet Hua, 6336 82nd St., vhfood

(6) Bamboo

chopsticks with lavender floral accents. $3/set of eight. Viet Hua

(7) Tradi-

tional, large, metal blacktea canister. $11. Enson Mart, 6103 E. 86th St.

(8) Guacamo-

le molcajete. $40. Saraga, 3605 Commercial Dr., saraga

(9) African

terrine cooking dish. $300/set of two. H&N Luxury, 4247 Lafayette Rd.

(10) Bogolan

bomber jacket. $175. Kankou Elegance, kankouel



I l l u s t r a t i o n b y V I D H YA NA G A R A JA N

grandmother in her native Thailand. Growing up, she lived in a small village with few roads and no electricity. Her grandparents were the village healers, helping their neighbors with various ailments, including sore bodies from working in the fields. When Wilai was older, she learned additional techniques at the Old Medicine Hospital in Chiang Mai, where she later became a teacher herself. Wilai hit it off with a traveling Hoosier, who brought her to Indianapolis to both visit and teach. In Indy, TRY IT she met her husband Dave A L OH AJohnson, who, until his SAWASDE E recent semi-retirement, By appointment. practiced the Polynesian 30-minute to lomilomi style of massage. two-hour sessions, The pair now operate their $60–150. 317studio from their beauti985-7940 ful home near Castleton, aloha-sawasdee .massage where I was greeted and ushered into a mindfully sparse room with a fairly standard massage table and a mat on the floor. After I changed into loose-fitting pants, Wilai entered. Before starting our session, she said a short prayer to Shivago Komparaj, the founder of Thai massage, who is said to have been a friend and personal doctor to Buddha more than a millennium ago. Many clients come in merely for bodywork, but there’s a spiritual element, as well. Wilai keyed in on “energy points,” using her appendages like acupuncturists use needles. After being drawn into deeper and deeper stretches, I began to understand why Thai massage is sometimes called “lazy person’s yoga.” With her decades of experience, Wilai IT’S NO CANYON RANCH EXPERIENCE, BUT TRADITIONAL THAI MASSAGE GETS knew exactly how much pressure to THE KINKS OUT. BY R O B E RT A N N I S use as she forced my body into opposing I WASN’T sleeping sore, tight muscles. Thus, I received my directions without me shrieking. well, unable to get introduction to the art of Thai massage. That’s not to say the experience was BODY comfortable because When most people think of massage, pleasant. But it’s what you might call + SOUL of my back, which I’m sure they imagine a room with a “good pain.” Afterward, Dave had felt like it had been dim lights and New Age music gently me hop onto the massage table, where struck repeatedly by a emanating from a Bose speaker in the he used a traditional wood mallet to metal folding chair. That’s how I found corner while a masseuse named Sven further loosen my muscles. With each myself lying on a mat as Wilai Johnor Hilda slowly rubs their shoulders strike, I felt like a dilapidated midcentuson twisted my body into what I think and back. I’ve gotten a few of these ry modern house on HGTV that needs might have been a figure-four leglock (a types of massages over the years, but a remodel to become livable again. pro wrestling move, for those not in the Thai massage is an entirely different Wilai gave me homework: a few know). She had spent the previous hour beast. Thai massage practitioners not stretches to keep my back and shoulpulling and stretching me into various only use their hands, but they also use ders from tightening up again. Walkpositions like a petite Dick the Bruiser. their feet, knees, elbows, and more to ing back to my car, my body felt more But she was not trying to bind me into stretch and bend your body. limber. And that night, I slept better submission but, rather, to loosen up my Wilai learned the practice from her than I had in ages.

Twist and Shout



on the market ADDRESS

1319 N. New Jersey St. PRIC E

A BELOVED BED-AND-BREAKFAST NEEDS NEW OWNERS TO KEEP ITS HISTORIC, HOSPITABLE SPIRIT ALIVE. BY J E A NA H A R R I S FOR NEARLY a quarter of a century, the Life family has welcomed REALTY CHECK guests into The Looking Glass Inn, a stately mansion tucked among the trees in the Old Northside. Its curb appeal is timeless, with charm that begins the moment you pass through the wrought iron gate. Jeneane Life owns the inn with her father, Ben. Their connection to the landmark goes back to 1998, when Ben and his wife bought it so they could live next door to their daughter’s family after her first child was born. For Jeneane, it was the perfect work-fromhome arrangement. Her sons were lucky enough to spend their childhood dashing back and forth between home and the inn. In the family’s years of ownership, Jeneane has most enjoyed meeting visitors from all over the world and introducing them to Indy. “We have 28



Samuel Snell, Berkshire Hathaway, 317-985-9263

guests who have been staying with us annually for more than 20 years. Repeat customers are the best compliment,” Jeneane says. The inn’s prime location offers walkability to fabulous restaurants, coffee shops, and historic sites like the Benjamin Harrison Home and the Morris-Butler House. At nearly 7,000 square feet and containing eight bathrooms, the Free Classic Queen Anne is larger than it appears. Six of the seven bedrooms include an en suite. The jewel-toned interior features stained glass accents, built-ins, pocket doors, and nooks and crannies the Life boys liked exploring. While it’s clearly suited to continue as a bed-and-breakfast, it also has appeal as a single-family home. It could also be reconfigured for two families. To Jeneane, it’s not as much about what The Looking Glass Inn becomes as it is about honoring everything it has been. “I just hope the new owners love the historic nature of the property.”


Out of the Past


Columbus, OH DISTANC E

176 miles DRI V E T I M E

2.75 hours

THE NEW JUNTO HOTEL MAKES FOR A COZY ROMANTIC GETAWAY. B Y C H E Z C H E S A K LO OKI NG FOR a place to spend a relaxing weekend with your partner—or TRAVELER enjoy a midweek sojourn, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Wednesday this year? You need only go as far as Columbus to The Junto ( Brand new, it has spacious standard rooms with oversized windows and comfy window seats. Or splurge on The Apartment, a suite with living and dining areas and a kitchenette. Regardless of which accommodation you land in, it’ll be luxe. (And pet-friendly, if the love of your life happens to be a pug.) The boutique hotel, pronounced joon-tow and named after a social club founded by Benjamin Franklin, reflects history in a whimsical way. Its coffeehouse is named


Maudine after a cow that was voted Ohio State University’s homecoming queen in 1926. Menu options at the Brass Eye Rooftop Bar are inspired by Ben Franklin’s numerous expressions for being inebriated, like “seeing two moons” and being “loose in the hilt.” Among the unique amenities are a walk-up poutine window and the Gear Garage, where you can borrow board games, a turntable and records, scooters, bikes, and more indoor and outdoor accoutrements. When you’re ready to explore the bustling neighborhood, start with the renowned Center of Science and Industry ( Two tickets are complimentary with each room. The Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens ( are another nearby draw with plenty to captivate in the winter months.


With rotating themed games, food, and cocktails, COSI After Dark ( after-dark) casts the exhibits in a new light. MAKE EIN PROSIT

Founded in 1814, the German Village ( is peppered with pubs, charming shops, and lovely brick homes. HOP TO IT Street

performers, gallery hops, and rooftop bars enliven the Short North Arts District (

Huber’s Family Farm & Restaurant has a HOOSIER VERSION OF THE PONT DES ARTS BRIDGE , to which couples historically attached a padlock with their names. (A duck pond subs for the Seine.) Come March 2 when Huber’s reopens, put away a platter of fried chicken with your SO, then make it love-lock official. 2421 Engle Rd., Starlight, 812-923-5255 —CHRISTINA VERCELLET TO FEBRUARY 2024 | IM



The Heart of Columbus

43;)6 40%22-2+ 7)77-32 ʽˈˀ˃ˆˇʴ˅ˇ ˌ˂ˈ˅ ʷ˅ʸʴˀ ˊʸʷʷʼˁʺ ʼˡ ʬʣ ˠ˜ˡ˨˧˘˦ʟ ˬˢ˨Ϡ˟˟ ˥˘˖˘˜˩˘ ˘˫ˣ˘˥˧ ˚˨˜˗˔ˡ˖˘ʟ ˖˨˦˧ˢˠ ˣ˟˔ˡˡ˜ˡ˚

˃ʿʴˁ ˌ˂ˈ˅ ˊʸʷʷʼˁʺ ʼˁ ʬʣ ˀʼˁˈˇʸˆ

˖˛˘˖˞˟˜˦˧ʟ ˕˨˗˚˘˧ ˜ˡ˦˜˚˛˧˦ʟ ˙˟ˢ˥˔˟ ˖ˢˡ˦˨˟˧˔˧˜ˢˡʟ ˔ˡ˗ ˠˢ˥˘Ϟ˔˟˟ ˧˔˜˟ˢ˥˘˗ ˧ˢ ˬˢ˨˥ ˨ˡ˜ˤ˨˘ ˖˘˟˘˕˥˔˧˜ˢˡʡ

ˀʸʸˇ ʹʼˇˍʺʸ˅ʴʿʷ ʻ˂ˆ˃ʼˇʴʿʼˇˌ ʺ˅˂ˈ˃ ˆ˘˔ˠ˟˘˦˦ ʸ˟˘˚˔ˡ˖˘ʟ ˈˡ˥˜˩˔˟˘˗ ʸ˫ˣ˘˥˧˜˦˘ ʹ˜˥˦˧ ʶ˟˔˦˦ ʷ˘˦˜˚ˡ˦ ˜˦ ˧˛˘ ˖˥˘˔˧˜˩˘ ˗˘˦˜˚ˡ ˛ˢ˨˦˘ ˢ˙ ʹ˜˧˭˚˘˥˔˟˗ ʻˢ˦ˣ˜˧˔˟˜˧ˬ ʺ˥ˢ˨ˣʡ ʹʻʺ ˜ˡ˖˟˨˗˘˦ ˟˘˔˗˘˥˦ ˔˖˥ˢ˦˦ ˧˛˘ ˛ˢ˦ˣ˜˧˔˟˜˧ˬ ˜ˡ˗˨˦˧˥ˬ ˜ˡ˖˟˨˗˜ˡ˚ ˖˔˧˘˥˜ˡ˚ʟ ˣ˟˔ˡˡ˜ˡ˚ʟ ˙˟ˢ˥˔˟ʟ ˗˘˦˜˚ˡʟ ˣ˛ˢ˧ˢ˚˥˔ˣ˛ˬʟ ˩˜˗˘ˢ˚˥˔ˣ˛ˬʟ ˩˘ˡ˨˘˦ʟ ˔ˡ˗ ˠˢ˥˘ʡ ʵ˘˜ˡ˚ ˜ˡ˩ˢ˟˩˘˗ ˜ˡ ˡ˘˔˥˟ˬ ˘˩˘˥ˬ ˔˦ˣ˘˖˧ ˢ˙ ˪˘˗˗˜ˡ˚˦ ˔ˡ˗ ˘˩˘ˡ˧˦ ˚˜˩˘˦ ˢ˨˥ ˧˘˔ˠ ˔ ˨ˡ˜ˤ˨˘ ˣ˘˥˦ˣ˘˖˧˜˩˘ ˔ˡ˗ ˔ˣˣ˥ˢ˔˖˛ʡ ˌˢ˨ ˖˔ˡ ˥˘˟˔˫ ˞ˡˢ˪˜ˡ˚ ˬˢ˨˥ ˪˘˗˗˜ˡ˚ ˜˦ ˜ˡ ˧˛˘ ˛˔ˡ˗˦ ˢ˙ ˘˫ˣ˘˥˧˦ ˪˜˧˛ ˔ ˖ˢˠ˕˜ˡ˘˗ ʤʣʣʞ ˬ˘˔˥˦ ˢ˙ ˘˫ˣ˘˥˜˘ˡ˖˘ ˜ˡ ˘˩˘˥ˬ ˙˔˖˘˧ ˢ˙ ˘˩˘ˡ˧˦ʡ

˂ˈ˅ ˂ˇʻʸ˅ ʵ˅ʴˁʷˆ ʹ˜˥˦˧ ʶ˟˔˦˦ ʶ˔˧˘˥˜ˡ˚ ʠ ʴʡ˅ʡ ʷ˔˩˜˦ ˀ˘˗˜˔ ʠ ˊ˘˗˗˜ˡ˚ ʶˢˡ˧˘ˡ˧ ʶˢ ʠʴ˗˔ˠ ʙ ʵ˘˖˖˔ ʠ ˂˟˗ ʵ˔˥ˡ ˔˧ ʵ˥ˢ˪ˡ ʶˢ˨ˡ˧ˬ ʠ ʹ˔˖˧ˢ˥ˬ ʤʥ ʸ˩˘ˡ˧ ʿˢ˙˧ ʩʧʥ ˉ˜˥˚˜ˡ˜˔ ʴ˩˘ ʼˡ˗˜˔ˡ˔ˣˢ˟˜˦ ʼˁ ʧʩʥʣʦ

*-678 '0%77 ()7-+27

ʦʤʪʠʩʥʣʠʩʨʫʪ ˜ˡ˙ˢʳ˙˜˥˦˧˖˟˔˦˦˗˘˦˜˚ˡ˦˜ˡʡ˖ˢˠ ˪˪˪ʡ˙˜˥˦˧˖˟˔˦˦˗˘˦˜˚ˡ˦˜ˡʡ˖ˢˠ

CHE E RS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

02 2024

T HE FE E D . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 PI NCH OF WISD OM . . . . . 32


FO ODI E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 TAST E T EST . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 REVI EW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


Revered Roll There’s something really special about the careful combination of unexpected ingredients in Hasuno’s Cherry Blossom Roll that makes it perfect on the palate. Spicy tuna is paired with slivers of fresh jalapeño and cilantro, snuggled inside sticky rice, and then delicately decorated with more thinly sliced fresh tuna, bright red tobiko, three-way sauce, and a toss of earthy microgreens on top. 435 Virginia Avenue, 317-600-3020, — T W I N K L E VA N W I N K L E

P h o t o b y J E S N I JJ E R



PINCH OF WISDOM “The secret to using textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a meat substitute is to soak it overnight, wash it a few times, then squeeze out all the water. Marinate with flavors you like most—such as dried chiles, sauces, or fresh garlic and onion—to bring out those flavors you are looking for.” –Carlos Hutchinson, Tlaolli owner and chef


Spot On THE GOOD SPOT IS PERFECT FOR FAMILIES, FOOD, AND NEIGHBORHOOD FELLOWSHIP. BY T W I N K L E VA N W I N K L E ON T H E QUI ET strip of Southeastern Avenue that bumps into the new southside roundabout sits the brightly lit barbecue and wing joint The Good Spot. It’s not just a bar, and it’s not just a restaurant. It’s a neighborhood gathering place for everyone—from families hanging out with their kids, to friends grabbing a drink after work, to neighbors noshing on apps and a few beers while waiting for their turn on karaoke night. When Omar Hasan and LaRhonda Clark opened the restaurant in February 2023, their plan was for The Good Spot to uplift the outskirts of Fountain Square and foster neighborhood community. “The area really needed this, and Omar knew it was a food desert. It needed something to bring it back to life,” says Clark. “We always knew it was going to be a family restaurant. A place where we all know each other. That’s what we wanted—somewhere everyone knows your name.” 2023 Southeastern Ave., 317-943-9111,



Carmel Apples

Eastside favorite Ash & Elm brings its ciders and pint-friendly menu to Hamilton County. WHEN AARON and Andréa Homoya opened the original Ash & Elm Cider Company in an ancient brick building between downtown Indy and Irvington, eastsiders quickly fell in love with the “complex, drinkable, apple-forward” sips. Eight years and one relocation later, the Homoyas are preparing to pour their hearts into an upcoming Carmel tasting, part of The North End commercial and residential development. Along with the ever-growing catalog of ciders, customers can expect a menu that incorporates produce from a small on-site farm, as well as plenty of gluten-free options. “Our downtown location became a great option for people who don’t eat gluten,” Andréa says. Hopefully, their new clientele won’t fall far from that tree. 525 North End Dr., Carmel, ashandelmcider .com — J U L I A S PA L D I N G

GLAZED GLORY Long’s Bakery—the 70-plus-year-old doughnut shop—trended at the top of TikTok, despite its humble social media presence and cash-only policy. BRANCHING OUT Iozzo’s Garden of Italy is set to open its new location in Franklin this spring. BAGEL BOUNTY Sidedoor Bagel is doubling its current space, promising shorter lines and a larger dining area byApril. — T V




Taste Maker INDONESIAN TRANSPLANT BAMBANG WISANGGENI IS ON A MISSION TO INTRODUCE INDY TO HIS ISLAND NATION’S DIVERSE BUT LITTLE-KNOWN CUISINE. BY T E R RY K I RT S INDONESIAN food might not be the first thing diners in IndiFOODIE ana look for in Asian cuisine, but Bambang Wisanggeni and his wife Putri Pratiwi are trying to change that, one aromatic, spice-rich dish at a time. Wisanggeni first came to the United States in 2016 after his plans to open a restaurant in the Netherlands didn’t work out. After more than a year in New York working in restaurants, he and his wife, a native of Jakarta whom he met while cooking on a cruise ship, made Indianapolis their home. The pair became some of the first tenants of downtown restaurant incubator Circle City Eats in 2021, where they found an enthusiastic audience for their juicy blackened chicken, noodle dishes, and street food snacks. But Wisanggeni yearned for a space of his own, as well as a dining room

where he and Pratiwi could meet and serve a growing clientele. In late autumn 2023, they opened the namesake restaurant Wisanggeni Pawon in the recently shuttered Sakura Mart on North Keystone Avenue, now a humble yet cheery storefront where they showcase one of the world’s richest and most varied culinary diasporas. “We have over 17,000 islands in Indonesia,” Wisanggeni says, “so our food is especially complex. It’s intense labor, and we have to get in early to start.” That labor results in dishes such as beef rendang simmered in coconut milk for hours, with a lightning-hot housemade sambal dipping sauce made with spicy Thai chiles. “The diversity of Indonesia means that we recognize six different religions,” he says. “We want everyone, not just Southeast Asians, to be able to eat and enjoy our food. We already have regulars who come several times a week.”

FAVORITE THINGS (1) Cafe Korea. “We love the

galbi (short ribs) and all of the great side dishes.” (2) Coconut. “Coconuts are everywhere in Java, and it’s the base flavor of so many of our dishes.” (3) Chili. “One of my favorite American dishes.” (4) Soybean tempeh. “It’s not just a vegetarian thing— it’s so important to Javanese cuisine.” (5) Indonesian street food. Visit indianapolismonthly. com for Wisanggeni Pawon’s recipe for martabak telor, a beef omelet in crispy egg roll skins.






5 FEBRUARY 2024 | IM



Nice Buns Lil Dumplings Noodle Bar Carlos Salazar started making steamed buns when he worked at Oakleys Bistro back in 2011. Now, his Garage crew rotates between two and four creative variations each day. “Our bestselling steamed bun is our Korean pork belly with kimchi cucumber,” he says. 926 Carrollton Ave., 317-418-4227


Asian Snack Worth seeking out in the sprawling westside Saraga International Grocery store, this humble vendor steams up textbook pork buns for customers who crave the real deal. 3605 Commercial Dr., 317-297-1072

Tiger Lily 2


Fusing Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Korean influences, this casual Hamilton County lunch and dinner spot updates traditional bao buns with chunks of boneless chicken, fresh cucumber slices, carrot matchsticks, and a house-made spicy mayo. 7262 Fishers Crossing Dr., Fishers, 317-516-1914,

Modita relies on a Japanese coal-fired robata grill to caramelize pork belly for its sweet and smoky bao buns, a mainstay on the Asian-inspired eatery’s menu since it opened in 2021. Wisps of fresh slaw and a rich miso aioli complete this handy snack. 850 Massachusetts Ave., 317316-0470,

P h o t o b y T O N Y VA L A I N I S

WEI RAMEN Come for the ramen, stay for the savory buns stuffed with roasted pork or chicken. There’s also a lightly breaded eggplant tempura version on offer so vegetarians won’t feel left out. 36 E. Washington St., 317-280-7599,




2498 Perry Crossing Way, Plainfield 317-203-9107

Simple Slice



restaurant criticism is not to say anything, good or bad, REVIEW about the men’s room. But when the walls are papered in a whimsical woodland scene of bears tossing pepperoni pizzas and carrying takeout bags, a one-of-a-kind feature that seems like it would garner more mealtime conversation were it actually in the dining room, it’s worth mentioning. It’s one of the details at Theo’s Italian, one of the latest and more curious efforts of the evergrowing Cunningham Restaurant Group, that lets you know the place was named in honor of a 4-year-old—specifically, CEO Mike Cunningham’s first grandson, Theo. CRG has expanded its culinary empire to three states and every corner of the Indy metro area, covering every flavor from new American and tapas to burgers and brunch, not to mention offering custom box lunches, 36


private dining spaces, and a members-only speakeasy, so the likelihood that local diners have experienced the care and attention Cunningham’s staff lend to plating and service is high. Indy’s west side has long embraced the group, with Stone Creek Dining Company, Bru Burger Bar, and the CRG Event Center all clustered within sight of The Shops at Perry Crossing, which now houses Theo’s. Indeed, last summer’s relocation of Stone Creek to the former Claddagh Irish Pub spot, which gave it more square footage and visibility, left a bonus space for Cunningham to let his imagination run wild. Why not open the kind of place you’d take your grandkids for pizza night and add dolled-up scratch-made pastas and cocktails that won’t leave the adults at the table wanting? That’s exactly the feel at Theo’s, which opened early last October, whether you’re dropping in for a post-shopping nosh or

Sun–Thu 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m. VIBE

Family-friendly pizzeria TASTING NOTES

Scaled back elegant pastas, pinsas, and sandwiches for kids and adults alike NEIGHBORHOOD

The Shops at Perry Crossing in Plainfield MUST-ORDER

Pillowy Romanstyle pinsas with lush toppings, golden breaded calamari and shrimp, luxe lobster ravioli, and decadent Italian cream cake 3 STAR RATING


Opposite page: Lobster tortelloni nero pairs perfectly with hand-crafted cocktails. Right: Executive chef Nova Richardson and sous chef Trinity Gustafson.

driving out from the city. Its soaring twostory main atrium has a muted palette of earth tones, with just enough yellow and red accents and an open kitchen peeking in from the back to let you know its aspirations are beyond the local red sauce joint. Yet the menu dispenses with typical trattoria entrees such as osso buco or veal parmigiana. Despite this, executive chef Nova Richardson’s offerings lean a bit more toward parents’ tastes than fare for kiddies. A crisscrossed pile of perfectly chewy, parmesan-showered breadsticks with crunchy garlic chips is a must for young and old alike. And parmesan chicken pastina soup, a nod to the viral Italian American heal-all, packs plenty of comfort, though its broth is much thicker and lusher than usual, with shells instead of the traditional tiny tubes of pasta. Whether you bring the family along or not, cocktails from the cozy bar will soothe with their savory touches, especially the Italian Bird made with rum, herbal Campari, sherry, and a drop of salted honey. Calamari, enlivened with somewhat more crowd-pleasing fried shrimp, wears a welcome crunchy crust and comes plated atop a generous swath of restrained Calabrian chili aioli. A Caesar salad with Brussels sprouts swapped for the romaine is a beauty on the plate, with a stripe of ultra-creamy dressing underneath. A healthy helping of fried pancetta may weigh on the salad a bit, and the sprouts could use a bit more time softening up in the dressing. Pastas are where the CRG touch shines the most, borrowing the custom-made tagliatelle and ziti from the same production kitchen as the more upscale Nesso. The casarecce is hearty and sophisticated, with a meaty pork and beef ragu and fresh touches of al dente Swiss chard and sweet shallots. But you’re here for the pizza, right? Theo’s takes liberties with its pies as well, featuring the lesser-known but trending Roman-style pinsa flatbreads with an airier, more moist dough shaped into an oval that lends itself to less typical topping combinations. The kids may prefer it for its easier-to-manage squarecut slices, especially with just cheese or pepperoni. Be sure to order a second for the table, preferably the Fig Pig Goat, which has all the savory-sweet elements P h o t o g r a p hy b y T O N Y VA L A I N I S

of a charcuterie board—prosciutto, goat cheese, and fig preserves—crowned with arugula, tangy pickled onions, and a drizzle of garlic-scented honey. For desserts, tiramisu may be the obvious choice, and a slender rectangular slice is especially creamy, with a dusting of espresso that coffee lovers will appreciate. But the winner among the sweets is the Italian cream cake, a just-denseenough double-decker treat studded with chewy coconut and pecans and filled with a sweet cream cheese filling. Cunningham has no immediate plans to franchise Theo’s—he has just the one grandson so far, after all. So you’ll need to plan a shopping trip to Plainfield if you want to try its updates to Italian classics. Just be sure to bring the kids.

