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2012 DINING GUIDE CHALLENGE! For the first time, we’ve included a Fo for you to check off and keep track of each great establishment you visit. Here’s where whe the challenge comes in: Visit at least 24 of these restaurants, bars, food trucks or marketplaces and keep your ta receipts. Submit them to the NUVO office by Sept. 15, 2013 rece — our deadline for the next Dining Guide — and you will automatically be entered to win a $500 prize pack, filled au with ggoodies from your favorite local establishments! The chosen winner will also be featured in the 2013 Dining Guide. se

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dining