Start off your Theo’s experience with a burrata and focaccia appetizer (bottom), then share a Fig Pig Goat pinsa with the table (middle), before topping off your meal with the decadent tiramisu (top). FEBRUARY 2024 | IM



Cooke, Lucas lead 20th anniversary hearth health campaign For Lucas, being a lifesaver means encouraging women to be aware of their health, taking action when something doesn’t seem right and educating others about heart disease and stroke. “Two years ago, I was diagnosed with a heart condition,” says Lucas, who is chief administrative cS JNn Ar sJAo %V^ -ncLsJro µ was extremely fortunate that I knew how serious my symptoms were and that I understood the urgency of getting to a doctor.”

The Cooke family

We all have the power to be lifesavers. That’s more than a statement, it’s a call to action from Elizabeth Cooke and Katie Lucas to women throughout Central Indiana to take charge of their heart health. The two dynamic women have stepped forward to lead the American Heart Association’s rU AaaVxNnoAn{ c 0NL Scn Women® campaign, which is part of the organization’s centennial. For Cooke, an ‘aha!’ moment came in January 2023 when football player Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest during a nationally televised NFL game. “The media kept saying, ‘this is the best place he could have had this episode because all these elite NFL trainers are so ]acy^NLTNAI^N yVrU -0 ¸ ¶ recalls Cooke, a longtime community advocate in Indianapolis. “And I thought to myself, ‘Why? Why can’t we all be good at this? Why can’t we all be able to save a student athlete ca A UVTU oJUcc^ k^A{VaT N^L cn a friend or a family member or a stranger who has a cardiac episode?’

“And then I learned that people AnN ^Noo ^V]N^{ rc kNnScn` -0 ca a woman (than a man), and so the more I learned, the more I knew this is something I had to help with.” AaLo®%a^{ -0 Vo A `A\cn ScJso cS rUN c 0NL Scn :c`Na campaign this year with the Association hoping to train at least one person in every household in the life-saving skill as part of its “Nation of Lifesavers” campaign. Approximately 70% of cardiac arrests occur in the home, meaning it’s often a loved one in need of help.

The Lucas Family

“Women tend to take care of NxNn{caN N^oN nor AaL VTacnN what may be happening in their own body. I hope to inspire and empower women to make their health a priority, to take control of their well-being and to take action to lower their risk of heart disease and stroke.” Lowering risk can best be achieved by paying attention to eight factors for ideal heart health, what the American Heart Association deems “Life’s Essential Eight.”

Those are:

important that Elizabeth and I educate women on our greatest health threat – heart disease. Knowledge is power.”

• Eat better • Move more • Get healthy sleep

Awareness is a key component of c 0NL Scn :c`Na Ao ^Noo rUAa 50% of women are aware that cardiovascular disease is their leading cause of death.

• Quit tobacco • Manage weight • Control cholesterol • Manage blood pressure • Manage blood sugar Lucas also advises women to know the signs of a heart attack and a stroke. “Awareness is imperative. Heart disease and stroke run in my family and knowing the signs and symptoms have saved my family members’ lives,” she says. “It is also critically

will be the annual luncheon on Friday, March 1. For information about getting involved with Go 0NL Scn :c`Na xVoVr xVoVr www.

“Katie and I are honored to work together and with a team of great community leaders to help women live longer, healthier lives,” Cooke says. “There are oc `Aa{ SAJNro rc c 0NL Scn Women and so many ways to get involved. I hope others will \cVa so ca rUVo `VooVca ¶ The celebration of the year-long c 0NL Scn :c`Na JA`kAVTa


Creating a community of lifesavers

Reaching girls with STEM programs Educating women about heart disease and stroke

Join these leaders as we create a more equitable community Elizabeth Cooke Cooke Financial Go Red for Women Co-Chair

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MAKING Edited by


More than one poll has shown that we’re less confident on a bad hair day. But when our manes are on point, we feel ready to take on the world. Hair is empowering. For better or worse, it’s tied to our sense of identity. Yet strand stresses lurk: dullness, breakage, thinning, frizz, to name a few. Consider this your lush-locks guidebook. We’ve got healthy-hair secrets from top stylists, trend breakdowns, powerhouse products, and more. Here’s to your unique and beautiful head of hair.



We tracked down Indy’s mane magicians to get insider perspectives on trends, tricks, and tips for every type of hair.


Casondra Saxon Dark Horse Hair Company, 6251 Winthrop Ave., I F T H E R E ’S one thing Casondra Saxon of Broad Ripple’s Dark Horse Hair Company wants you to know about caring for curly hair, it is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. An expert in elevating ringlets and wavy locks, Saxon relishes addressing the nuances from person to person. In her journey to loving her own ringlets, she doubled down on curl classes, gaining expertise in maintaining and uplifting the hair texture. “It wasn’t until I started beauty school that I realized so many people have the same struggles,” Saxon shares. “I come at it from the angle of ‘I’m one of you,’ and that helps me to connect with my clients.” Saxon emphasizes the importance of learning curl maintenance techniques during your appointments with your stylist. She sees passing along knowledge as crucial to her job. Saxon walks clients through solutions for their personal curl challenges, starting at the shampoo bowl. There, she replicates and explains what the client might try while shampooing in the shower at home. “That’s where the hands-on education starts,” Saxon says. She emphasizes that the best products for ringleted tresses rely on understanding an individual’s “hair pain points.” The only general rule is that curls tend to need a moisturizing boost. A good leave-in conditioner will squash dryness and can be a tool in the curly-hair arsenal. Saxon understands that receiving a


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haircut that caters to one’s curls in the best way is an anomaly for some. A few of Saxon’s new clients mentioned they’ve gone years—if not a lifetime— hopping from salon to salon trying to find someone who “gets” their hair. As she does with product suggestions,

Saxon takes an individualized approach to cuts, noting that different lengths work for different textures and hair weights. “I know I’ve done a good thing when I hand them a mirror and a big smile pops up. Time and again I hear, ‘No one has ever done this before.’”



Do the Twist The resurgence of curly-girl love has brought the perm, of all things, out of the 1980s and into Indy salons for those whose hair falls too flat for their liking.


WE THOUGHT perms for straight, finely textured hair had gone the way of shoulder pads. But both are back. And the perms, if not the pads, look better (read: more natural) today. Certified Arrojo American Wave stylist Jesslyn Wallace of Cass & Company Salon in Avon sheds light on the modern nuances of this trend. “What we’re using today is way more gentle and healthy,” she explains. Stylists are using larger rods and less damaging products, making the process much easier on your locks. After decades of curly-headed folks feeling pushed to style their hair straight, embracing one's natural hair has (finally, thankfully!) become cool. And that movement has morphed into a perm comeback. Wallace notes that 2024 perms aren’t just for straight hair, either. They can bring edgy, modern texture to a range of hair types. Bonus: The look is relatively low-maintenance, says Wallace. It’s just a matter of scrunching in mousse—another item from the leg warmer era we thought we’d never see again. (Her favorite is Ref Fiber Mousse.) And if you’re blow-drying, use a diffuser, she urges. That’s it. Ready to enter the new era of perms? Chat with your stylist about which of these options will land the look you want.

• CASONDRA’S PRODUCT PICKS • Oway Curly Potion and Glossy Nectar

The American Wave: The highest-priced but gentlest option, intended for colored or otherwise heavily processed hair

A traditional perm: The less-expensive route for unprocessed hair

This organic and botanical-based Italian brand is compatible with sensitive skin. Potion $65, nectar $38, Dark Horse Hair Company

Volumized curls: Classic Beachy waves: Vertical drag wrap Bouncy bangs: Expansion wave

Volume and loose twists: Body wave Medium-tight curlicues: Standard wrap Well-defined corkscrews: Spiral perm

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Silver Lining Consider this your primer for (intentionally) going gray.


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not end well in the hands of the inexperienced, it’s a gray changeover. If you’ve been dyeing your gray hair auburn, say, forever, but can’t come around to letting the gray grow in as the dyed auburn hair is gradually cut out, the solution is an all-day, expensive affair. “It all depends on the guest, what they’re willing to go through, and what their hair can handle,” Fuqua says. “Do you want to quit coloring cold turkey? Do you want to try to remove the color in one day with a six-to-12-hour color correction, or do you want to do it in sessions to blend it in over time?” Fuqua’s preference is to blend in the gray over as long as a year, with appointments every six to eight weeks. Her starting price for the process is $440. “It’s worth the investment, because you’ll get different looks over the course of that time,” she adds. “And preserving the integrity of your hair is most important.” A single (very) long session to switch over to gray is commonly charged by the hour. A salon-quality purple shampoo and conditioner is absolutely essential if you want to keep your new sultry silver bright. Those products, and the occasional salon color-gloss treatment, will tamp down any yellow or brassy tones, says Fuqua. And given Indy’s notoriously hard water, she advocates including mineralremoving hair treatments from local company Malibu C ( in your aftercare plan.

Air-drying is best. FACT, USUALLY

Air-drying helps hair retain moisture. But if you have dense hair or scalp issues, leaving that moisture allows bacteria and fungus to thrive. If you’re worried about blow-drying damaging your hair, I recommend heat protectant Kérastase Nectar Thermique.

You should use a silk pillowcase. FACT

It causes less friction, reducing hair breakage. Natural silk is best, but satin is still better than cotton or flannel.

Women over 40 shouldn’t have long hair. MYTH

The length of your hair should be determined by your ability to achieve your desired look. If you don’t have time to style your long hair, especially if it’s not healthy, then it can make you look older. Otherwise, there’s no reason to go shorter. A supplement like Nutrafol can help your body keep producing healthy hair.

Your hair gets used to products, and they stop working. FACT, BUT PROBABLY NOT WHY YOU THINK

It isn’t so much that your hair “gets used to” a product, but more that it has different needs at different times. Here in Indiana, we tend to need more moisturizing products in the winter thanks to all that dry indoor heat. In the humid summer, it’s beneficial to switch to an anti-frizz routine.

You need a trim every three months to remove dead ends. FACT, IF YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN LONG HAIR

The minimum is every 12 weeks. Split ends are virtually inevitable, so it’s best to have a routine for removing them before they split further up the hair shaft. If you have a short cut, ask your stylist how often to come in for a trim.

Apple cider vinegar makes a great clarifier. MAYBE

It definitely has properties that may

improve hair health. But you need to dilute it with water so it doesn’t dry your hair out. This is one of those things where the margin for error probably outweighs the benefit.


GRAY HAIR —amen!—is hot. TikTokers showing off sexy shades of slate may have led the charge, but seeing all those trendy gray heads on the street has triggered a liberation of sorts for those who already have gray hair, but not by choice. For so long, women (and to a much lesser extent, men) who reached the prime of life slavishly dyed every last silvery strand, but these days, they’re flaunting them. “For years, society made gray hair on women seem inappropriate or aging, but people are growing into loving themselves for who they are rather than falling into the pressure of who society thinks they should be,” says Celaithia Fuqua, owner of Salon Honey in Fountain Square. “I love seeing women rocking natural gray hair.” Embracing gray rather than fighting it comes with easier and less expensive upkeep, and Fuqua is seeing more clients in their late 30s and early 40s willing to work with their emerging grays instead of automatically covering them up. Until recently, many midlife women religiously attended appointments every six weeks to cover their gray roots, shares Fuqua. “Absolutely no shade to those women! I still have guests who I see every six weeks, but I’ve also gotten a lot of feedback from others who don’t want to have to come in that often.” And that’s where gray blending comes in. Thinking of going over to the smoky side? A highly skilled colorist is a must. If there is something that will




Corbin Smith Sacred Heart Salon, 1507 E. Michigan St., A S E A S O N E D S T Y L I S T, Corbin Smith of the near eastside’s Sacred Heart Salon grew up with a mother who owned a salon, which he calls an “extension of home.” After graduating cosmetology school, Smith at first excelled in cuts and didn’t gain true admiration for the art of hair color until years into his career. “I noticed that my clientele’s services had become very color heavy, and I appreciated the control and customization you have with hair color.” Despite a nearly endless number of hues available now, Smith notes his clients gravitate to certain shades. “Red hair has come back,” he shares. “Whether it be strawberry blonde, cowboy copper, or crimson, adoration of redheads has seen a huge resurgence.” Smith also sees women beginning to embrace their grays. “I feel like it has been an ongoing trend since the pandemic to either work with or enhance graying or even white hair, which I am a fan of. Another trend I see is more of a gray-blending technique, which steers away from high maintenance opaque coverage and gives someone a liveable color without a ticking time limit.” (See more on the opposite page.) Smith recognizes that maintenance for colored hair can be tricky. “A lot of brands have so many products to choose from. But in my opinion, your most important ones are a color-safe and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.” Smith has more advice for keeping your gorgeous color vibrant as long as possible: Wash hair as infrequently as you can and rinse with lukewarm water. Limit hot tools like curling irons to special occasions. When blow-drying your hair, stick to the low heat setting, even if it takes a little longer. And finally, the more your hair is exposed to UV rays,

the more the color changes. So when out on a sunny day, consider a hat. Smith endeavors to color clients’ hair with pizzazz and in shades to match their personalities. Their reactions are an exhilarating payoff. “Any experience I have with a client that ends with them feeling ‘back to normal’ or saying, ‘This is exactly what I meant,’ are my favorites. That means I’ve intuited my clients correctly, and that’s wonderful to me.”

• CORBIN’S PRODUCT PICK • Oligo Professionnel Blacklight Nourishing Shampoo Sulfate-, salt-, and paraben-free, it’s formulated specifically for colored hair. Conditioner available. $26. Sacred Heart

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• BRITTENY’S PRODUCT PICK • Innersense I Create Shine Part of Britteny’s favorite line of hair products, this organic glossing serum is made from sunflower and sesame oils and lotus flower. $40. Ulta stores and


Britteny Davidson Kurlykoils, 4151 Boulevard Pl., WA N T I NG T O take control of her own hair when she was just 8 years old, Britteny Davidson found her calling as a stylist early in life. “It probably stemmed from being ‘tender-headed,’” she explains. Her experimentation led to her doing others’ hair, and the rest is history. By the time she was 13, she was serving clients in her bedroom and even had a hooded dryer. “I’ve always done hair, whether it be my own or someone else’s. It’s always been a part of who I am,” she shares. But despite developing her skills at a young age, for many years Davidson was only familiar with styles that restrained her natural hair, like braids and relaxers, and had little understanding of what her hair’s texture was really like. When she decided to buck the


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popular trends in her 20s, her natural curl pattern came as a surprise. “As my hair grew out, I noticed my roots were curly. It really took a while for me to understand that I had curly hair. I never got to discover that part of myself until I was an adult.” Today, Davidson runs Kurlykoils, a Butler-Tarkington salon serving people with naturally curly hair, whether their texture is kinky, fine, or in-between. The shop’s Instagram page (@kurlykoils317) showcases gorgeous curls belonging to a range of clients— adults, children, men, women, and people of every race and ethnicity— whose hair she and her team have brought to life. Davidson chose to focus on curls because after going natural, she couldn’t find many stylists who worked with hair like hers without struggling or trying to straighten it, especially when it came to haircuts. “Most of us were trained to cut hair while it’s wet, but cutting curly hair wet makes for an uneven cut and [leads to] it shrinking

up a lot more than anticipated when it dries,” she says. She instead uses techniques that allow her to cut and maintain hair without straightening it. Kurlykoils prioritizes getting curls to a healthy state and teaching people about their natural hair—what type they have, what products to use, and what routines to follow. They even host workshops for parents who need advice about caring for their children’s locks. Kurlykoils’ services cater to those who are prepared to fully embrace their natural curls, which for many may mean the “big chop,” or cutting off relaxed or heat-trained hair. But Davidson does not try to talk anyone into it. Clients should be ready to take that step on their own. To Davidson, boldly rocking one’s natural curls is a lifestyle. “People who have naturally curly hair but wear it straight are constantly fighting themselves. It’s hard to exercise because you can’t get your hair wet. You can’t swim, and everything is planned around the weather. This lifestyle sets you free.”


These are the locals with coiffures we covet. We just had to find out who does their hair, and how.

Jill Potasnik,


Stylist: Stephanie O’Hara, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in Carmel “She’s been doing my hair for years, but each time I come in, she says, ‘Tell me about your hair.’ She never assumes I want the same thing. My hair is really thick, so even if I don’t take length off, I ask her to reduce the excess bulk.”


Alan Keith Bacon Jr.,

Rebecca Prowse,

Michael Williams II,



Stylist: Jamison Williams, Wild’s Barber Shop in Fountain Square “After a pandemic home haircut gone wrong, I decided to go for the buzzed hair I’ve wanted since I was a teen. Fortunately, my cranium is a decent shape for this iconic look. Jamison keeps it looking tight.”

Stylist: Harold Claspell, Harold’s Barber Service in St. Clair Place “I trust this 83-year-old gentleman’s creativity and expertise. A bald fade, 0–2, is my favorite kind of gradient. I ask to keep a little extra up top. I’m in charge of my beard, though—I’m a bit picky there.”


Stylist: Herself “[I grew] up in a household full of women who learned early on how to take care of and style our own hair. For these platinum blonde locs, I went to the beauty supply store to get everything needed, then did it myself while watching TV. It’s a form of relaxation for me.”

Laura Walters,


Stylist: Tessi Bollenbacher, Eclectic Beauty in Carmel “I was born in California and am a beach lover at heart. I have always wanted my hair to sing the same tune. Just sunsoaked blonde, with an easy and effortless feel to it. Every time I leave Tessi’s chair, I feel refreshed and fabulous.”



Shawn Johnson,

Ryan Ahlwardt,

Stylist: His wife, Malina “The very first step to my process was being told ‘Sit in the chair!’ Malina was tired of me looking like Frederick Douglass. We achieved a look that’s unique and fitting. I’ve learned to keep it up.”

Stylist: Various “I limit professional haircuts to maybe once a year, going to different salons so I can meet new people and hear their stories. I actually have a cosmetology license. Coloring my hair is another art I’ve mastered. I love to play around with different shades of red.”

Stylist: Stacey Merida, DL Lowry in Nora “Stacey and I found a winning look about a year ago. We get together every four weeks for a shape-up. She keeps things short on the sides and keeps the swoop up top tamed well. She does an amazing job every time.”


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Belinda Benham Indie Mane Downtown, 531 Virginia Ave.,, and Indy Mane North, 2727 E. 86th St.,

F O U N D E R O F Indie Mane, Belinda Benham is no stranger to maximizing the potential of fine, straight hair that tends to fall flat—not least of all because she has that kind of hair herself. She started her stylist journey right out of high school, gaining experience at various salons around Indy. She decided to take the reins and forge her own path by opening Indie Mane Downtown in 2019, then subsequently expanding to a second location on the north side in 2023. With her wide breadth of styling knowledge, Benham spends her spare time as a hair educator. Benham’s experience working with her own limp hair led her to become an advocate and expert in supplementing thickness through extensions. But beyond the power of adding extra strands, she recommends utilizing color. “Dimension in finer hair will always make it look thicker.” (Interestingly, she’s noticed that her downtown clientele embraces wild, rainbow hair colors to accomplish this, while northsiders tend to opt for shades of blonde.) The cut counts, too. In terms of achieving the most voluminous chop, Benham advises taking a careful look at how your hair falls when it’s clean and unstyled. “Everyone has a natural stopping point. It’s at whatever length your hair is thickest.” If in doubt, Benham recommends one of the popular bob styles as a chic way to add bounce to flat hair. But if going short is too big of a transformation, plenty of carefully placed face-framing layers can do the trick.


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• BELINDA'S PRODUCT PICKS • Kevin Murphy Plumping Wash and Kevin Murphy Body Mass This medicated shampoo ($43)moisturizes the scalp, thickens tresses, and encourages new hair growth. Body Mass ($50) helps build fullness while styling and also acts as a heat protectant, giving lift at the roots when blow-drying. Indie Mane Downtown or Indie Mane North

If your hair is oily as well as fine, it can be doubly hard to keep it from going limp. For that particular concern, Indie Mane offers clarifying treatments. First, Benham uses a scalp camera to investigate blockages. “Even if you use the best products, Indiana water is so hard, you can get buildup just from that.” After clarifying the hair, Benham retakes the pictures. Clients are usually amazed by the difference in their roots. “It’s the cleanest, softest hair you’ve ever felt.”

The Scalp Factor Hair care is a part of everyone’s routine, but we tend to forget that a head of healthy tresses starts with a healthy scalp.


Tanya Foster of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang spills on stylist/client etiquette and faux pas.


TREATING others thoughtfully is a prerequisite of human relations that extends beyond family and friends to your professional circle, as well. At least, it should. But when it comes to interactions between stylists and clients, both sides can get a bit sloppy. Tanya Foster, co-owner of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in Carmel and Fishers, makes stylist education, including regarding etiquette, a priority. Yet, it can still be a work in progress, especially for the youngest stylists. And even the best-intentioned clients slip up, too. Foster helped us lay out considerate salon protocol.





Gently suggest only products that are needed.

Arrive 20 minutes late and expect to be taken.

Offer the guest the option of a quiet service.

Complain endlessly about your problems. Your fellow guests want a positive vibe.

Ask if the pressure is comfortable when doing scalp massages.

Cancel last minute or be a no-show. The stylist loses income.

Remain professional. For every one thing you share about yourself, learn three about the client.

Talk on your phone, let alone in speaker mode. Again, the other guests are there to relax.

IT’S A COMMON conundrum. You go to a great stylist. You use high-quality products. You go easy on the hot tools. But somehow your locks still seem brittle and thin. The secret to beautiful hair may lie in a less obvious place: your scalp. It turns out the journey to enviable hair begins literally at the roots. Dr. Abigail F. W. Donnelly, a skin expert at Forefront Dermatology in Carmel, unravels the connection. Despite genetics playing a pivotal role in determining the nature of your hair, Donnelly says that external factors such as stress, nutrition, weight, seasonal changes, and hormones can also influence it. She acknowledges that how our hair looks is not a petty concern. “Hair is socially and culturally important and deserves expert attention when a problem arises.” Yet, she warns against falling for most of the products out there that claim to grow hair, noting that they usually lack ingredients that are proven to enhance hair growth or density. “Ingredients often change, so researching specific evidence-based ingredients rather than reading the hype is the way to go.” While what will be effective largely depends on the person, Donnelly has general suggestions. Minoxidil, an OTC product originally marketed to balding men, has been shown to help in a variety of scenarios. The downside, she notes, is that it's messy to use. If you prefer the natural route, Donnelly suggests scalp-care products with rosemary, pumpkin seed, or tea tree oils. All enhance hair growth and improve scalp conditions. See a dermatologist if you have serious scalp concerns. Donnelly advocates platelet-enriched plasma injections to treat thinning hair. “When performed by a trained professional, it's a safe procedure that, with time and upkeep, can help stimulate hair regrowth,” she says. For the right candidates, prescription oral medications can also maintain hair health as we age.

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a new frame of mind Eliza Innes recounts what she learned about herself from the experience of losing her hair during her cancer fight. I WAS DIAGNOSED with invasive ductal carcinoma on January 8, 2023. I was then told I would have to do about four months of chemo. I soon came to learn that it would be the hardcore, harsh, knock-you-on-yourass kind of chemo. After the very first round on January 23, I asked my hairstylist, Nikki Gressley, to come to my house and shave my head. I just wanted to get it over with. I kept my bangs, though. I guess because I've always had bangs. I didn’t care about getting rid of it. It’s just hair, I thought. It was a “this is the least of my worries” type of thing, you know? In fact, I had shaved my head numerous times in my life. I’d grown up in the punk rock culture, always anti-authoritarian, always anti–beauty standards. This is just another beauty standard, I reasoned. I just don’t care about this. It was around the end of February, the day my hair came out—the hair that had grown back since Nikki shaved it. I was in the shower shampooing, and it just sort of fell into my hands in clumps. I was crippled … and stunned at being crippled. I did not at all expect to have intense emotions about my hair, so when I did, it was so strange. I remember getting out of the shower and not knowing what

Mure + Grand bead and pearl barrette. $8. Honey, 420 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-525-4230


to do with the hair in my hands. It was just so physical and real. I went to my bedroom and sat on the edge of my bed, sobbing. That was only the second time I had cried since my diagnosis, including over having cancer in the first place. Losing your hair like that doesn’t happen all at once. It’s a slow process, with a patch here and a patch there disappearing. You wind up looking like a mangy dog, almost. It’s not like shaving your head to look like Tank Girl or merely being rebellious. And it’s not just the hair on your head. You lose your eyebrows. You lose your eyelashes. All that hair that frames your face gives you so much of your identity, but you don’t realize it until it’s not there. I would never in a million years have thought I would remotely care. Yet, it was extremely difficult. It became hard to even look in the mirror because I didn’t recognize myself anymore. My last chemo treatment was in May. After that, the hair on my head started growing back in full force—but it’s a completely different texture now. It’s weird because I always had soft, fine hair, but it grew back a lot coarser—and more gray, too. I got my first haircut since it started growing back in on the day after Thanksgiving. I walked into the salon and was honest: “I really hate my hair right now.” It was just another part of me that didn’t feel like me anymore. But Nikki just jumped in. She reassured me, beginning, “OK, this what we’re going to do so it’s more like your old hair …” She did an amazing job. It felt almost back to normal after she thinned it out and colored it. That was a heavy day, even though it helped me not to hate my hair anymore. I remember feeling disappointed in myself—mad at myself, even—because I had cared so much. I just didn’t expect that. So, in the end, the biggest part of this hair journey isn’t being stoic, indifferent, or dismissive of the impact of losing my hair. It’s being like: You know what? It’s OK to have all the feelings I had. They’re legit. They’re valid. Months after Nikki helped me through that salon visit, they’re still coming up—but that’s fine. I’ve learned that youth, having your hair, having your eyebrows … it’s all kind of a privilege, and you don’t appreciate any of it until it’s gone. You don’t know how much it makes you, you, and that it does that whether you want it to or not.

Teleties hair ties in Ocean Breeze. Package of three, $10. Francis + Fern, 421 Massachusetts Ave., 317-643-1890

Rifle Paper Co. peacock twisted headband. $28. Be The Boutique, 5607 N. Illinois St., 317-257-3826

Handmade kimono fabric hair clip. $25. Marigold Clothing, 6512 Cornell Ave., 317-254-9939




Alexandra Sheets Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Salon, 11547 Yard St., Fishers,

• ALEX'S PRODUCT PICK • Kevin Murphy Young Again Immortelle Infused Treatment Oil This weightless leave-in can be used daily to smooth and protect. $49. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

A S T Y L I S T with more than a decade of experience, Alex Sheets of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in Fishers is all about extensions. The hype over them has escalated in the last couple years, especially in connection with the super-long “mermaid hair” trend. But if you think extensions are just for 20-somethings seeking to emulate the hottest Instagram look, you may want to reconsider. Sheets emphasizes that these additions can be a styling solution in a variety of scenarios. For example, installing some locks for a pop of color can help add dimension without having to introduce dye into your hair. Have thin hair? Look into extensions to add fullness, whether it’s just a few strands next to your face or a full set to create volume all over. Sheets encounters many clients who are wary of extensions because of what they were like 10 or 15 years ago, but quality has vastly improved over the last decade. Sheets proudly uses 100percent human hair extensions. “You can’t feel them as much [as before]. They make them really light and easy to work with now,” she says. Today’s extensions blend in better, are less bothersome, and just look more natural. An in-person consultation is the first step to extensions. “There’s so much opportunity with extensions,” says Sheets. “But I need to be able to see and touch the hair and have a conversation about what your goals are.” Thoughtful planning will ensure great results and a style that grows out seamlessly. Extensions are an investment, so maintaining them properly is key. During the consultation, discuss upkeep so you’re prepared. Sheets says that salon-quality, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner are musts. Keeping hair moisturized, especially in the winter, is essential, too. Extensions don’t have the scalp oils natural hair gets, so they dry out quicker, explains Sheets. To remedy dryness, turn to a leave-in conditioner or oil on days you don’t wash and condition. Using a heat protectant when blow-drying helps as well.

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Morgan Valentine



Valentine’s Hair Parlour, 6251 Winthrop Ave.,

I N T H E H E A RT of Broad Ripple just off the main strip, you’ll find Valentine’s Hair Parlour. Just look for the charming, old-timey sign, antique copper tin ceilings, Victorian-style mirrors, and vintage furniture. Aside from being retro-cool, it’s also one of Indy’s very few female-owned barbershops. Owner Morgan Valentine is proud to represent ladies who lead. “Barbering is a maledominated field,” she says. “So to be one of the women around Indy stepping in, not only succeeding but thriving, feels like a triumph.” Even though their chairs typically seat a rotation of men and young boys (children’s pricing is available) seeking precision cuts and fresh fades, Valentine deliberately removed the words “barber shop” from the signage to be inclusive and welcoming to all. Yes, they specialize in short-length haircuts, but the team offers a diverse range of cuts to suit every taste, as well as beard shaping and trims, hot towel shaves, shampoos, scalp massages, and even nose and ear waxing. And new customers can rest assured the parlour has their back. “If there is a chance we will be uncomfortable doing a super-specific haircut, we’ll be candid about it and recommend someone we feel would be better suited for the desired cut,” Valentine says. This honest and relaxed environment has drawn a plethora of returning customers who know they’ll get much more than just a haircut. “We are professionals but not in a traditional sense. We like to have fun. We like to joke. And we love when the whole room is interacting with each other,” Valentine shares. “I want you to look your best while also feeling like you belong in my chair.” Her goal is for patrons to walk out looking and feeling like a million bucks. “When you leave, you might get mistaken for Ryan Gosling on a good hair day,” laughs Valentine. Valentine’s Hair Parlour just celebrated its one-year anniversary in December, but it might never have


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come to be without the mentorship of Cody Potter, owner of Wild’s Barber Shop in Fountain Square. After working in salons for years, Valentine considered quitting the industry until Potter convinced her to join his team. She was hooked from day one. “The environment, the friendly banter, the back-toback clients … it was exactly the change I needed in my career,” she recalls. “I will always be grateful to Cody for giving me the opportunity to learn beside him and get my footing in the barbering world.”

• MORGAN'S PRODUCT PICK • Shiner Gold Maximum Matte Clay Pomade The Parlour’s most popular product offers all-day style hold. $15. Valentine’s Hair Parlour

A Legend’s Legacy Lives On Madam C.J. Walker not only helped revive hair care rituals among Black Americans, but she provided women a chance at self-determination in a community rising from the ashes. BECAUSE OF ITS delicate structure, textured, kinky, coily hair has historically required a painstaking level of care, which has led to rich hair traditions across Africa and the African diaspora. The diversity of styles and techniques is endless, in antiquity often symbolizing a person’s clan, religion, or social status. However, when Africans were brought to the Americas as slaves, their timeconsuming hair rituals proved difficult to bring with them. Servitude and hard labor did not allow them much time for daily grooming or self-care, and slave owners didn’t know or care about (and frequently were openly hostile toward, even banning) Black cultural traditions. Following emancipation, there was a learning curve in reestablishing black hair care habits. Enter Madam C.J. Walker, who filled a much-needed role in providing services and products for women with textured hair. Born Sarah Breedlove in Louisiana in 1867, Walker was orphaned young and held many



Locations: 830 Massachusetts Ave.; 8691 River Crossing Blvd. Hours: Mon–Fri 7 a.m.–8 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Vibe: Sleek and sunny Add-ons: Six, including braids and glossing rinse, that run $15–25 Monthly Membership: Barfly Single, $45: one blowout plus $5 off additional sessions, 10 percent off products, and an anniversary gift. Barfly Double, $90: two blowouts, 10 percent off products, an anniversary gift, 50 percent off extensions, one free add-on, and a Bestie Blowout to gift. Extra: “Happy hour” discounts

jobs before entering the beauty industry. She built her business from the ground up, going door to door and sharing hair care advice in conjunction with selling her products. In 1911, she established her base of operations in Indianapolis and, over time, famously became “America’s first female self-made millionaire.” At the height of her success, she employed thousands of women as “hair culturists,” providing them with education, help with starting their own businesses, and encouragement to become financially independent. After her death, ownership of Walker’s company passed down the line of women in her family until it closed in 1981. It was bought by Sundial Brands in 2013. In 2022, Sundial CEO Cara Sabin, in partnership with Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, was proud to announce a revival of the Madam Walker beauty line, called Madam, available exclusively at Walmart. The specialized formulas are designed


Here’s how Indy’s two popular blow-dry bars compare. Drybar and Blo have common ground: a 45-minute blowout at $55; a gratis beverage; and updos, extensions, dry styling, and private parties. So what distinguishes them from each other? Let’s break it down.

Madam C.J. Walker packaged her Wonderful Hair Grower in art nouveau tins, often used for other utilitarian purposes when empty.

to address the demands of textured hair—whether it is free and natural, chemically straightened or heat-treated, or protectively styled—from root to tip, with items ranging from $8 to $20 and including everything from Wonderful Hair and Scalp Balm-to-Oil for hydrating scalp care to Strengthen and Shine Braid Hairspray for preventing braid flyaways. They are also free of parabens, silicones, drying alcohols, and mineral oils. With this partnership, Walker’s legacy continues to cater to the unique needs of the textured hair community and, true to her original vision, the products sold in her name remain affordable and accessible.


Locations: 11595 Whistle Dr., Fishers; 11503 Spring Mill Rd., Carmel Hours: Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–7 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Vibe: Cozy and cute Add-ons: 16, including head massage and flat ironing, at $10–50 Monthly Membership: $90: two blowouts plus $5 off additional sessions, 10 percent off makeup service, 10 percent off products, and a free blowout on your birthday Extra: For super special occasions, you can get your makeup done, too. $45–90.

F EB B RUARY 2024 | IM






Reviving a Classic


A 1940 brick home in Brazil is lovingly restored and updated to show off its historic glory. ± By M IC H E L L E M A S T R O



Opposite: The walkway up to the front door is flanked by greenery such as hostas, ivy, and ferns. Above: A pair of vintage Italian topiary lamps complements the dining room wall display of white plates and platters.




Boling and Kemp Harper relax in their living room with canine companions Katy and Peaches. Below: A bound edition of The Brazil Daily Times from 1940 features details about the home.


H O U G H it’s considered a small town today, Brazil, Indiana, has a secret, moneyed past. Before World War II, it was the heart of a thriving brick manufacturing industry. More millionaires were crammed into its compact city limits than inside the sprawling borders of Indianapolis. As a result, Brazil boasts a number of stately older homes, the Maurer House among them. The Colonial Revival home on Park Street was built in 1940 and originally owned by Indianapolis surgeon Dr. J. Frank Maurer and his wife Susan. The story goes that one day, Dr. Maurer spotted a house he admired off Route 40 in Plainfield. Infatuated with the look of the home, he tasked Burns & James Architects out of Indianapolis to erect his own version. The brick abode was the talk of the town for its forwardthinking designs and contemporary tastes. It was so newsworthy it even made the local paper, The Brazil Daily Times, appearing in an article titled “New Maurer Home Represents Best Efforts of Modern Building Craftsmen” on May 6, 1940. But flash forward to today, and the house, looking much as it did when it was first built, is now lauded for its historic value rather than its novelty. This is because the home’s young, hip owners, interior designer Kemp Harper and his partner Kevin Boling, are doing all they can to lean into its original style. The pair wanted an older home for a long time. They restored their first house, a Craftsman—a popular 20thcentury style—but they later decided to go for something a bit older and came across the Maurer House in 2016. Taking their design cues from contemporary aesthetic movements, like cottagecore and dark academia, Harper and Boling are returning to simpler times. They consider themselves homesteaders, keeping nine chickens, two turkeys, and a beehive out back. Like many millennials and Gen Zers, they’ve taken up old-timey hobbies since the pandemic. They garden, can their own vegetables, collect honey from their hive, and prefer to restore or upcycle features of their home rather than buy new. Since buying the home, they’ve completed several restoration projects. In the breakfast room, for example, Harper tore



out the crumbling wall panels, exposing the original horsehair plaster underneath. He then hand-painted the surface to create an abstract landscape mural that encloses the space in layered shades of green. The horsehair plaster gave the mural a gritty, aged feel that Harper liked. “Everything in the house has a scratch mark, or a ding, or a leg loose,” he confides. “But all this gives the house character.” Next, in the kitchen, Harper also hand-painted the now harlequin floors—but only after laboring intensely for two months. This included scraping off the linoleum and adhesive bit by bit, and then meticulously sanding down the residue with a belt sander. The result? The design looks like it’s been there forever. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything in the couple’s home that doesn’t feel charmingly old. Take, for example, the silhouette art on the living room walls or the collection of





jadeite glassware in the antique hutch. There are still lifes in the kitchen and a baby grand piano in the corner. Candles (made from beeswax, of course) molded by Harper into classic busts are carefully placed under glass cloches. Antique taxidermy hangs on newly wood-paneled walls. While collecting these items, Harper and Boling make headway in renovating the home, giving it some modern upgrades while respecting the historic style of the house. The original shutters were rotting off the hinges, and a windstorm blew several off the house and shattered most of them. So Harper and his dad recreated cottage-style shutters in a pretty shade of green to correspond with the patina on the aged copper gutters and downspouts. The verdant hue ties in with the front yard’s soaring oak trees, which are just as old as the house and command the grounds. FEBRUARY 2024 | IM






Harper and Boling ensured the bathrooms still boast the original rose pedestal sinks and jade tile floors. These materials hail from the 1940s, when items were built to last. Sure, a few contemporary touches are blended in with the old here and there. Classically tailored sofas pair well with a modern ottoman. But the couple eschews most newfangled trends—no Joanna or Chip Gaines modern farmhouse style to be seen here. At the same time, Harper doesn’t like “a heavy, spindly Victorian look,” he says. “Rather, I do borrow elements from older fashions and make them feel fresh and new.” He and Boling take inspiration from 1990s Martha Stewart and her legendary first home, Turkey Hill (hence the crisp white dishes adorning the dining room), and the old-money New England look of Ralph Lauren. The home’s library is draped in knotty pine paneling reminiscent of backdrops from old Ralph Lauren ads. Step inside 58


± STATEMENT PIECES Left: A large reproduction of Frederic Leighton’s Jonathan’s Token to David painting spans nearly full wall height. Right: The dining room decor includes Ravenscleft chairs by Martha Stewart Signature for Bernhardt.




like a weathered French Bombay chest adorned with an urn of hydrangeas and a gold-framed portrait over the fireplace add elements of history to the living room. 60


the house, and you feel transported to another place and time. The home also embraces a more cozy life modeled after the pair’s forebears. “I’ve always been a grandma at heart,” laughs Harper, who was influenced by his grandmother who lived near Brazil. She grew up on a farm, raised pigs, and canned. Harper says he inherited his favorite hobbies and design aesthetic from her. Boling also spent a lot of time with his grandmother, and the couple credits their childhood upbringings for their strong appreciation of the past. “We’re now a little old school, but it works for us,” says Harper. Akin to how Frank Maurer must have felt viewing the home in Plainfield, Harper and Boling were smitten with the doctor’s former home. Boling’s mom was a real estate agent and alerted the couple to the property when it first hit the market. “The back gate

± OUT OF THE BLUE The 1940s bathroom tile in a dreamy shade of aqua called Claire de Lune sets off the original fixtures, including an American Standard console sink.

was unlocked, and we let ourselves in the backyard,” Harper explains. “Kevin’s mom said we could pop in and have a look.” The yard was an oasis of mature trees and plants. A magnolia branched over a pond, and English ivy scampered across the path and framed the picturesque scene. The spot felt like a secret garden of sorts, and the couple immediately realized that the home had plenty of space for them to pursue the homesteading activities they craved. The yard also includes a central fountain surrounded by a fish pond. Stones found tumbled on a grassy knoll now accommodate the rose garden and a chicken coop. Francois Carre furniture in an Art Deco–inspired design is arranged on the brick patio. “When we walked into the backyard that night, I didn’t even need to see the inside,” says Harper. “I was like, I’m sold, because this is where I want to spend my time, out on this patio. And we do.” That is, when they aren’t restoring their house or entertaining. Harper shares their adventures on his Instagram profile, The Colonial on Park (@thecolonial_on_park), where he currently has more than 42,000 followers. Recently, the pair was featured on an episode of the Magnolia Network’s Diary of an Old Home. And this past Thanksgiving, Harper partnered with Williams Sonoma to create a tablescape with the brand’s Plymouth Turkey Dinnerware Collection. The couple believes the effect would have surely delighted the original homeowners. “In my mind, Mrs. Maurer and I would have been the best of friends,” says Harper. “We have a baby grand piano that sits in the same corner she had hers. She loved rabbits, gardening, and the color pink. I only hope she’d be happy with how we’ve maintained the place.”





T HOUGH it’s only 17 years old, the massive Michigan Road estate known as Linden House has a reputation as big as any other Indianapolis landmark. The site of a former fish hatchery, its 151-acre grounds were also once home to a trailblazing interracial religious group and then to one of America’s wealthiest women before changing hands in one of the state’s highest-profile real estate deals. As of last November, the house has become a furniture store, restaurant, and wine bar, but not just any furniture store. It is now The Gallery at the DeHaan Estate, one of the latest efforts of Californiabased lifestyle brand RH, previously known as Restoration Hardware. That store that used to sell overstuffed leather chairs in the Fashion Mall? Yup, that’s the one.

by e ve b a t ey FEBRUARY 2024 | IM


a brief history: Deemed unfit for use as a public park by local leaders in the 1960s, presumably because the impending construction of I-65 would cut it off from easy public access, the site was instead purchased and developed into a monastery by a Kentucky-based branch of the Benedictine order of the Catholic Church. Known as St. Maur Priory, it was one of the first racially integrated religious living and learning communities in the country, built at a time when Black Catholics were uncommon in U.S. seminaries. The monks operated the land as a private park, opening it to the public for fishing, swimming, and other activities for a small fee. When the priory disbanded in the early 2000s, the land’s purchase by timeshare magnate and charter school advocate Christel DeHaan created some controversy, upsetting environmentalists hop64



she hosted events, intellectual gatherings, and salons. When DeHaan died in June 2020, her estate “hired Realtors to sell it for the highest possible price,” says former Indianapolis mayor Bart Peterson. In 2019, DeHaan tapped Peterson to head her nonprofit, Christel House International, with the longstanding plan to leave the majority of her wealth—including Linden House—to her network of charter schools. The grand home at 4501 N. Michigan Road was listed for $14 million in early 2022, and Peterson settled in for a long wait. “We’ve seen a lot of very, very, very expensive homes in this city sit on the market for a very long time, because there just aren’t that many people who can pay that kind of a price and live in the house and maintain it,” Peterson says. What happened next “was not what anyone expected,” Peterson says. “It sold very quickly.” Not to a monied private citizen but to a Coloradobased developer who, in partnership



ing the area near Butler University, the art museum and grounds now known as Newfields, and the White River might remain a natural habitat. Instead, the locally famous philanthropist hired a rotating team of architects and designers to build her 41,762-square-foot, seven-bedroom, 17-bath Palladian estate, which was completed in 2007. DeHaan lived in the home for the next 13 years, where


with RH, planned to transform the mansion and its grounds into a showroom for the company’s merchandise and a dining destination. Its 60 or so rooms would showcase RH’s wares, while a restaurant called The Dining Room would sustain hungry shoppers, and an adjacent wine bar would ease any spending pains. The company, which began as a Northern California hardware and fixtures shop in 1979 but now calls itself “a curator of design, taste, and style in the luxury lifestyle market,” has been launching stores with this all-encompassing gallery-style strategy since 2015, when it opened its 3 Arts Club Cafe and showroom in the historic Three Arts Club of Chicago. A slew of similar venues has rolled out since, often in historic or otherwise notable structures. Though Linden House wouldn’t be considered “historic” by anyone outside the TikTok generation, it certainly is notable. And it “was literally in turnkey condition when they bought it,” Peterson says, which likely added to the estate’s appeal, as little renovation was needed. RH only allows one person to speak on its behalf: CEO Gary Friedman, who’s been with the company since 2001, except for a period in 2012 through 2013 during which he briefly stepped down over allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a colleague. RH declined to allow Indianapolis Monthly to interview Friedman but did share comments Friedman made about the DeHaan venture to shareholders, in which he seemed to concur with Peterson. “An incredible home and estate came on the market. We bought it for $14.5 million,” Friedman told the shareholders. “Besides covering the indoor pool, adding a commercial kitchen to support the restaurant, and a fresh coat of paint, very little was changed.” Aside from keeping the property mostly the same, proceeds from the sale went to Christel House, supporting the organization’s educational efforts. Another positive, according to Peterson: “Now, other people are going to be able to see the property who never would have seen it had it been bought by a private individual.” That curiosity factor might be the biggest draw for RH Indianapolis. Most of us already have an idea of


atlanta The Gallery at the Estate in Buckhead occupies six floors of the former ESPN Zone dining and entertainment complex. It houses a 40-foot-tall rotunda flanked by a double staircase and a 50-footlong reflecting pool.

boston This grand interior boasts a focal-point steampunk glass traction elevator that traverses the mezzanine levels of the city’s Historic Museum of National History, one of the oldest buildings in the Back Bay neighborhood.

chicago Built in 1914 as a home for young women studying the arts, The Three Arts Club sat empty for 20 years before being transformed into the first RH gallery. The Gold Coast establishment features a rooftop park and conservatory.

columbus A massive, three-story building in Easton Town Center, a shopping destination, the Columbus RH includes a mirrored grand staircase and rooftop restaurant lit by chandeliers at night. FEBRUARY 2024 | IM


what RH sells, and if we don’t, its website packed with a vast selection of inoffensive, classic-meets-modern aspirational design will clear that up. Similarly, most of us have been to restaurants with a menu like The Dining Room’s, with a small salad for $14 ($4 more to add avocado), an $18 burger (fries are an extra $8), and a 12-ounce ribeye at $56 (for comparison, a 14-ounce ribeye at St. Elmo will set you back a mere $55). But only a select few Hoosiers have been inside the home of one of Forbes’ richest self-made women (as DeHaan was, with an estimated worth of $950 million at the time of her passing). “RH is going to become a destination simply because people are curious and want to see the mansion,” University of Indianapolis marketing professor Carissa Newton says. Local interior designer Loree Everette had a similar reaction when she learned that RH was taking over the DeHaan estate. She’s lived in the adjacent area for years and is “super excited to finally see what’s behind the gates.” She adds, “People will be clamoring to go check it out.” An attempt to get a reservation at The Dining Room suggests she’s right— on the mid-December morning this sentence was written, an OpenTable representative said 174 reservations had been made that day alone. Even Peterson, who visited the Gallery for its opening gala and ribbon-cutting, has struggled to get a seat at an RH table. “I tried to visit once they were open,” Peterson says, “but there was a long wait for reservations at the restaurant.” He will try again once the initial crowds have died down, he figures. Of course, if you own a restaurant or retail operation, you don’t want the crowds to ever die down. So RH’s challenge now is to figure out how to sustain itself once the initial onslaught of looky-loos has dissipated. After all, Marion County’s median household income is $59,504, based on recent census data (statewide, that figure rises to $67,173). When you’re talking about a company that sells $800 barstools and $7,000 sofas, you have to wonder if moving closer to downtown after so many years at Keystone at the Crossing was the best idea. “People underestimate the amount of wealth in Indianapolis,” 66


Newton argues, disputing the notion that the primary audience for luxury design is in Carmel, Westfield, or even Zionsville. While for years you’ve been able to find less intense versions of the immersive RH experience via higher-end studios in Hamilton County and beyond, so far, the Indianapolis shopper hasn’t had any options in their own backyard. As the region’s housing market continues to boom, “you’ll see more aspirational people from higher income brackets,” Newton says. We’re not talking about the region’s growing multimillionaire class, but those with enough money to strive for upgrades, improvements, and just a little more. “The wealthy are the ones who have it brought to them,” Newton says. “They don’t need to step foot in a store.” But these days, Indianapolis is flush with “that middle income range.” The people who make a comfortable six figures and don’t blink at dropping $18 on a burger, but who also aren’t at the financial level to put a designer like Loree Everette on retainer. At least, not yet. Everette’s company, Phanomen Design, works with a mix of upscale residential and commercial clients, including Mass Ave dining destination The Fountain Room, HC Tavern, and several Cunningham Restaurant Group properties. She’s a fan of RH products and has used them in projects both public and private. She sees the potential in the all-encompassing experience The Gallery at the DeHaan Estate offers but wonders if, right now, the brand is playing it a little too safe. “There’s an overly homogenous thing going on,” she says, referring to the dozens of rooms devoted to displaying RH goods. “I think they’re still warming up,” she adds, noting that once RH gets its footing in this new space, shoppers might find more there to love. Everette also hopes the restaurant will evolve a bit once it’s settled into place. “There’s a formula for a restaurant,” she says. “You’ve got to make people feel good, and that’s way more complicated than just making a place that’s good to look at.” She says that while diners experience “a luxurious or museum-esque type of space” at RH, it generates more awe than



comfort—a reaction that can impact a diner’s desire to return. While no one is damning the food served in The Dining Room, no one is rushing to note its individuality, either. Though Friedman told The New York Times last year that “arguably the best chef in the world” consulted on the chains’ menus, he wouldn’t name names. The individual restaurants also don’t publicize the names of their chefs, so the experience is more like that of an established chain than the rarefied experience found at local chef-driven innovators like Beholder or Bluebeard. Indianapolis diners say RH’s food is perfectly acceptable but not terribly revolutionary. According to The New York Times, patrons at the New York location “[come] not for the food, but for the aesthetics.” The same is likely true here. Considering that the restaurant makes no claims to local or artisanal

sourcing, it’s also likely that it uses the same suppliers as many other area spots. So, The Dining Room’s magic, according to Newton, is “all in the presentation. It’s all in the styling. It’s all in the experience that that guest is getting”—which might prompt diners to look past culinary shortfalls, should they occur. Is The Dining Room’s fairly standard burger the kind of food Christel DeHaan would have eaten back when she was in residence? Probably not. Even before RH put in its commercial kitchen, the mansion boasted a dedicated catering kitchen, a butler’s pantry, and a “residential” kitchen with all the latest appliances and gadgets. Then again, it’s likely DeHaan never would have imagined her beloved home being turned into a furniture store, even one as luxuryfocused as RH aspires to be. But Peterson says DeHaan’s priority was supporting the students of

Christel House International. How carefully RH preserved her house is probably “above what she might have expected,” he says. He celebrates the fact that the home is now a destination for all. “As somebody who cares very much about Indianapolis, that makes me very happy,” he says. Everette agrees with Peterson, saying repeatedly that she hopes RH finds a way to succeed in the storied, unique space. “I really would love to see it be something that attracts people to our city. Not ‘the area.’ I’m talking about Indianapolis, our capital city,” she says. If RH plays their cards right and offers an experience as appealing as DeHaan’s mansion itself, “this is the type of thing that [could help] promote our city,” Everette says. It’s just up to the 45-year-old furniture brand to live up to one of the most inspiring and beautiful buildings in the city. If it can do that, the sky’s the limit. FEBRUARY 2024 | IM


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Cathedral High School is a four-time National Blue Ribbon award recipient and Indiana’s only private high school to be recognized in 2022.

SCHE DUL E A T IME TO V ISI T TODAY! GOC AT HE DR A L .C OM/ V IS I T 5 2 2 5 E . 5 6 T H S T R E E T • I N D I A N A P O L I S , I N 4 6 2 2 6 • 3 1 7. 5 4 2 .1 4 8 1



Find out about assemblies and events that engage parents and the public and get the stats on Central Indiana public, private, and charter schools.






ENGAGEMENT ZONE Indianapolis schools organize events and programs to enrich the learning experience for enrolled students and enhance connections with parents and community members.

A choir singing Christmas carols, a marching band competition, and a festival celebrating world cultures are all examples of special assemblies and convocations schools host to engage students, parents, and local community members. These initiatives showcase students’ skills and academic achievements while building a closer bond between the schools and their constituent families. “Parents want to be involved in their students’ education, whether in the classroom [or through] a cultural experience, a Christmas gathering, a sporting event, or whatever it might be,” says Grace Trahan-Rodecap, director of marketing for Cathedral High School. “They want to be here to support their child and other children and get to know those who are nurturing their kids throughout the process.” On the following pages, we’ll look at some of the ways four local schools engage and encourage outside participation. 70


It’s hard to tell who had more fun at Cathedral High School’s Christmas on the Hill event—the Cathedral students who had pies thrown in their faces or the Enlace Academy children throwing them.




CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL eaching out to the Indy community is part of Cathedral’s mission. In December, the school hosted 300 kindergarten and grade school students from charter school Enlace Academy for a Christmas on the Hill program, which featured a petting zoo, bounce house, and costumed celebrities such as Santa and Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and characters from the movie Frozen. The Cathedral choir sang, and the band and orchestra played seasonal music. Guests also had an opportunity to decorate cookies and make greeting cards for patients at Riley Hospital for Children. High school seniors, with juniors shadowing them, were paired with each guest, allowing students to hone their leadership skills and work with young people.


“We are blessed to be part of this community, and we’re constantly giving back to the community that has been so good to us.”



Cathedral parents also pitched in to help prepare for the event. “This is something we’ve done to engage the entire Cathedral community and give back,” Trahan-Rodecap says. “It succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” Each September, Cathedral students participate in a community service day to celebrate the school’s birthday by living out its Holy Cross values. They typically do volunteer work for more than 50 organizations around the Greater Indianapolis area, participating in tasks like tutoring younger students, performing clean up detail, or weeding and landscape maintenance—whatever is needed most. The school hosts an annual multicultural assembly to introduce students to the praise and worship practices of other faiths. Last October, in a timely presentation, students heard from Jewish and Muslim speakers. “It was a beautiful opportunity to show that when we come together, talk together, and

pray together, we can break down some of those boundaries, one person at a time and one prayer at a time.” Trahan-Rodecap says. Cathedral strives to foster an appreciation for the arts, with its performing arts department offering choir, all-girls show choir, mixed show choir, marching band, orchestra, concert band, and a theater club that puts on four productions a year. For each theater production, area middle school students are invited to Cathedral to view a free matinee the day prior to the show opening. “We are blessed to be part of this community, and we’re constantly giving back to the community that has been so good to us,” TrahanRodecap says.

INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF INDIANA hree things make the International School of Indiana distinct from other Midwest institutions: It has a dedicated mission to develop globally minded citizens; it offers the full International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum for every student, age 3 through grade 12; and its course catalog includes full language immersion in French, Spanish, and Mandarin, taught by native teachers from all over the world. “What makes our events and activities unique is that not only do we have special events that are internationally and globally minded—as well as highlighting the critical thinking and problem solving of the IB—[but] they are all done in multiple languages from students who mainly are English speakers,” says Elizabeth Head, head of school at ISI. The school’s new Chen Family Lower School and campus facilities have allowed ISI to support increased community involvement. This year, more than 80 nationalities were represented in the school’s International Parade & Festival, part of its annual International Week festivities. Students carry the flags of their native countries, and the various national anthems are played. “For us, that week is symbolic of who we are in our essence,” Head says. Every class, from 3-year-old students to high school seniors, participates in multiple assemblies each year. Students sing, dance, and showcase what they are learning in the


International School of Indiana students at all grade levels display pride in their heritage during International Week.

language track they are studying for their families. The school also hosts three major cultural celebrations a year for the entire community: Hispanic Heritage Month, Lunar New Year, and International Francophonie Day. Each celebration corresponds to one of the school’s language tracks. “Parents are a huge piece of understanding why internationalism is so important for Indiana, but also how that global concept is so important for the children’s impact in the rest of the world,” Head says. Academic endeavors are also encouraged. Both lower school and upper school students participate in international math competitions. And lower-level students in a transdisciplinary business unit use their skills to research and create a product and sell it within the Indianapolis community.

MSD OF LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP ne of Lawrence Township’s highlights each year is the multicultural Hispanic Heritage Festival during Hispanic Heritage Month. Día Latino de Lawrence features food, dancing, music, and vendor booths for arts and crafts. It’s a





“Within the district, 53-plus languages are spoken. This is a festival that’s evolved over the last few years to make it more inclusive and represent all the different cultures.” DANA ALTEMEYER, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, MSD OF LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP

“All our schools have a focus on STEM,” Altemeyer says. “We currently have eight STEM-certified schools from the Department of Education.” The district’s STEM-certified McKenzie Center for Innovation & Technology is the only stand-alone dedicated career and technical education center in Central Indiana. Nearly 2,700 students from Lawrence Central and Lawrence North use the facility every day in their quest to earn one of 23 national certifications, which will help prepare them to enter the workforce upon graduation. Lawrence’s Project Lead the Way initiative focuses on biomedicine, computer science, and engineering curriculum and provides learning experiences through hands-on activities. All elementary schools have been renovated to include makerspaces equipped with 3-D printers, laser cutters, and robotics space. Additionally, the district’s 11 elementary schools offer VEX Robotics programming. Students compete in intradistrict compe72


titions, as well as regional and state level competitions. Last year, four elementary schools traveled to Texas to compete in the VEX Robotics World Championship.

PARK TUDOR SCHOOL tudents in junior kindergarten through grade 12 can participate in a wide variety of school events throughout the year, including the annual Fall Family Festival, which includes inflatables, games, arts activities, and other amusements designed to appeal to a wide range of ages. “Parents love it, too,” says Cathy Chapelle, director of strategic communications for Park Tudor. “It’s a way to bring everybody together close to the beginning of the school year and start building community spirit.” Grandparents and Special Friends Day is another popular program for junior kindergarten through eighth grade students. The Friday before Thanksgiving, grandparents or other loved ones closely connected to Park Tudor students are invited to spend the morning with children, experiencing the school and its curriculum. Athletic competitions and sports activities, important parts of the northside school’s culture, also abound. Park Tudor hosts an allschool pep rally each year around homecoming to build excitement among students and support its Panthers varsity football team, and the school organizes several spirit nights during the competitive season with tailgate parties for parents and students of all ages. Last fall, lower school students teamed up with the high school cheerleaders for a halftime performance at a game. Every spring, the lower school holds a twomile Patriot Run for fourth and fifth graders. On the day of the race, parents and fellow students come together to cheer on the participants. And during halftime at one of the varsity basketball games this month, the second graders will participate in a slam dunk competition. Debate has always been a popular academic endeavor at the high school level. During the 2023–24 school year, Park Tudor started a middle school debate team, with the high school team helping their younger counter-


parts prepare for meets. The school also takes part in math competitions and boasts a strong robotics program that competes at the middle school and high school levels. “Kids are able to get together and have fun during the competition while learning a lot along the way,” Chapelle says.

“Parents love it, too. It’s a way to bring everybody together close to the beginning of the school year and start building community spirit.” CATHY CHAPELLE, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC –COMMUNICATIONS, PARK TUDOR

In addition to providing engagement opportunities for its students, Park Tudor schedules several social and fundraising events throughout the year for parents only. Monthly coffee socials offer a chance for parents to get together and connect with each other. “We view what we do as a partnership between the school and the parents,” Chapelle says. “The more opportunities we have to connect parents with other parents and faculty, it helps to forge that partnership.”

Park Tudor School brings happiness to students and their loved ones with its Grandparents and Special Friends Day.


fun-filled event for all attendees that also serves to educate the community and bring people together. “Within the district, 53-plus languages are spoken,” says Dana Altemeyer, director of communications for MSD of Lawrence Township. “This is a festival that’s evolved over the last few years to make it more inclusive and represent all the different cultures.” Lawrence Township consists of 21 schools (preschool through 12th grade) and more than 16,000 students. It led the way in dual language immersion in Indiana. Three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school currently offer language immersion. Upon graduation, students receive a Certificate of Biliteracy from the State of Indiana.

• Integrated Dual Language and STEM Programs • 12 Years named “Best Community for Music” • 4 NAEYC-Accredited Early Learning Centers

STRONG SCHOOLS. STRONG COMMUNITY. Learn more about Lawrence Township Schools at

• 47 State Championships • Year-Round Pre-Kindergarten • 95% Graduation Rate in 2023 • $50M+ in Scholarships


SCHOOL LIST All school information, except private school tuition, is from the Indiana Department of Education. Enrollment figures, ILEARN proficiency rates for grades 3–8 (English/language arts and Math), and SAT benchmark rates for grade 11 (Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are from 2023, unless otherwise noted. Graduation rates are from 2022. For more info, visit or, for more school data, visit



ENROLLMENT: 565. SAT: 38.7%. GRAD. RATE: 91.8%.

120 E. Walnut St., 317-226-4411

5357 W. 25th St., Speedway, 317-244-7238

Arsenal Technical High School ENROLLMENT: 2,366. SAT: 3.4%. GRAD. RATE:

79.3%. 1500 E. Michigan St., 317-693-5300



975 N. Post Rd., 317-869-4300

Crispus Attucks High School ENROLLMENT: 1,188. SAT: 2%. GRAD. RATE: 81.3%.

Warren Central High School

1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., 317-226-2800

ENROLLMENT: 3,414. SAT: 10.1%. GRAD. RATE:

81.9%. 9500 E. 16th St., 317-532-6200

George Washington High School ENROLLMENT: 753. SAT: 1.5%. GRAD. RATE: 72.7%. 2215 W. Washington St., 317-693-5555


Speedway Senior High School

ENROLLMENT: 22,027. ILEARN: 14.8%; SAT: 4.1%.


Shortridge High School

Woodfield Crossing Blvd., 317-845-9400

ENROLLMENT: 1,089. SAT: 10.4%. GRAD. RATE:

82.8%. 3401 N. Meridian St., 317-226-2810

5334 Hornet Ave., Beech Grove, 317-788-4481

North Central High School ENROLLMENT: 3,628. SAT: 30.8%. GRAD. RATE:

76.7%. 1801 E. 86th St., 317-259-5301

Beech Grove High School ENROLLMENT: 918. SAT: 12.6%. GRAD. RATE: 79.5%. 5330 Hornet Ave., Beech Grove, 317-786-1447

MSD LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP ENROLLMENT: 16,414. ILEARN: 15.5%; SAT: 14.1%. 6501 Sunnyside Rd., 317-423-8200



Lawrence Central High School

1220 S. High School Rd., 317-988-8600


86.9%. 7300 E. 56th St., 317-964-7400

Ben Davis High School (10–12) ENROLLMENT: 3,392. SAT: 8.2%. GRAD. RATE:

5275 Kentucky Ave., 317-856-5265

Lawrence North High School

53.7%. 1200 N. Girls School Rd., 317-988-7000

Decatur Central High School

ENROLLMENT: 2,861. SAT: 18.4%. GRAD. RATE:


89.5%. 7802 N. Hague Rd., 317-964-7700

Ben Davis University High School (10–12)

Perry Township School

ENROLLMENT: 358. SAT: 11%. GRAD. RATE: 100%. 1155 S. High School Rd., 317-988-7800

88.3%. 5251 Kentucky Ave., 317-856-5288

Decatur Township School for Excellence (7–12)

ENROLLMENT: 16,222. ILEARN: 29.8%. SAT: 22.1%.

6548 Orinoco Ave., 317-789-3700


5106 S. High School Rd., 317-856-0900

Perry Meridian High School ENROLLMENT: 2,350. SAT: 29.1%. GRAD. RATE: 93.2%. 401 W. Meridian School Rd., 317-789-4400


Southport High School

6141 S. Franklin Rd., 317-862-2411

ENROLLMENT: 2,355. SAT: 15.4%. GRAD. RATE:

79.2%. 971 E. Banta Rd., 317-789-4800

Franklin Central High School ENROLLMENT: 3,319. SAT: 31.7%. GRAD. RATE:

95.6%. 6215 S. Franklin Rd., 317-862-6646


6901 Zionsville Rd., 317-293-0393


Pike High School

BOONE COUNTY Lebanon Senior High School ENROLLMENT: 1,027. SAT: 33.3%. GRAD. RATE:

91.4%. 510 Essex Dr., Lebanon, 765-482-0400

Western Boone Junior-Senior High School ENROLLMENT: 818. SAT: 26.2%. GRAD. RATE: 89.6%. 1205 N. State Rd. 75, Thorntown, 765-482-6143

Zionsville Community High School ENROLLMENT: 2,255. SAT: 62.9%. GRAD. RATE: 95.1%. 1000 Mulberry St., Zionsville, 317-873-3355

ENROLLMENT: 3,287. SAT: 12.4%. GRAD. RATE:

n/a. 7725 N. College Ave., 317-253-1481

71.4%. 5401 W. 71st St., 317-291-5250

Indiana School for the Deaf (PK-12)

Speedway Schools

Carmel High School

ENROLLMENT: 298. ILEARN: 2.1%. SAT: 5%. GRAD. RATE: n/a. 1200 E. 42nd St., 317-550-4800

ENROLLMENT: 1,864. ILEARN: 46.2%. 5300 Craw-

ENROLLMENT: 5,192. SAT: 67.8%. GRAD. RATE:

fordsville Rd., Speedway, 317-244-0236

93.4%. 520 E. Main St., Carmel, 317-846-7721





Fishers High School ENROLLMENT: 3,674. SAT: 58.8%. GRAD. RATE: 92.1%.

13000 Promise Rd., Fishers, 317-915-4290

Tri-West Senior High School

Southwestern High School (7–12)


ENROLLMENT: 295. ILEARN: 17.4%. SAT: 20%. GRAD. RATE: 92.1%. 3406 W. 600 S, Shelbyville,

88.4%. 7883 N. State Rd. 39, Lizton, 317-994-4000

Hamilton Heights High School ENROLLMENT: 711. SAT: 26.5%. GRAD. RATE: 94.5%. 25802 State Rd. 19, Arcadia, 317-984-3551

Hamilton Southeastern High School ENROLLMENT: 3,450. SAT: 53.4%. GRAD. RATE:

92.8%. 12499 Olio Rd., Fishers, 317-594-4190

Noblesville High School ENROLLMENT: 3,227. SAT: 48.4%. GRAD. RATE:

JOHNSON COUNTY Center Grove High School ENROLLMENT: 2,851. SAT: 42.3%. GRAD. RATE:

95.1%. 2717 S. Morgantown Rd., Greenwood, 317-881-0581

Edinburgh Community High School 300 S. Keeley St., Edinburgh, 812-526-5501

Sheridan High School

Franklin Community High School ENROLLMENT: 1,610. SAT: 27.2%. GRAD. RATE: 78.1%.

24185 N. Hinesley Rd., Sheridan, 317-758-4431

2600 Cumberland Dr., Franklin, 317-738-5700

Westfield High School

Greenwood Community High School

ENROLLMENT: 2,665. SAT: 50.6%. GRAD. RATE:

90.4%. 18250 N. Union St., Westfield, 317-867-6800

ENROLLMENT: 1,175. SAT: 33.2%. GRAD. RATE:

83.4%. 615 W. Smith Valley Rd., Greenwood, 317-889-4000

Indian Creek Senior High School HANCOCK COUNTY Eastern Hancock High School

Triton Central High School ENROLLMENT: 457. SAT: 30.4%. GRAD. RATE: 72.7%. 4774 W. 600 N, Fairland, 317-835-3000

Waldron Junior-Senior High School (6–12) ENROLLMENT: 298. ILEARN: 20.6%. SAT: 14.6%. GRAD. RATE: 93.8%. 102 N. East St., Waldron,


ENROLLMENT: 232. SAT: 9.3%. GRAD. RATE: 79.6%.

83.9%. 18111 Cumberland Rd., Noblesville, 317-733-4680

ENROLLMENT: 324. SAT: 29.9%. GRAD. RATE: 84%.


ENROLLMENT: 624. SAT: 24.2%. GRAD. RATE: 77.4%. 803 W. Indian Creek Dr., Trafalgar, 317-878-2110

CHARTER SCHOOLS Charter schools are public schools that are granted control of their own curricula by the state, under an agreement that they will meet certain performance standards. Many are aimed toward specific educational purposes, and all are tuition-free. This is not a comprehensive collection; for a full list of institutions authorized by the Indiana Charter School Board, visit

ENROLLMENT: 378. SAT: 21.6%. GRAD. RATE: 84.8%.

10320 E. 250 N, Charlottesville, 317-936-5595

Whiteland Community High School

Greenfield-Central High School

ENROLLMENT: 1,879. SAT: 27.4%. GRAD. RATE: 89.4%. 300 Main St., Whiteland, 317-535-7562

ENROLLMENT: 1,462. SAT: 29.5%. GRAD. RATE:

80.4%. 810 N. Broadway St., Greenfield, 317-462-9211

Mt. Vernon High School ENROLLMENT: 1,431. SAT: 34.6%. GRAD. RATE: 87%.

MORGAN COUNTY Eminence Junior-Senior High School (6–12)

8112 N. 200 W, Fortville, 317-485-3131

ENROLLMENT: 178. ILEARN: 9.5%. SAT: 17.2%. GRAD. RATE: 92.9%. 6760 N. State Rd. 42, Eminence,

New Palestine High School


ENROLLMENT: 1,195. SAT: 39.1%. GRAD. RATE:

85.3%. 4485 S. Victory Dr., New Palestine, 317-861-4417

Martinsville High School ENROLLMENT: 1,310. SAT: 22.1%. GRAD. RATE:

86.5%. 1360 E. Gray St., Martinsville, 765-342-5571

HENDRICKS COUNTY Avon High School ENROLLMENT: 3,348. SAT: 40.2%. GRAD. RATE: 90.1%. 7575 E. County Rd. 150 S, Avon, 317-544-5000

Brownsburg High School ENROLLMENT: 3,177. SAT: 39.4%. GRAD. RATE: 98%.

1000 S. Odell St., Brownsburg, 317-852-2258

Cascade Senior High School ENROLLMENT: 513. SAT: 33.3%. GRAD. RATE:

Monrovia High School ENROLLMENT: 528. SAT: 21.6%. GRAD. RATE: 74.2%.

205 S. Chestnut St., Monrovia, 317-996-2258

Mooresville High School ENROLLMENT: 1,404. SAT: 26.4%. GRAD. RATE:

95%. 550 N. Indiana St., Mooresville, 317-831-9203

SHELBY COUNTY Morristown Junior-Senior High School (6–12)

Danville Community High School

ENROLLMENT: 320. ILEARN: 36.4%. SAT: 24.2%. GRAD. RATE: 93.3%. 223 S. Patterson St.,

ENROLLMENT: 788. SAT: 37.1%. GRAD. RATE: 91.7%.

Morristown, 765-763-1221

100 Warrior Way, Danville, 317-745-6431

Shelbyville Senior High School Plainfield High School

ENROLLMENT: 1,101. SAT: 30.6%. GRAD. RATE:

ENROLLMENT: 1,782. SAT: 45.2%. GRAD. RATE:

66.8%. 2003 S. Miller St., Shelbyville, 317-398-9731

83.9%. 1 Red Pride Dr., Plainfield, 317-839-7711 IM | FEBRUARY 2024

Andrew J. Brown Academy (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 604. ILEARN: 12%. 3600 N. German Church Rd., 317-891-0730

Avondale Meadows Academy (K–5) ENROLLMENT: 301. ILEARN: 5.3%.

3980 Meadows Dr., 317-803-3182

Avondale Meadows Middle School (6–8) ENROLLMENT: 192. ILEARN: 5.1%.

3980 Meadows Dr., 317-550-3363

Charles A. Tindley Accelerated School (7–12) ENROLLMENT: 391. ILEARN: 3.9%. SAT: 10.3%. GRAD. RATE: 91.3%. 3960 Meadows Dr.,


Christel House Academy South (K–12) ENROLLMENT: 785. ILEARN: 13.7%. SAT: 11.1%. GRAD. RATE: 97.4%. 2405 Madison Ave.,


Christel House Academy West (K–8)

93.4%. 6565 S. County Rd. 200 W, Clayton, 317-539-9315




55 N. Tibbs Ave., 317-783-4901

Christel House DORS (9–12) ENROLLMENT: 788. SAT: n/a. GRAD. RATE: 20.3%.

Three locations: South, 317-783-4686; West, 317-783-4722; and Ivy Tech, 317-916-7544

Enlace Academy (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 658. ILEARN: 3.6%. 3725 Kiel Ave., 317-383-0607

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Call for an immediate appointment 317-924-8636 or 888-FIX-KNEE



Herron High School (9–12)

Tindley Genesis Academy (K–6)

Guerin Catholic High School

ENROLLMENT: 976. SAT: 61.9%. GRAD. RATE: 89.3%.


110 E. 16th St., 317-231-0010

4020 Meadows Pkwy., 317-777-6832

ENROLLMENT: 774. SAT: 68%. GRAD. RATE: 95.1%. TUITION: $15,700. 15300 N. Gray Rd., Nobles-

Herron Preparatory Academy (K–3)

Tindley Summit Academy (K–6)

ville, 317-582-0120 ENROLLMENT: 174. ILEARN: 39.3%. 3100 N. Meridian St., 317-231-0010

ENROLLMENT: 226. ILEARN: 5.9%. 3698 Dubarry Rd., 317-777-6830

Herron–Riverside High School (9–12) ENROLLMENT: 409. SAT: 26.8%. GRAD. RATE: n/a. 3010 N. White River Pkwy. E. Dr., 317-231-0010

Hope Academy (9–12) ENROLLMENT: 33. SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a.

3919 Madison Ave., 317-572-9356


ENROLLMENT: 208. SAT: 2.9%. GRAD. RATE: 41.3%.

Our Lady of Grace Catholic School (PK–8)

ENROLLMENT: 171. ILEARN: 5%. SAT: 7.7%. GRAD. RATE: 42.9%. 9945 Cumberland Pointe Blvd.,


Options Charter School—Westfield (6–12)

1635 W. Michigan St., 317-524-4000

ENROLLMENT: 228. ILEARN: 5%. SAT: 13.2%. GRAD. RATE: 60%. 17721 Gunther Blvd., Westfield,

Irvington Community School Inc. (K–12)


ENROLLMENT: 959. ILEARN: 15.4%. SAT: 11.9%. GRAD. RATE: 49.3%. 6705 E. Julian Ave.,



Geist Montessori Academy (K–8) James and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy Middle School (7–8)

ENROLLMENT: 233. ILEARN: 20.2%. 6058 W. 900

KIPP Indy College Prep Middle (6–8) ENROLLMENT: 372. ILEARN: 2.2%.

1740 E. 30th St., 317-547-5477

KIPP Indy Legacy High School (9–11) ENROLLMENT: 377. SAT: 2.7%. 2255 N. Ralston Ave., 317-547-5499

KIPP Indy Unite Elementary (K–5) ENROLLMENT: 695. ILEARN: 7.3%. 1740 E. 30th St., 317-547-5477

Paramount School of Excellence Brookside (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 801. ILEARN: 43.7%.

3020 Nowland Ave., 317-775-6660

PRIVATE SCHOOLS Graduation rates, ILEARN proficiency rates for grades 3–8 (English/language arts and Math), and SAT benchmark rates for grade 11 (Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are listed if provided by the Indiana Department of Education. Enrollment figures are from 2023, and graduation rates are from 2022. Tuition rates are for 2023–24 (for one student), unless otherwise noted. Many schools offer discounts for multiple students from the same family, as well as several types of financial aid (including vouchers and scholarships). Regardless of their financial situation, all parents are encouraged to apply.



Bishop Chatard High School ENROLLMENT: 703. SAT: 53.1%. GRAD. RATE: 92.4%. TUITION: $11,245 archdiocesan rate, $14,370

Paramount School of Excellence Englewood (5–8)

non-archdiocesan rate. 5885 N. Crittenden Ave., 317-251-1451

ENROLLMENT: 233. ILEARN: 41.7%. 3029 E. Washington St., 463-231-2830

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School

Purdue Polytechnic High School North (9–12) ENROLLMENT: 283. SAT: 24.6%. GRAD. RATE:

83.3%. 1115 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-832-4800

Purdue Polytechnic High School Schweitzer Center at Englewood (9–12) ENROLLMENT: 567. SAT: n/a. GRAD. RATE: 86.5%.

3029 E. Washington St., 317-832-1200



Our Lady of Mount Carmel School (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 650. ILEARN: 72.1%. TUITION: tithing through the parish; must be a church member. 14596 Oak Ridge Rd., Carmel, 317-846-1118

St. Joan of Arc School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 211. ILEARN: 33.3%. TUITION: $7,250

parishioners, $7,450 non-parishioners. 500 E. 42nd St., 317-283-1518

St. Lawrence Catholic School (PK–8)

Paramount School of Excellence Cottage Home (K–4) 1203 E. St. Clair St., 463-231-2880

$6,600 parishioners, $7,100 Catholics, $8,100 non-parishioners. 9900 E. 191st St., Noblesville, 317-770-5660

N, McCordsville, 317-813-4626


4352 Mitthoeffer Rd., 317-552-1600

ENROLLMENT: 390. ILEARN: 69.5%. TUITION: $5,883 parishioners, $9,635 non-parishioners. 317 E. 57th St., 317-255-5468

Options Charter School—Noblesville (6–12) Noblesville, 317-773-8659

Indianapolis Metropolitan High School (9–12)

Immaculate Heart of Mary School (K–8)

ENROLLMENT: 824. SAT: 68.8% GRAD. RATE: 82.5%. TUITION: $20,880. 2801 W. 86th St., 317-524-7050

ENROLLMENT: 264. ILEARN: 22.4%. TUITION: $7,190. 6950 E. 46th St., 317-543-4923

St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 545. ILEARN: 68%. TUITION: $6,500 active parishioners, $9,060 non-active parishioners. 11441 Hague Rd., Fishers, 317-842-1125

St. Luke Catholic School (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 559. ILEARN: 58.6%. TUITION: $5,842 active parishioner, $8,889 non-parishioner. 7650 N. Illinois St., 317-255-3912

St. Maria Goretti Catholic School (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 440. ILEARN: 54.2%. TUITION: tithing through the parish. 17104 Spring Mill Rd., Westfield, 317-896-5582

St. Matthew Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 364. ILEARN: 38.9%. TUITION:

$6,300 active parishioners, $7,800 Catholics, $9,700 non-Catholics. 4100 E. 56th St., 317-251-3997

St. Monica Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 360. ILEARN: 19.6%. TUITION: $5,300

parishioners, $5,900 Catholics, $7,200 nonparishioners. 6131 N. Michigan Rd., 317-255-7153

St. Pius X Catholic School (K–8) Cathedral High School ENROLLMENT: 1,132. SAT: 61.8%. GRAD. RATE: 84.1%. TUITION: $16,950. 5225 E. 56th St.,

ENROLLMENT: 426. ILEARN: 63.7%. TUITION: $5,436 parishioners, $7,316 non-parishioners. 7200 Sarto Dr., 317-466-3361


Christ the King Catholic School (K–8) ENROLLMENT: 367. ILEARN: 71.4%. TUITION:

contact school. 5858 N. Crittenden Ave., 317-257-9366

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 165. ILEARN: 65.6%. TUITION: $6,140 parishioners, $9,810 non-parishioners. 4600 N. Illinois St., 317-255-6244



Scecina Memorial High School ENROLLMENT: 469. SAT: 13.1%. GRAD. RATE: 66.7%. TUITION: $11,455 Catholics, $14,105 non-

Holy Spirit Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 407. ILEARN: 28.1%. TUITION:

contact school. 7241 E. 10th St., 317-352-1243

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School (PK–8)

Catholics yet Catholic-educated, $14,970 non-Catholics. 5000 Nowland Ave., 317-356-6377


parishioners, $8,079 non-parishioners. 30 S. Downey Ave., 317-357-3316

Central Catholic School (PK–8) school. 1155 E. Cameron St., 317-783-7759

St. Philip Neri Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 271. ILEARN: 5.5%. TUITION: contact school. 545 N. Eastern Ave., 317-636-0134

St. Simon the Apostle Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 664. ILEARN: 68%. TUITION: $6,461

parishioners, $11,014 non-parishioners. 8155 Oaklandon Rd., 317-826-6000

Holy Name Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 260. ILEARN: 28.5%. TUITION:

contact school. 21 N. 17th Ave., Beech Grove, 317-784-9078

Lumen Christi Catholic School (PK–12) ENROLLMENT, ILEARN, SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION: K, $3,150 Holy Rosary parishioners,

$3,675 non-parishioners; grades 1–8, $5,850 parishioners, $6,375 non-parishioners; grades 9–12, $8,000 parishioners, $8,525 nonparishioners. 580 Stevens St., 317-632-3174


ENROLLMENT: 282. ILEARN: 17.5%. TUITION: grades

K–7, $7,100; grade 8, $7,200. 1401 N. Bosart Ave., 317-353-2282


tact school. 8300 Rahke Rd., 317-881-7422

Sts. Francis & Clare of Assisi Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 388. ILEARN: 78.5%. TUITION: $5,731.

5901 Olive Branch Rd., Greenwood, 317-859-4673

St. Jude Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 538. ILEARN: 49.2%. TUITION: $5,652 parishioners, $8,459 non-parishioners. 5375 McFarland Rd., 317-784-6828

St. Mark Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 510. ILEARN: 38.2%. TUITION:

$6,200. 541 E. Edgewood Ave., 317-786-4013

Nativity Catholic School (PK–8)

St. Therese/Little Flower Catholic School (PK–8)

ENROLLMENT: 1,064. SAT: 51.9%. GRAD. RATE: 91.4%. TUITION: $10,930 parishioners,

St. Barnabas School (PK–8)

ENROLLMENT: 245. ILEARN: 8.6%. TUITION: contact

ENROLLMENT: 160. ILEARN: 47.6%. TUITION: $6,000 parishioners, $6,100 non-parishioners. 515 Jefferson Blvd., Greenfield, 317-462-6380

Roncalli High School $14,185 non-parishioners. 3300 Prague Rd., 317-787-8277


St. Michael Catholic School (PK–8)

contact school. 399 S. Meridian St., Greenwood, 317-881-1300

tact school. 3310 S. Meadow Dr., 317-357-1459

Our Lady of the Greenwood Catholic School (PK–8)

St. Roch Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 264. ILEARN: 57.9%. TUITION: $5,575 parishioners, $7,175 non-parishioners. 3603 S. Meridian St., 317-784-9144


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St. Rose of Lima School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 89. ILEARN: 30.8%. TUITION (2022–23):

$5,390 parishioners, $6,640 non-parishioners. 114 Lancelot Dr., Franklin, 317-738-3451

CATHOLIC SCHOOLS (WEST) Cardinal Ritter High School (7–12) ENROLLMENT: 594. ILEARN: 14.9%. SAT: 19.3%. GRAD. RATE: 79.1%. TUITION: junior high, $6,155

Catholics, $7,155 non-Catholics; high school, $10,450 Catholics, $13,150 non-Catholics. 3360 W. 30th St., 317-924-4333

St. Michael–St. Gabriel Elementary School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 331. ILEARN: 14.2%. TUITION: $7,155.

3352 W. 30th St., 317-926-0516

St. Susanna School (PK–8)

ENROLLMENT: 152. ILEARN: 9.8%. TUITION: contact

school. 2822 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., 317-926-5211

$6,700 Catholic, $7,725 non-Catholic. 1212 E. Main St., Plainfield, 317-839-3713



Gray Road Christian School (PK–6) Providence Cristo Rey High School ENROLLMENT: 202. SAT: 12.5%. GRAD. RATE: 75%. TUITION: $312 (average family contribution).

75 N. Belleview Pl., 317-860-1000

ENROLLMENT & ILEARN: n/a. TUITION: $4,500. 5500 S. Gray Rd., 317-786-3559

Greenwood Christian Academy (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 455. ILEARN: 47.2%. TUITION: K–

St. Christopher School (PK–6) ENROLLMENT: 177. ILEARN: 31%. TUITION: $5,890

parishioners, $6,470 Catholics, $7,080 nonparishioners. 5335 W. 16th St., 317-241-6314

St. Malachy Catholic School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 496. ILEARN: 61.9%. TUITION: $5,960

parishioners, $6,813 non-parishioner. 7410 N. County Rd. 1000 E, Brownsburg, 317-852-2242

ENROLLMENT: 1,508. ILEARN: 58.1%. SAT: 68%. GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION: K, $10,890; grades

1–4, $11,935; grades 5–6, $13,640; grades 7–8, $14,410; grades 9–12, $15,895. 6401 E. 75th St., 317-849-3441


Covenant Christian High School Holy Angels Catholic School (PK–6)

Heritage Christian School (PK–12)

grade 4, $7,650; grades 5–6, $8,875; grades 7–8, $9,975. 835 W. Worthsville Rd., Greenwood, 317-215-5300

Greenwood Christian Academy High School ENROLLMENT: 201. SAT: 46.4%. GRAD. RATE: 92%. TUITION: $12,150. 1495 W. Main St., Greenwood,

Horizon Christian School (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 312. ILEARN: 34.8%. SAT: 22.2%. GRAD. RATE: 4.8%. TUITION: K–grade 6, $8,800;

grades 7–8, $9,000; grades 9–12, $9,600. 7702 Indian Lake Rd., 317-823-4538

Indianapolis Christian School System (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 570. ILEARN: 45.5%. TUITION: K,

$7,812; grade 1–4, $8,043; grade 5, $8,348; grades 6–8, $9,375. 8610 W. 10th St., 317-272-2227

Legacy Christian School (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 365. ILEARN: 42.3%. SAT: 28.6%. GRAD RATE: n/a. TUITION: K–5, $9,400; grades

6–8, $10,000; grades 9–12, $10,500. 470 N. Lakeview Dr., Noblesville, 317-776-4186

Mooresville Christian Academy (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 438. ILEARN: 41%. SAT: n/a. TUITION: K–grade 4, $6,790; grades 5–8, $7,180,

high school, $7,915. 4271 E. State Rd. 144, Mooresville, 317-831-0799


NOW ENROLLING AGE 3 - GRADE 8 Two lead Kindergarten teachers work on sorting attributes during a math lesson in one of Orchard’s outdoor classroom spaces. Small student-to-teacher ratios create many opportunities for core subjects to connect with nature across Orchard’s 43-acre, wooded campus.

Learn more @ FEBRUARY 2024 | IM



Traders Point Christian Schools (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 586. ILEARN: 43.6%. SAT: 35.7%. GRAD. RATE: 93.8%. TUITION: K–grade 4,

$10,977; grades 5–6, $11,948; grades 7–12, $12,957. Lower school: 5770 Whitestown Pkwy., Whitestown, 317-769-2450; upper school: 5608 Whitestown Pkwy., Whitestown, 317-360-0468


Fishers Christian Academy (PK–12)

Lutheran High School

ENROLLMENT: 120. ILEARN: 57.1%. SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION: $6,600. 9587 E. 131st St.,

ENROLLMENT: 245. SAT: 42.4%. GRAD. RATE: 93.3%. TUITION (2024–25): $12,400.

Fishers, 317-577-1777

5555 S. Arlington Ave., 317-787-5474

Suburban Christian School (PK–12)

Our Shepherd Lutheran School (PK–8)

ENROLLMENT: 583. ILEARN: 22.6%. SAT: 33.3%. GRAD. RATE: 66.7%. TUITION: $6,500.

ENROLLMENT: 185. ILEARN: 40.6%. TUITION (2021–22): K, $5,032 members, $6,290 non-

722 E. County Line Rd., 317-888-3366

members; grades 1–4, $5,278 members, $6,766 non-members; grades 5–8, $5,505 members, $7,058 non-members. 9201 E. County Rd. 100 N, Avon, 317-271-9103


Bethesda Christian Schools (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 491. ILEARN: 44.6%. SAT: 25%. GRAD. RATE: 88.5%. TUITION (2024–25): K,

$8,900; grades 1–4, $9,700; grades 5–6, $10,000; grades 7–8, $11,000; grades 9–12, $12,300. 7858 N. County Rd. 650 E, Brownsburg, 317-858-2823

Central Christian Academy (K–12) ENROLLMENT: 193. ILEARN: 11.9%. SAT: n/a. GRAD. RATE: 68.8%. TUITION: K–grade 4, $7,300;

grades 5–8, $7,500; grades 9–12, $8,500. 2565 Villa Ave., 317-788-1587

Colonial Christian School (PK–12) ENROLLMENT: 247. ILEARN: 52.1%; SAT: 61.1%. GRAD. RATE: 100%. TUITION: $6,550. 8140 Union

St. Richard’s Episcopal School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT & ILEARN: n/a. TUITION: K, $19,150;

grades 1–4, $19,780; grades 5–7, $20,540, grade 8, $21,920. 33 E. 33rd St., 317-926-0425

St. John Lutheran School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 212. ILEARN: 26.2%. TUITION:

$6,400. 6630 Southeastern Ave., 317-352-9196

Trinity Lutheran School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 136. ILEARN: 36.4%. TUITION: 7,400.


8540 E. 16th St., 317-897-0243

Zion Lutheran School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 200. ILEARN: 43%. TUITION: contact

Calvary Lutheran School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 219. ILEARN: 43.6%. TUITION: con-

tact school. 6111 Shelby St., 317-783-2305

Emmaus Lutheran School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 70. ILEARN: 10%. TUITION (2022–23):

$6,700. 1224 Laurel St., 317-632-1486

school. 6513 W. 300 S, New Palestine, 317-861-4210


Chapel Rd., 317-253-0649

ENROLLMENT: 101. SAT: 24%. GRAD. RATE: 61.9%. TUITION: contact school. 24815 State Rd. 19 N,

Cicero, 317-984-3575

5IF .JEXFTUhT POMZ JOUFSOBUJPOBM TDIPPM JT SJHIU IFSF JO *OEJBOBQPMJT This International Baccalaureate (IB) World School takes a different approach to education. With immersion and dual language programs in French, Mandarin, Spanish, and English and enhanced cultural experiences, our students are ready for whatever the world has to offer. After all, why stop at the Crossroads of America when you’re prepared to go anywhere?

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The IB is a worldwide education program designed to provide students with an education fit for a globalizing world. The IB stresses the importance not only of academic achievement but also personal development in the classroom.


College Acceptance Rate 82


Average Earned College Credits

Scan to read our top 5 reasons to pursue an IB diploma!

Clubs & Activities

Athletic Teams

Yearly Arts Showcases

Yearly Study Abroad Trips

Nationalities in our Community


Indianapolis Junior Academy (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: n/a. ILEARN: 6.9%. TUITION: $6,000.

2910 E. 62nd St., 317-251-0560

K, $21,936; grades 1–5, $22,409; grades 6–8, $22,788; grades 9–12, $24,452. Preschool and elementary: 200 W. 49th St.; middle and high school: 4330 N. Michigan Rd., 317-923-1951


Marian University Preparatory School (6–9)

Calvary Christian School (PK–12)

ENROLLMENT: 5 (Inaugural class began August 2022). ILEARN: n/a. TUITION: $7,500. 2916 W. 30th St., 855-777-0679

ENROLLMENT: 215. ILEARN: 42%. SAT: 56.3%. GRAD. RATE: 100%. TUITION: $6,800 members,

$7,300 non-members. 3639 S. Keystone Ave., 317-789-8710

JEWISH SCHOOLS Hasten Hebrew Academy of Indianapolis (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 96. ILEARN: 67.4%. TUITION: K,

$12,000; grades 1–5, $16,020; grades 6–8, $16,620. 6602 Hoover Rd., 317-251-1261


6–8, $27,230; grades 9–12, $27,350. 7200 N. College Ave., 317-415-2700

Sycamore School (PK–8) ENROLLMENT & ILEARN: n/a. TUITION: $21,000.

1750 W. 64th St., 317-202-2500

University High School of Indiana ENROLLMENT, SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION: $24,790. 2825 W. 116th St., Carmel, 317-733-4475

Midwest Academy of Indiana (3–12) ENROLLMENT, ILEARN, SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION: contact school. 1420 Chase Ct.,

Carmel, 317-843-9500

The Oaks Academy (PK–8) ENROLLMENT: 1,049. ILEARN: Fall Creek, 58.2%;

Brookside, 55.1%; Middle School, 54.9%. TUITION (2024–25): K–grade 5, $13,510; grades 6–8, $13,790. Fall Creek: 2301 N. Park Ave., 317-931-3043; Brookside: 3092 Brookside Pkwy. N. Dr., 317-822-4900; Middle School: 1301 E. 16th St., 317-969-8500

Curtis Wilson Primary School & Academy (PK–6)

The Orchard School (PK–8)


$210–$240 per week. 7850 S. Emerson Ave., 317-882-8636

K–grade 4, $21,716; grade 5, $21,991; grade 6, $22,126; grade 7, $22,171; grade 8, $23,456. 615 W. 64th St., 317-251-9253

International School of Indiana (PK–12)

Park Tudor School (PK–12)

ENROLLMENT: 106 (9–12 only). ILEARN: n/a. SAT: 53.6%. GRAD. RATE: 80.9%. TUITION (2024–25):

ENROLLMENT, ILEARN, SAT & GRAD. RATE: n/a. TUITION (2024–25): K–grade 5, $25,560; grades

INDIANA COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES Costs listed are approximate for Indiana resident full-time undergraduates for the 2023–24 school year, unless otherwise noted. Those figures may vary based on majors and other factors; federal financial aid, grants, and scholarships are available. Enrollment figures include both undergraduate and graduate students.


Anderson University ENROLLMENT (2021–22): 1,290. TUITION: $33,070. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,420. DEGREES OFFERED:

associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This private Christian liberal arts school offers more than 50 majors and




several graduate programs, including business and theology. Its small size is a plus for many. 1100 E. Fifth St., Anderson, 800-428-6414,

more than 50 student organizations and a Greek system. 101 Branigin Blvd., Franklin, 800-852-0232,

Goshen College Ball State University ENROLLMENT: 19,777. TUITION: $8,688. ROOM AND BOARD: $10,892. DEGREES OFFERED:

associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Ball State, founded in 1899

as a private teacher’s college, is an NCAA Division I public university with nationally ranked programs in architecture, business, music, communications, and education. 2000 W. University Ave., Muncie, 800-382-8540,

Butler University ENROLLMENT: 5,525. TUITION: $44,990. ROOM AND BOARD: $14,890. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s, Pharm.D. ABOUT THE SCHOOL:

Located five miles from downtown Indy, Butler is a private, independent university offering more than 65 majors. It is continually ranked among the top schools for first-year student experiences, internships, and study abroad opportunities. 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, 800-368-6852,

Christian Theological Seminary ENROLLMENT: 161. TUITION: $710 per credit hour. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), CTS offers master’s degrees in divinity, mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, theological studies, and Christian ministry. 1000 W. 42nd St., Indianapolis, 317-924-1331,

DePauw University ENROLLMENT: 1,820. TUITION: $56,030. ROOM AND BOARD: $14,850. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: At this Methodist-

affiliated liberal arts school, all students live on campus, and approximately 70 percent take part in the Greek system. The annual football game against Wabash College, known as the Monon Bell, draws national attention. 204 E. Seminary St., Greencastle, 765-658-4800,

Earlham College ENROLLMENT: 612 (undergraduate). TUITION (2024–25): $53,010. ROOM AND BOARD (2024–25): $13,985. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Founded by Quakers

in 1847, Earlham College is an independent liberal arts college with programs under the umbrellas of business, humanities, math, science, social sciences, and performing arts. 801 National Rd. W., Richmond, 765-983-1200,

Franklin College ENROLLMENT (2022): 907. TUITION: $36,600. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,290. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL:

Founded in 1834, Franklin College is a residential liberal arts institution offering 50-plus majors and two master’s programs. In 1842, the college became the first coed institution in Indiana and only the seventh in the nation. The charming small-town campus includes 84


ENROLLMENT: 824. TUITION (2024–25): $38,890. ROOM AND BOARD (2024–25): $11,770. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This private Christian liberal arts

college also owns a marine biology laboratory in Florida and a 1,189-acre environmental learning center about 30 miles southeast of Goshen. It has earned honors for its studentrun farm and is home to one of the top-ranked study-abroad programs in the country. Popular majors include nursing, biology, elementary education, and business. 1700 S. Main St., Goshen, 574-535-7000,

Hanover College ENROLLMENT: 1,157. TUITION: $43,368. ROOM AND BOARD: $14,287. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, doctorate. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: At this private

liberal arts school, students can choose from 32 majors, or design their own, on a beautiful 650-acre campus on the Ohio River. 517 Ball Dr., Hanover, 812-866-7000,

Huntington University ENROLLMENT: 1,504. TUITION (2024–25): $31,870. ROOM AND BOARD (2024–25): $10,546. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This Christ-

centered liberal arts university offers more than 70 academic programs. 2303 College Ave., Huntington, 260-356-6000,

academic offerings, including music, education, health, informatics, journalism, law, and more. Its undergraduate business program is ranked among the top five in the country by Bloomberg Businessweek. Main campus: 107 S. Indiana Ave., Bloomington, 812-8554848. Satellite campuses in Fort Wayne, Gary, Kokomo, New Albany, Richmond, and South Bend;

Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) ENROLLMENT: 27,690. TUITION: $10,448. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,010. DEGREES OFFERED:

certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: IUPUI combines more than 350 programs—including medicine, law, dentistry, nursing, business, and social work—from both Purdue University and Indiana University at its campus on the near-west side of Indy. In July, IU and Purdue will separate their Indianapolis operations and continue as two independent entities. 420 University Blvd., Indianapolis, 317-274-5555,

Indiana Wesleyan University ENROLLMENT: 13,297. TUITION: $31,168. ROOM AND BOARD: $10,554. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate,

associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This evangelical Christian university offers more than 80 majors, from art and accounting to global ministries and Biblical literature. 4201 S. Washington St., Marion, 866-468-6498. Six educational centers throughout Indiana;

Ivy Tech Community College Indiana State University ENROLLMENT: 8,305. TUITION: $9,712. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,483. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Indiana State offers more than 100

ENROLLMENT (2022–23): 177,115 statewide. TUITION: $4,912. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate,

Indiana Tech

technical certificate, workforce certifications, associate. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Ivy Tech is Indiana’s largest post-secondary degreegranting institution. It offers two-year associate degrees and one-year technical certificates in fields such as nursing, computer technology, education, and business. Credits can also be transferred to four-year schools. Main campus: 50 W. Fall Creek Pkwy. N. Dr., Indianapolis, 888-489-5463. 44 additional campuses throughout Indiana;

ENROLLMENT: 1,591. TUITION: $29,936. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,268. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate,

Manchester University

academic majors, ranging from criminology to education. It supports a lively student community with nearly 300 clubs and organizations, NCAA athletic programs, and a Greek system. 200 N. Seventh St., Terre Haute, 812-237-3773,

associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This four-year private residential university offers degrees in human services, business, information systems, criminal justice, and more. Accelerated degree programs are offered at satellite campuses to fit the needs of working adult students. Main campus: 1600 E. Washington Blvd., Fort Wayne, 260-422-5561. Satellite campuses in Elkhart, Fishers, Greenwood, Hammond, Indianapolis, Jeffersonville, Kendallville, Lafayette, Mishawaka, and Warsaw;

Indiana University ENROLLMENT: 47,527 (Bloomington). TUITION: $11,790. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,380. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL:

Indiana’s premier public liberal arts university system draws thousands with its wide

ENROLLMENT: 1,300. TUITION: $37,090. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,154. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, Pharm.D. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: All students receive financial aid at

this liberal arts school, which offers more than 70 areas of study and 20 NCAA Division III sports. 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, 260-982-5055,

Marian University ENROLLMENT: 4,101. TUITION: $39,100. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,200. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This Catholic and Franciscan liberal

arts university is a private school catering to both traditional and nontraditional students. It opened its osteopathic medical school in 2013 and launched an engineering school in 2022. 3200 Cold Spring Rd., Indianapolis, 317-955-6000,

Students at the University of Evansville have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study abroad at

Spend a semester living and learning in a 19th-century Victorian manor, located in the rolling countryside of England. Students at UE can study abroad at Harlaxton with no additional tuition costs and still graduate in four years. O Three-day weekends provide travel opportunities throughout the UK and Europe O 9FPJ LJSJWFQ JIZHFYNTS FSI RFOTW XUJHN‫ܪ‬H HTZWXJX :* KFHZQY^ YWF[JQ YT -FWQF]YTS YTT O )J[JQTU GTQISJXX FSI F SJ\KTZSI XJSXJ TK HTS‫ܪ‬IJSHJ \MNQJ INXHT[JWNSL YMJ \TWQI O 5FWJSYX HFS [NXNY XYZIJSYX FSI J[JS XYF^ FY YMJ 2FSTW HWTXX *ZWTUJFS IJXYNSFYNTSX TKK ^TZW GZHPJY QNXY

Pursue the extraordinary. Immerse yourself and see the world anew. Schedule your visit to UE and learn all about our unmatched study abroad opportunities.


Martin University ENROLLMENT: n/a. TUITION: $4,410. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This private, not-for-profit liberal arts

ROOM AND BOARD (2024–25): $10,796. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This Christian liberal arts

institution offers a wide variety of programs, and is the only such predominately Black institution of higher learning in the state. Most students are over age 25. 2186 N. Sherman Dr., Indianapolis, 317-543-3235,

university’s top majors are business, art, film and media, and education. It is continually ranked highly in the “Best Regional Colleges– Midwest” category by U.S. News & World Report. 236 W. Reade Ave., Upland, 765-998-2751,

Oakland City University

Trine University

ENROLLMENT: n/a. TUITION (2024–25): $27,900. ROOM AND BOARD (2024–25): $10,900. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Oakland City

is a Christian university founded in 1885, with schools of business, education, and religious studies, among others. 138 N. Lucretia St., Oakland City, 800-737-5125,

Purdue University ENROLLMENT: 52,211. TUITION: $9,992. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,650. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Purdue began in 1869 as a land-grant

school and continues a strong program in agriculture to this day—but it is probably best known for engineering: U.S. News & World Report has ranked Purdue’s undergraduate engineering programs among the top 10 in the U.S. 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, 765-494-4600. Satellite campuses in Fort Wayne, Hammond, and Westville;

Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology ENROLLMENT: 2,250. TUITION: $52,998. ROOM AND BOARD: $17,718. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Founded in 1874,

this private, technology-oriented university is one of the nation’s top colleges for engineering, science, and math. The school has a virtually 100-percent career placement record and has ranked first on U.S. News & World Report’s list of undergraduate engineering programs for 25 consecutive years. 5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, 812-877-1511,

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College ENROLLMENT: 1,300. TUITION: $31,990. ROOM AND BOARD: $10,326. DEGREES OFFERED: associate, bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: The

nation’s oldest Catholic liberal arts college for women was granted a charter for the higher education of women in 1846. It now also offers courses to men, and has the only equine program in the state. 1 Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, 812-535-5151,

Saint Mary’s College ENROLLMENT: 1,400. TUITION: $50,350. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,850. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL:


associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Trine provides 40-plus

degree programs, primarily in education and engineering, and small class sizes at its northeast Indiana campus. 1 University Ave., Angola, 260-665-4100,

University of Evansville ENROLLMENT (2021): 2,078. TUITION: $41,400. ROOM AND BOARD: $14,270. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Much of the student body studies

abroad at some point, many at the university’s Harlaxton College in England. UE offers more than 80 areas of study in Indiana’s thirdlargest city. 1800 Lincoln Ave., Evansville, 812-488-2000,

University of Indianapolis ENROLLMENT: 5,000. TUITION: $34,416. ROOM AND BOARD: $15,878. DEGREES OFFERED:

certificate, associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Founded in 1902, UIndy offers 100-plus undergraduate degree programs, with the largest being physical and occupational therapy, nursing, business, and education. UIndy is a national leader in aging studies and education reform. 1400 E. Hanna Ave., Indianapolis, 317-788-3368,

University of Notre Dame ENROLLMENT: 12,809. TUITION: $62,693. ROOM AND BOARD: $17,378. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL:

Perhaps best known for its picturesque campus and academic rigor, Notre Dame, founded in 1842, has been deemed one of the “new Ivies” in American higher education by The Wall Street Journal. U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, and others consistently rank the school among the top 25 institutions of higher learning. Notre Dame, 574-631-5000,

University of Saint Francis ENROLLMENT: 1,903. TUITION: $34,190. ROOM AND BOARD: $11,240. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate,

associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This Catholic university

has been providing a liberal arts education in Indiana for 130 years and offers 70 degree programs. 2701 Spring St., Fort Wayne, 260-399-7700. Additional education center in Crown Point;

At this all-female liberal arts school, students design their own major or choose from about 60 areas of study. Saint Mary’s offers many cooperative programs with the University of Notre Dame, which is within walking distance of campus. Notre Dame, 574-284-4000,

ENROLLMENT: 9,286. TUITION: $9,075. ROOM AND BOARD: $10,058. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate,

Taylor University

ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Among its 130-plus areas

ENROLLMENT: 1,901. TUITION (2024–25): $39,500.

of study, USI offers degrees in business

University of Southern Indiana associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral.



administration, health services, education, nursing, and engineering. In 2022, the school announced a move to NCAA Division I athletics. 8600 University Blvd., Evansville, 812-464-8600,

Valparaiso University ENROLLMENT: 2,868. TUITION: $44,796. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,180. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: Valpo, a NCAA Division I school

founded in 1859, enjoys a location near Chicago and Indiana Dunes National Park. U.S. News & World Report ranks it in the top 10 of the “Best Regional Universities–Midwest.” 1700 Chapel Dr., Valparaiso, 219-464-5000,

Vincennes University ENROLLMENT: 1,952. TUITION: $6,886. ROOM AND BOARD: $12,706. DEGREES OFFERED: certificate, associate, bachelor’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: The

state’s first college, VU was founded in 1801 by William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S. president. Today, the campus offers more than 200 programs and prides itself on offering the lowest tuition of any residential college in Indiana. 1002 N. First St., Vincennes, 800-742-9198. Additional campus in Jasper and an aviation tech facility in Indianapolis;

Wabash College ENROLLMENT: 835. TUITION: $48,200. ROOM AND BOARD: $13,300. DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This all-male private institu-

tion wears its 191-year history proudly. Classes have a student-to-faculty ratio of 10-to-1 or lower, and all faculty members hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree. 301 W. Wabash Ave., Crawfordsville, 765-361-6100,

WGU Indiana TUITION: $8,101 (average for bachelor’s). DEGREES OFFERED: bachelor’s, master’s. ABOUT THE SCHOOL: This nonprofit online university

offers more than 60 degree programs in career fields with high demand, such as teaching, IT, business, and healthcare. 877-214-7014,

02 2024



new and updated JULI ETA TACO SHOP....... 90 T I NKE R ST REET............. 92 GAT HER 22 ...................... 93 PISCO MAR ..................... 94

The Korean sausage skewers at Gather 22 (p. 93) showcase local meat from Old Major.

P h o t o b y T O N Y VA L A I N I S



DOWNTOWN INCLUDES Fletcher Place, Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Mile Square

Aroma ++ INDIAN Familiar tandoori and tikka masala staples mingle with heartier, more elevated offerings at this elegant pan-Indian spot. Lunchtime lamb and chicken rolls in crispy flatbread wrappers stand out, as do hearty chaat dishes dressed up with yellow peas, yogurt, and chutneys. An impressive lamb shank is the highlight of the chef’s specialties and easily feeds two. A full bar and an artful array of desserts help round out a special occasion meal. 501 Virginia Ave., 317-602-7117, V $$

Ash & Elm Cider Co. ++ CIDERY Ash & Elm’s array of complex and quaffable ciders gets broader all the time, with funky cocktails demonstrating a flavor profile well beyond sweet apples in the vibrant tasting room at the former Ford Assembly Plant on Washington Street. The food pairs beautifully with the drinks, from the now legendary elote fritters made with Indiana corn and cilantro crema to the crispy fried Brussels sprouts flavored with, of course, cider vinaigrette. A thick-cut Cuban and an Italian hoagie with all the meats are great choices among sandwiches, though the pimento cheeseburger with pickled green tomato is hard to beat. But more uptown offerings, such as ricotta gnocchi with seasonal garnishes or a lunchtime bulgogi noodle bowl, showcase how cider brings out the flavors in world cuisines as deliciously as fine wines. Save room for cider doughnut holes lavished with caramel sauce. 1301 E. Washington St., 317-600-3164, V $$

Ash & Elm Cider Co.

changing menu of small and large dishes. Fried morels may show up on a spring picnic plate, while winter nights call for a comforting butcher shop Bolognese. 653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580, V $$

Cafe Patachou + CAFE The original Meridian-Kessler “student union for adults” continues to draw in the morning crowds and has inspired citywide offshoots, such as the sleek, post-art deco, downtown location in the historic Stutz building, a huge hit with the business and weekend hordes alike. The cinnamon toast remains as thick as a brick; the produce is still locally sourced; the massive omelets continue to have cheeky names; and the broken-yolk sandwiches are a perennial

Bluebeard +++ CONTEMPORARY Bluebeard opened in 2012, and crowds still roll in for chef Abbi Merriss’ take on seasonal comfort food. Start with the bread baked next door at Amelia’s—it’s especially delicious slathered with anchovy butter—and build your meal from the ever-

lunch favorite. 225 W. Washington St., 317V $$ 632-0765,

A Cup of Chai + TEAHOUSE Punjab native Pravy Nijjar’s cozy,

funky teahouse, which opened in July of 2023 on a secluded section of Shelby Street in Fountain Square, offers a true taste of Indian-style chai with several different spice profiles. For the genuine article, go for the masala chai, a dairy-forward drink that features ginger, cardamom, fennel, and cloves, equally good hot or iced. Pair that with one of Nijjar’s street food–inspired snacks, such as golden, aromatic samosas or tasty kati rolls (tender paratha stuffed with spiced chicken, paneer, or potatoes). Coffee drinkers can get an espresso or cappuccino, and those avoiding caffeine can go

key NORTHWEST p. 95


College Park Lafayette Square 465



DOWNTOWN p. 88 Fletcher Place Fountain Square Mass Ave Mile Square

Carmel Fishers Noblesville Westfield Zionsville







Broad Ripple Meridian-Kessler



WEST p. 95


Brownsburg Eagle Creek

EAST p. 92 465

SOUTH SUBURBAN p. 95 Bargersville Greenwood




70 31


Beech Grove Irvington Windsor Park

SYMBOLS Brunch Outdoor seating Reservations V Vegetarian friendly

$$$$ $30 and up $$$ $20–$30 $$ $10–$20 $ Under $10

+++ Excellent ++ Very Good + Good


Recently opened establishment.


Open for more than five months but making its first appearance in the guide.


Recently revisited and reevaluated.

Restaurants included in this guide are selected at the discretion of the Indianapolis Monthly editorial staff based on food quality, innovation, atmosphere, service, value, and consistency. IM does not accept advertising or other compensation in exchange for dining coverage. Price symbols indicate the average cost of a meal per person (without tax, tip, or alcohol). Due to limited space, this list does not cover every evaluated restaurant. For a more comprehensive guide to Indianapolis dining, visit Feedback? Please email

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Futuro ++ PIZZA Fans of this downtown-ish charmer

don’t crave pizza. They crave Futuro. That’s one way to distinguish a standout joint from the places that merely provide a fix. When it opened mid-pandemic, Futuro immediately grabbed attention with Detroit-style pies. It’s a rare purveyor of thick, pan-cooked slabs characterized by a cheesy exoskeleton and sauce spooned over the toppings so it doesn’t make the airy, porous dough soggy. Followers quickly learned to make a play for the corners for maximum crispy-crust payoff, though the single-sided squares are hardly a compromise thanks to house-made ingredients, like ground pepperoni and chicken-and-ranch fixings. The thinner tavern-style and gluten-free pizzas are just as impressive and generously loaded. Pre-order a special featuring Smoking Goose or Half Liter BBQ collaborations, add on the big, knobby breadsticks, and dine in (the upstairs patio is the best spot) to take advantage of the deep beer list. The expansion of the plucky storefront, tucked away on an alley just east of downtown, testifies to Futuro’s popularity and embodies the pizzeria’s attitude—big, fun, and original. 19 Cruse St., 317-360-4725, V $$

are flowing and the partially open kitchen is sending out plate after plate of contemporary Latin-inspired fare. Favorites have included a salad tucked inside a folded manchego crisp, meltingly tender steak fanned over a block of polenta, and a silky tres leches cake that is to die for. Snag a spot on the upperlevel deck for a real treat. 720 N. College Ave., 317-383-0330, $$

Love Handle ++ SANDWICHES Daily lunch and brunch features

such as schnitzel and waffles and a pulledchicken Hot Brown are the main draw at Chris and Ally Benedyk’s cheeky sandwich shop. The chalkboard menu also offers side options in the form of braised greens and potato salad with roasted tomatoes. 877 Massachusetts Ave., 317-384-1102 $$

Milktooth +++ BRUNCH This diner-style cafe has a playfully

gritty vibe. The early morning counter service featuring pastries and coffee gives way to a full-service brunch menu with daytime craft cocktails. 534 Virginia Ave., V $$ 317-986-5131,

Modita ++ Julieta Taco Shop ++ MEXICAN Gabriel Sañudo and Esteban NEW

Julieta Taco Shop

for a spice-infused golden latte, mango lassi, or minty pineapple lemonade. The storefront spot is as comfy in the morning as in the evening, when Indians tend to prefer their chai. 1028 Shelby St., 317-998-4463, $

Don Juan Peruvian Sandwiches + PERUVIAN Crisp-crusted fresh bread made by

a local baker and finished on-site surrounds tempting meats at this darling sandwich shop tucked behind a secluded strip mall at Raymond Street and Sherman Drive. Favorites include the lomo saltado with tender strips of beef tenderloin and the lechon, a South American take on a Hoosier tenderloin featuring breaded pork roast topped with an onion salsa criolla. A fried-fish sandwich and creamy chicken salad get a boost of flavor from the tasty mild green sauce served at the table. 3720 E. Raymond St., 317-377-4677 $

The Fountain Room ++ UPSCALE Restaurateur Blake Fogelsong filled this two-story showstopper with tufted leather chairs, glamorous clamshell booths, marble bar tops, and cascading chandeliers as a tribute to the Art Deco splendor of the restored Bottleworks Hotel next door. Meanwhile, the big-shouldered menu covers everything from fine-tuned steaks and seafood to wild-card winners like a 20-ounce Circle City Cut slab of prime rib, a noble old-school relish tray, utterly decadent French onion soup, and the best Coca-Cola barbecue ribs in town. 830 Massachusetts Ave., 463$$$ 238-3800,



Rosas’ humble yet funky taco shop in the Stutz Building shows the pair’s skill and fine dining experience in little details such as the marinades for meats, tortillas handcrafted from heirloom corn varieties, and surprisingly flavorful vegetarian options. Start with a signature taco al pastor, the meat shaved directly from a rotating spit, and pair that with one of the other tender grilled or braised meats, such as the earthy brisket-like suadero. Then, grab whatever special creation is on the pegboard menu, such as fluffy, creamy tamales, crispy snapper or mushroom tacos, or aromatic pozole. Tortas are especially satisfying, layered with beans, tangy house mayonnaise, and deeply flavorful, kicky house salsas. Light and not-too-sweet churros are a must when they’re on the menu. Enjoy your tacos at a counter seat or alfresco in the renovated atrium. Or head next door for a cocktail at retro-chic Turner’s Bar, where you can wait for the neon sign to alert you that your tacos are ready. 1060 N. Capitol Ave. $$

King Dough ++ PIZZA Chewy and with just the right flop in the middle, the pizzas here are bona fide craft, from the dough to the quality toppings. A standout is the Stinky Pete with wild mushrooms, gorgonzola, and plenty of garlic and herbs. Burgers, including one made from chorizo and topped with manchego cheese, play surprisingly close second fiddles to the pies. Cocktails concocted from boutique liqueurs and aromatics are reason enough to drop in, and they make for perfect sippers while you wait for your pie on the patio. Don’t miss trying one of the carefully curated natural wines. 452 N. Highland Ave., 317-602-7960, V $$

ASIAN-INSPIRED The lavish restaurant in

Bottleworks District’s showpiece slot gets extra style points for its gorgeous industrial-sleek decor that is equal parts silk wallpaper and factory-grade doors. Sip a Singha or a citrusy Tokyo Exchange Rate under the glow of dangling pendants and soak up the thoughtfully preserved vintage vibe. 850 Massachusetts Ave., 317-316-0470, $$$

Nesso ++ ITALIAN Highly stylized seafood and meats paired with small pasta courses and shared a la carte sides add up to a sumptuous dining experience inside The Alexander hotel. Pass around a plate of prosciutto-wrapped prunes or crab arancini, but keep the tortelloni and sea bass all to yourself. 339 S. Delaware St., 317-643-7400, $$$

Nowhere Special ++ COCKTAIL BITES Opened in the erstwhile

subterranean home of The Libertine on Mass Ave in late June of 2023, Dan Cage’s funky cocktail lounge and small bites spot is far from its all-too-modest name. Sleek banquettes in earthy greens and brushed brass tabletops provide an elegant backdrop to classic pours and a host of new elixirs created by the talented bar staff. Try the light and fruity Love Island with passion fruit liqueur, tangy citrus cordial, and bubbles. Surprisingly generous small plates include an Asian-inspired smashed cucumber salad and an earthy wood ear mushroom salad that’s meaty and satisfying. Hearty beef dumplings with chili crisps and a soy dipping sauce are a highlight, as is the luxe mushroom butter on the bread plate. A nicely restrained bread pudding with a good hit of salt in a warm caramel sauce is a knockout of a finale that won’t weigh you down on a night of barhopping— or bar-staying. 608 Massachusetts Ave. $$

Livery ++ LATIN This place feels like a hidden urban treasure, especially when the mezcal cocktails

St. Elmo Steak House ++ STEAKHOUSE Since 1902, this stately house of red

BREWERY Sun King Brewery

MILKSHAKES Traders Point Creamery

PIZZA Bazbeaux Pizza

BURGER Bru Burger Bar




DISTILLERY Hotel Tango Distillery

RESALE SHOP SoBro Vintage Market Antiques & Curiosities

TENDERLOIN Big Lug Canteen

HAIR SALON Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Salon FRIED CHICKEN Hollyhock Hill WEDGE SALAD Harry & Izzy’s STEAKHOUSE St. Elmo Steak House DOUGHNUTS Long’s Bakery

PHO What The Pho CITY VIEW Crown Hill Cemetery DIVE BAR Red Key Tavern LOCAL COFFEE ROASTER Tinker Coffee Co. WORKOUT North Mass Boulder


meat has served as the unofficial ambassador of downtown Indianapolis—the walls carry decades’ worth of celebrity photos, the burnished bar hearkens to an earlier era, and the servers remain starched and bow-tied. The drill remains the same, as well: a generous martini, a shrimp cocktail with that notoriously hot sauce, the bean soup or tomato juice, the wedge, and one of the legendary steaks. 127 S. Illinois St., 317-635-0636, $$$$

Tinker Street ++ NEW AMERICAN Diners are in for a delightful treat that begins with a sip of bubbly at this cozy, detail-oriented restaurant where the open kitchen almost feels like part of the dining room. The menu changes with the seasons, but the soup is always something lush and vegan; the Duck & Dumplings (featuring duck confit and truffled dumplings) sells out fast; and the person who orders the pork chop will be the most-envied diner at the table. The cocktails are delicate, the wine list well-curated. Don’t skip dessert, especially if it involves a scoop of ice cream. 402 E. 16th St., 317-925-5000, tinkerstreetrestaurant V $$$ .com UPDATED

Vicino ++ ITALIAN More than filling the need for a bona

fide Italian restaurant on Mass Ave, this modern, colorful trattoria from the owners of The Oakmont measures up to some of the best Mediterranean spots anywhere in the city. New seating and light fixtures add a brighter palette to the sleek former Hedge Row location, and a nicely edited menu offers familiar classics with a few twists for the more daring. Starters are a must, with generous sweet and meaty garlic shrimp and mushroom-studded arancini starring on the short list. Pizzas are a solid bet, with a nice char from the in-house brick oven, and pastas are solid, with little additions such as a raw egg yolk and truffle oil in the not-too-unorthodox carbonara. But crispy, al dente fried gnocchi with pulled chicken and pesto are a standout, as is the branzino with a golden sear and thick slices of eggplant and zucchini topped with a tangy tomato chutney. Well-mixed cocktails are no surprise given the restaurant’s pedigree. And tiramisu lovers will enjoy the creamy, restrained version here, spiked with spiced rum and topped with playful coffee caviar. 350 Massachusetts Ave., $$$ 317-798-2492,

EAST INCLUDES Beech Grove, Irvington, Windsor Park

10th Street Diner ++ VEGAN Surprisingly familiar and hearty plantbased takes on diner classics occupy the entire menu at this rehab of a former pawn shop, a comfy backdrop for enjoying such tasty fakeouts as a gooey seitan Reuben, a “chicken” pot pie, and chili that rivals your favorite con carne version. 3301 E. 10th St., 463-221-1255 V $$

Baan Thai Bistro ++ THAI Roxanna Williams’ cozy Thai eatery,



which she opened in a former house and hair salon in late spring of 2023, is a welcome addition to Wanamaker’s dining offerings, bringing aromatic flavors and artful presentations to dishes like the lightly breaded and fried Son-in-Law Eggs (Kai Look Keuy), which is drizzled with earthy-sweet tamarind sauce, and generous summer rolls that come with a trio of tangy dipping sauces. Less expected shareable starters include rich and flavorful Isan Thai Sausage with just the right amount of spice, served with a not-too-hot dipping sauce and a darling bamboo basket of sticky rice; a Crispy Rice Salad that crackles and pops; and airy steamed dumplings. Hearty Boat Noodle Soup and Crispy Pork Belly Ramen with a light mushroom-scented broth are good bets for main dishes, as are the kicky Crying Tiger Steak and more typical curries and noodle dishes. Adventurous diners will want to try one of three fish dishes redolent of ginger and basil, and a funky mix of whole chicken drumsticks and sweet curry noodles make for a comforting supper. 8705 Southeastern V $$ Ave., 317-759-8424,

daily soft serve ice cream flavor. 414 Dorman St., 317-492-9887, $$

Open Kitchen + NEW AMERICAN Breakfast specialties, such as light-as-air French toast, biscuits and gravy, and eggs Benedict lavished with crab and avocado, are stars on the menu at the new location of Dexter and Toni Smith’s cheery eatery. But lunch and dinner are equally respectable, especially a generous shrimp po’ boy or a crispy chicken sandwich with peppered bacon, onion rings, and barbecue sauce with your choice of spice level. More substantial entrees include a grilled pork chop with apple chutney or salmon with wild rice and sauteed broccoli, with elevated touches owing to Dexter Smith’s Chef’s Academy pedigree. After operating mainly as a carryout spot on North Sherman and later in Little Flower, this location comes with a full bar, which means cocktails—such as the creamy, floral Respect Your Elders with bourbon, elderflower, and lemon—are a must. 4022 Shelby St., 317- 974-9032, $$

Beholder +++ CONTEMPORARY You never know what to expect from restaurateur Jonathan Brooks’ Windsor Park kitchen, aside from one of the most innovative and well-executed meals in town. The menu is difficult to track, mainly because Brooks builds his dishes around seasonal ingredients that are fresh and of-the-moment. Impeccable servers will guide you through the evening’s offerings, which start small at the top of the menu (fresh oysters, perhaps, or pork rinds with kimchi and chicken liver mousse) and bulk up toward the bottom (think wild boar Bolognese or a massive pork Wellington for two). Finish with the most exotic flavor of house-made ice cream. 1844 E. 10th St., V $$$$ 317-419-3471,

Chopped Cheese Boys + DELI FOOD New York’s beloved bodega snack

is the eponymous specialty at this no-frills Irvington convenience store and takeout deli. True to form, well-seasoned ground beef gets chopped on a sizzling flattop, then pressed into a sub sandwich roll and topped with plenty of gooey cheese and mayo, which makes for a rich and flavorful mashup of the smashburger and a Philly cheesesteak. Equally good are crispy fries on the side, especially when seasoned with a shake of lemon pepper. But be sure to dip into the eye-popping menu of wings, chicken tenders, fried fish, and—another Big Apple food cart favorite—chicken over rice (tender grilled chicken breast meat with a signature white sauce slathered over rice). Try it with lamb, as well, or go meatless with falafel. 1520 N. Arlington Ave., 317-377-4951, $$

Natural State Provisions ++ CASUAL Customers order at the counter and find a table inside this former microbrewery reinvented as an endearingly kitschy eatdrinkery. The food is rooted in homestyle Arkansas cooking from co-owner Adam Sweet’s native state, heavy on the deep-frying and sweet tea brining. Order a Sling Blade cocktail, get a side of collard greens with your fried bologna sandwich, and don’t miss the

NORTHEAST INCLUDES Broad Ripple, Meridian-Kessler

Baby’s + BURGERS This playful, family-friendly joint limits its menu to smashburgers, broasted chicken, milkshakes (spiked or not), and cocktails. Housed in a former drag show bar, it also has fun with the building’s artsy legacy—the house burger is called a Strut Burger, and all of the cocktail names come straight from the RuPaul meme factory. Sip a Tongue Pop or a Sashay Away as you polish off the last of the Talbott Street Style fries dressed with bacon, cheese sauce, white barbecue sauce, and pickled jalapeño. 2147 N. Talbott St., V $$ 317-600-3559,

Chicken Scratch ++ SOUL FOOD Chef Tia Harrison’s second, mostly carryout spot on Keystone Avenue streamlines the menu to the bestsellers from her original Chef Tia and Co. location on West Washington Street. Meaty, tender wings with a variety of sauces and spice levels, as well as earthy, dressed-up fries, cover most of the menu here. But that’s more than enough for a delectable Cajun-inflected feast. Signature honey hot wings, either naked or breaded for extra crunch, come customized with the amount of sauce you want. And fries are available with a simple toss of truffle seasoning and parmesan or dressed up to entree status with chipotle steak or shrimp and Alfredo sauce. 5308 N. Keystone Ave., 317-426-3457, $$

Diavola + PIZZA Pies emerge expertly bubbled and charred from a centerpiece brick oven. Ingredients are simple but top-shelf, including homemade meatballs, spicy sopressata, smooth clumps of fior di latte, and torn basil. 1134 E. 54th St., 317-820-5100, V $$

Fernando’s ++ MEXICAN / BRAZILIAN With their combined

Mexican and Brazilian backgrounds, the couple that runs this cozy restaurant in the heart of Broad Ripple set out to provide a rare, authentic taste of each cuisine. Their effort pays off in traditional comfort dishes such as feijoada (a meaty bean stew served with steamed rice, orange slices, and a sprinkle of farofa), a layered escondidinho de frango reminiscent of shepherd’s pie, and fragrant carne asada served with Mexican onions and guacamole. Dishes are served with both Mexican and Brazilian hot sauces, each with their own brand of afterburn. Gorgeously jiggly flan is the star of the dessert course. 834 E. 64th St., 317-377-4779 $$

Festiva ++

Gonzalez’s background in innovative mixology. Vibrant wall fixtures by creators such as Bootleg Signs & Murals and revolving works by locals from the LGBTQ art community provide a funky backdrop for sipping seasonal elixirs, such as the bracing but balanced Bourbon Renewal. Salads include a wedge with smoked blue cheese and roasted-poblano ranch. Byrne’s original pizzas, cracker-thin and charred, are on offer, as are thicker-crusted Roman-style oval pies with well-chosen toppings. Fresh takes on shareable plates include crispy-skinned salmon with kale and quinoa and intriguing scallop sliders with Asian-style slaw. Coffee drinks and a solid sandwich list anchor the daytime menu, and desserts feature a luxe take on the Hoosier classic sugar cream pie. 22 E. 22nd St., $$ 317-258-2222,

MEXICAN This lively Latin spot on the east

side puts a gourmet flourish on south-of-theborder fare. The menu includes tacos, plus an old favorite: poblanos stuffed with chorizo and queso. A pitcher of their house marg, made with fresh lime and agave, is perfect for the whole table, especially with one of their delicate, seasonal desserts. 1217 E. 16th St., 317-635-4444, V $$

Gather 22 + + CONTEMPORARY This colorfully cozy all-day hangout and cocktail spot in Fall Creek Place from Byrne’s Grilled Pizza owners Adam Reinstrom and Pablo Gonzalez draws on Reinstrom’s love of interior design and NEW

Hikaru Hibachi Express and Sushi + JAPANESE While not for sushi purists—the most popular roll is NY strip steak, and many others are deep-fried, heavy on mayo and sweet sauces, or feature baked fish—this unimposing eatery in the former Hellas location does what it does well. Onion soup is piping hot, bright, and bolstered with bits of mushroom. Seaweed salad is dotted with red pepper and cucumbers. Forkful after forkful of savory veggie fried rice is fluffy, needing not a drop of the accompanying Yum Yum Sauce. Shrimp tempura is wonderfully light and crunchy. Flavorful chicken hibachi includes aromatic wedges of just-soft-enough sweet potato. When you dine in, know that

you’re supposed to place (and pay for) your order at the register before you sit down. 8501 Westfield Blvd., 317-552-2988, V $$

Late Harvest Kitchen ++ CONTEMPORARY A luscious comfort food menu

delivers top-shelf versions of family-table dishes, such as chunked kielbasa (on a base of mustard spaetzle browned in dill butter) and braised short ribs. 8605 River Crossing Blvd., 317-663V $$$ 8063,

Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta + Market + Backroom Eatery ++ MEDITERRANEAN Since taking over Tony and

Rosa Hanslits’ beloved SoBro pasta market, lunch cafe, and private dining spot in July of 2023, chef Erin Kem and partner Logan McMahan have brought their deep affection for Mediterranean flavors to a lunchtime menu that features an assortment of house pastas with seasonal additions. Creative sandwiches and salads draw on McMahan’s talent with plant-based cuisine, which, along with the market’s egg-free pasta, have made the shop a bona fide vegan destination. An ever-changing selection of ready-to-eat, deli, and gourmet options make this a great spot to stop for quick supper ideas. And Kem brings her years of experience in the kitchens of local restaurants and in the thick of private events to the market’s highly indemand small group dinners. 1134 E. 54th St., 317-257-7374, V $$



Pisco Mar + PERUVIAN Carb-rich Peruvian fare gets NEW

some surprising, elevated touches at this authentic South American restaurant that opened on Allisonville Road in autumn of 2023. Vibrant music and a spacious dining room provide a bustling backdrop for a hearty cuisine that pulls from both land and sea. Tangy, citrusy ceviche is a good starting point and comes in different versions, including Leche de Tigre or Vuelve a la Vida. Both pair beautifully with Causita de Pollo, a mound of creamy mashed potatoes layered with avocado and topped with a creamy chicken-based sauce. Shredded chicken with a lush yellow pepper sauce and a wine-enriched, vegetable-laden beef stew are the most classic main dishes for those getting a first taste of the cuisine. The big appetites at the table will appreciate meaty dishes such as Lomo Saltado, sauteed strips of beef with onions and tomatoes, or a so-called “poor man’s plate” that pairs two generous strips of angus steak with french fries, rice, plantains, and eggs. 9546 Allisonville Rd., 317-537-2025 $$

Umi Sushi & Seafood Buffet + BUFFET The sheer volume of all-you-can-eat

food offered at this Castleton feed house is most impressive. Diners are greeted just inside the door with a full sushi bar cranking out vibrant raw fish in every configuration, including flanks of smoky unagi on sticky rice and tiny saucers of fish roe offered up like condiments. Piles of steamed crustaceans await cracking, and you can create your own ramen combo. Dim sum gets its own section of dumplings and sticky chicken feet. And milky boba teas in already-sealed cups sweeten the deal. 6304 E. 82nd St., 317-350-8888, $$$

NORTH SUBURBAN INCLUDES Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, Zionsville

9th Street Bistro +++ BISTRO In a snug cafe off Noblesville’s town square, owners Samir Mohammad and Rachel Firestone Mohammad create meals worth lingering over, from a lamb shank slow-smoked to buttery tenderness and served on top of fresh pappardelle to a house-made burrata that makes several appearances on the menu. The rotating Fried Thing of the Day (from tofu to artichoke hearts) should not be missed. 56 S. 9th St., Noblesville, 317-774-5065, $$$

1933 Lounge ++

heavy hitter along Carmel’s Main Street has the polished gleam of a new Vegas hotel, with an upper-level lounge containing the salvaged mahogany bar from The Glass Chimney, another fine dining legend. The food has equal flourish. Lobster bisque with a hunk of tempura-fried meat begins a meal that might include a cowgirl ribeye, a flight of filets, or a domestic wagyu burger. Black-suited servers and well-composed cocktails keep the high-dollar meal running smoothly. 201 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-740$$$$ 0900,

Auberge + FRENCH Brick Street Inn’s classic French

bistro installed talented chef Toby Moreno (The Loft at Traders Point Creamery, Plow & Anchor) in early 2022 and immediately sent him to Paris, where he trained in the kitchens of famed chef Alain Ducasse. Moreno has added that continental knowhow to the vintage dishes he makes fresh with as much local produce, meats, and cheeses as he can. That translates to an impressive plate of buttery escargot topped with croutons, seasonal salads, and a deeply flavorful French onion soup with a rich broth. Seafood shines among the entrees, especially crispy-skinned roasted cod, though diver scallops with asparagus puree showered with herbs and toasted almonds also impress. 175 S. Main St., Zionsville, 317-733-8755, $$$

Bearded Bagel ++ DELI Food truck veteran Tom Race opened

this brick-and-mortar bagel deli on Indy’s northeast side in late 2021, featuring his signature steamed bagel sandwiches with dozens of topping combinations. Breakfast versions, such as the Slammin Sammy with bacon, egg, and American cheese or the Hangover Helper with spicy cream cheese, bacon, egg, and three slices of cheese are a no-brainer. But whimsical tributes to fast-food favorites, such as the R-Bee’s with roast beef and extra cheddar, are great lunch choices. Vegetarians can opt for the Urban Farmer with “all the veggies,” avocado, and cheese, and traditionalists can sink into a cream cheese–schmeared bagel with lox, tomato, capers, onions, and cucumbers. Puffy, sweet cinnamon rolls, hearty biscuits and gravy, and loaded tater tots with sausage gravy, bacon, cheese, and eggs complete the menu, along with Nutella and peanut butter bagels and a short list of cookies and brownies. Watch for Race’s other food truck concept, Bearded Burger, at neighborhood events, farmers markets, and festivals. 7305 E. 96th St, 317-516-5938, V $

STEAK AND COCKTAILS This clubby cocktail

lounge offers a younger, sexier take on its fine dining parent, St. Elmo Steak House. The twist here is that the black-vested servers deliver the oysters Rockefeller and 45-day dry-aged ribeyes to diners tucked into noir-lit corners, where no one can see their faces melt into a brief ugly-cry at that first bite of incendiary shrimp cocktail. The Yard at Fishers District, $$$ 317-758-1933,

Anthony’s Chophouse ++ STEAKHOUSE The interior of this swanky



Bonge’s Tavern ++ AMERICAN Opened in the 1930s near the rush of the White River and purchased by Charles Bonge a little over 10 years later, Bonge’s Tavern has been a part of Indiana dining history for more than 90 years. In the fall of 2023, Burgess Restaurant Group purchased it and installed Dean Sample as executive chef. The star of the menu is still the signature tenderloin, appropriately named the Perkinsville Pork. Other favorites include a stuffed duck breast and a fresh

fish entree. Make sure to grab a reservation long before you plan to go, and arrive early enough to tailgate in the parking lot with other diners—a Bonge’s tradition worth keeping. 9830 W. 280 N, Perkinsville, 765-734-1625, $$$

Cheeky Bastards ++ ENGLISH Co-owners Michael Rypel and chef Robert Carmack fell in love with British culture and cuisine during travels abroad. Their Geist restaurant is a true tribute to the food, serving not only a classic full English breakfast and sausage rolls made with imported meat, but also a very convincing fish and chips featuring crispy planks and hand-cut potatoes. 11210 Fall Creek Rd., 317288-9739, $$

Field Brewing ++ BREWPUB This Westfield addition to the local

craft brewery scene would be dazzling enough for its mod fixtures and bocce ball court that spans the family-friendly outdoor space, but the menu is as daring as it is easy to pair with the house brews. The kitchen skillfully prepares standout dishes, such as tender lamb ribs with chimichurri and deeply caramelized Brussels sprouts with hunks of bacon that are some of the best in town. 303 E. Main St., Westfield, V $$$ 317-804-9780,

The HC Tavern + Kitchen ++ CONTEMPORARY The term “tavern” hardly

captures this swank addition to the Huse Culinary Group/St. Elmo family. A hit among starters is the Lobster “Cargot” with lumps of lobster meat in garlic butter and melted havarti. Chops include the supper club darling steak Diane with mushroom cream sauce and horseradish mashed potatoes, though equally regal is the wagyu meatloaf enriched with pork and veal, sauced with a truffle mushroom demi-glace. The Yard at Fishers $$$ District, 317-530-4242,

The Monk’s + INDOCHINESE Popularized during the British

Empire in Calcutta, the aromatic fusion cuisine known as Indochinese food takes the stage at this stylish Houston-based franchise that opened in the summer of 2023 just off Main Street in Carmel. Starters, such as paneerstuffed steamed dumplings, juicy chicken drumsticks, samosas, and spring rolls, are a must. For the true experience, try one of the wok-cooked dishes labeled Chinese, or go for delicate Hakka noodles or fried rice with either burnt garlic or masala. House-made desserts include a small case of pastries and a version of the popular gulab jamun with rose preserves. Most dishes start at medium, so be sure to ask for your preferred spice level. 13080 Grand Blvd., Carmel, 317-564-8266, V $$

Trax BBQ ++ BARBECUE Owner Andrew Klein, who has a background in high-end steakhouses, oversees the tender headliners at this no-frills barbecue joint that sits beside the train tracks in McCordsville. You can taste his expertise in the essential meats: brisket hacked into fatty hunks, pulled pork that melts in the mouth, and ribs by the rack, all prepared in a smoker

that customers walk past just before they hit the front door. Fans of smoked meats order off a menu that covers traditional carnivore territory as well as some creative upgrades, including a heap of pulled pork nachos and The Willie brisket sandwich topped with hot liquid cheese and slaw on a toasted brioche bun. 7724 Depot St., McCordsville, 317-335-7675, $$

are wild, with menu descriptions giving little more than clues as to what might arrive at the table. Heads-up on anything that appears in quotes, such as a creative “Coq au Vin.” 1464 W. 86th St., 317-824-1231, V $$$


INCLUDES Bargersville, Greenwood


Antilogy + BRUNCH AND COCKTAILS This snug corner

INCLUDES College Park, Lafayette Square

Amara ++ INDIAN Innovative restaurateur and Aroma

owner Vinita Singh converted the popular northside tavern Smee’s Place to her third Indian eatery in late 2022, offering an ambitious and artfully executed menu of dishes from around South Asia. Starters are where the menu truly shines, with crispy eggplant and kale fritters, deeply aromatic Chicken 65, and true-to-their name Juicy Drums of Heaven. Lesser-known dishes, such as chettinad—equally good with chicken, seafood, or lamb—are great bets. Breads are a must here, especially chewy, crisp garlic naan. These dishes fall somewhere between flavors of India and from farther east. A full menu of wines and cocktails pair nicely with the spicy, aromatic dishes on offer. 1454 W. 86th St., 317-884-6982, $$

Hyderabad House + INDIAN The latest in a string of Indian concepts

(Curries and Chutneys, India Gate) to occupy the same strip mall space on Indy’s northwest side, this Texas-based chain bills itself as a “Biryani House” and specializes in nearly 15 varieties of the hearty basmati rice dish. Giant, delectable dosas filled with potatoes, chili paneer, or chicken tikka and served with a trio of spicy sauces are a highlight, especially on Thursday’s unlimited dosas night. 8840 N. Michigan Rd., 317-559-4221, V $$

The Loft Restaurant + FINE DINING With its pastoral setting on the

grounds of an artisanal dairy farm, Traders Point Creamery’s farmstead restaurant (housed in one of several restored historic barns) feels like a working model for farmto-table dining. Some of the ingredients on executive chef Jon Warner’s menu are grown on-site, and it would be a shame to pass on the charcuterie board, an appetizer featuring the creamery’s award-winning cheeses and locally cured meats. Niman Ranch steaks, seasonal fish, and house-made yeast rolls are always solid choices, as is the burger made with 100-percent grass-fed beef. For dessert, go a la mode. 9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville, 317-733V $$$ 1700,

Oakleys Bistro ++ CONTEMPORARY The meticulously plated fare at Steven Oakley’s eatery hails from a culinary era when sprigs of herbs and puddles of purées provided the flavor, and every single element on the plate served a purpose. The presentations

spot divides its energy between the morning meal and evening libations. Early birds can choose from thoughtful combinations of fat biscuits, sunny eggs, bourbon-candied bacon, and Belgian waffles, with plenty of Bovaconti Coffee–based lattes and mochas to kick-start the day. In the evening, the menu shifts to shareable plates, such as a panko-crusted crispy burrata, parmesan truffle fries, and a molten spinach-Gruyère dip. 5867 N. State Rd. 135, Greenwood, 317-530-5312, $$

Ken Johnson’s Old Town Greenwood brewery and Attic Hardware walk-up speakeasy do double duty for day drinking ambers and porters or sipping old fashioneds on the second-story veranda. Hot Pink Pepper Catering adds some beer-worthy eats, including fried pickle spears, pretzel bites, and a meaty flatbread. 223 W. Main St., Greenwood, 317-215-4836, $$

WEST INCLUDES Brownsburg, Eagle Creek

Bob’s Indian Kitchen ++ INDIAN A surprisingly spacious and airy

counter service located in a new ministrip houses Bhavesh “Bob” Patel’s ode to home-cooked Indian cuisine. Entry-level cream cheese bhajia and dreamy butter chicken get just as much respect as the crispy pani puri filled with tamarind water, the goat biryani, and the mini section of Indian pizzas. 618 E. Main St., Brownsburg, 317-983-0225, V $$

Mr. Patakon +

Che Chori +

COLOMBIAN The name of Diana Moreno and

ARGENTINEAN Marcos Perera-Blasco’s colorful

Brenda Sánchez’s festive, authentic southside Colombian eatery comes from the popular Latin and South American dish patacones— flattened, fried plantains filled with everything from shredded barbecue chicken criollo to cheese, corn, and shredded beef. But more familiar fare includes colorfully conceived hot dogs like the Super Perro, which is topped with every meat in the kitchen, quail eggs, and a special house sauce. Mazorcada (heaps of sweet corn topped with meats, cheeses, and potato sticks) is a delectably novel side dish. Fruit drinks and desserts, especially obleas (wafer cookies filled with dulce de leche and cheese), are worth the extra calories for a flavor experience like no other in the city. 7415 U.S. 31, 317-692-9829, $$

drive-thru restaurant offers a delectable intro to Argentinean street food. A selection of traditional butterflied-sausage sandwiches and warm empanadas filled with seasoned meats are the focus of the menu. Don’t overlook the cook-at-home sausages, from Spanish-style chorizo to Argentinean black sausage. 3124 W. $$ 16th St., 317-737-2012,

Hoosier Roots + COMFORT Don’t miss this gem serving family-

style mains and side dishes in a roadhouse setting. Owner Greg Steller runs the tiny kitchen, preparing house-smoked salmon, herbcrusted roast beef, beer can chicken, and other classics. 26 E. Main St., Pittsboro, 317-892-0071, $$

Our Table ++

Rick’s Cafe Boatyard +

CONTEMPORARY The location is suitably cozy

SEAFOOD You don’t have to be a Parrothead

and out of the way for Bargersville’s newest fine dining destination. Chef and owner Joe Miller focuses on gorgeous, rustic plates of steak, seafood, and Old World lasagna made with fresh pasta and generous layers of beef Bolognese, mozzarella, and creamy ricotta. The $2 brioche sliders (buttermilk fried chicken or beef tenderloin with crispy onions and horseradish creme fraiche) are little bites of heaven. 5080 State Rd. 135, Bargersville, 317V $$$ 847-4920,

to appreciate the pontoon-life allure of Eagle Creek’s waterside restaurant, with its breezy dining room on stilts over the Dandy Trail boat slips. The menu gets creative with all of the casual dining tropes, mixing smoked salmon nachos and chicken cordon bleu fingers in with the jumbo shrimp martinis. 4050 Dandy Trail, 317-290-9300, $$$

Revery ++ CONTEMPORARY This bistro in Old Greenwood offers approachable fine dining, with a workingman’s bar on the historic building’s back end. Small plates have included beets with whipped goat cheese and wasabi and cheese curds fried in chorizo oil. 299 W. Main St., Greenwood, 317-215V $$$ 4164,

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SmockTown Brewery + BREWERY Brother-in-law duo Mark Sublette and




Have a Heart


T H IS PAST YEAR, Indiana’s illustrious legislature, carefully considering the myriad challenges facing our state, introduced a bill to rat out young people who might have misgivings about their gender. God forbid a Hoosier kid might join that minuscule percentage of our population whose biological proclivities would have caused my aunt Hazel to faint dead away. I was surprised the legislature didn’t ban Valentine’s Day, given the likelihood of a Hoosier child coming unhinged and presenting a Valentine’s Day card to someone of the same gender. I hate to start a sentence using the phrase, “When I was a kid,” but when I was a kid, our Danville teachers, whom I now suspect were woke socialists, had us give every child in our classroom a Valentine’s Day card regardless of their gender or orientation. This meant 96


I l l u s t r a t i o n b y RYA N S NO O K

I had to give Cindy, whom I but think the world would be a secretly loved, a Valentine’s better place if every Valentine’s Day card, then turn around and Day, we gave everyone else a also give one to Jerry Sipes, card proclaiming our affection who gave me wedgies at recess. for them even if it isn’t true, The objective, I suppose, was since everyone knows if you to make each child feel valued tell a lie enough times it takes and to keep Valentine’s Day on the aura of truth. There’s a from descending into a popularlocal man who for several years ity contest, did everything in his power to as if we didn’t already know make me hate him. For a time, some kids were more liked he succeeded, until I decided than others. to hug him whenever I saw My granddaughter Madhim. Initially, it was great fun eline is in third grade, so I’m because I could tell it annoyed aware that the tradition of free him, but after a while, to my love continues in the Danville great surprise, I began to like schools—at least until our him, and today we’re friends. legislature gets wind of it. Each The prospect of universal child is expected to give every love isn’t the only upside to other child in their class a Valentine’s Day. Let’s not forget Valentine’s Day card declaring those chalky little hearts that their affection. No one seems to say “Hubba Hubba” and “True take it seriously, at least to the Love” that are only surpassed in extent I did in 1969 when Cindy deliciousness by the chocolategave me and everyone else in covered marshmallow hearts our class a card inviting us to be that make my blood sugar her Valentine, which I misinlevel soar into the stratosphere terpreted as a singular expresand put me in a diabetic coma, sion of affection and which which in my opinion is a small led me to imagine she harbored price to pay. an unspoken love for me for When my wife and I married the next several years. I tended 39 years ago, my days as a free to read a lot into Valentine’s love hippie came to an end. I Day cards. stopped passing out chalky Just as I resisted proclaiming hearts as if they were candy my love for certain classmates, and confined my card-giving to so, too, does my granddaughter immediate family. Every now have reservations about these and then, I see Cindy, but, wantgrandiloquent pledges. Last ing to preserve the slim shred year while signing cards, she of reputation I still possess, I said, “I don’t even like this boy. wouldn’t think of giving her He’s not nice.” a Valentine’s Day card. This “Maybe if he gets summer is the 45th lots of Valentine’s anniversary of our Day cards, he’ll feel high school graduation, Philip Gulley is cared for and be and I hope she doesn’t a Quaker pastor, author, and nice,” I suggested. lose all semblance of humorist. Back It seemed like the self-control and slip Home Again adult thing to say, me a “Be Mine” chalky chronicles his views on life in even though I knew heart, thinking I’ll Indiana. it wasn’t likely to abandon my wife and happen. Not an hour run off to Reno for a after I gave Jerry quickie wedding in an Sipes a Valentine’s Day card, he Elvis chapel. Maybe I would gave me two purple nurples and have done that in 1969, but not a noogie. now, not even for a chocolateNevertheless, I can’t help covered marshmallow heart.

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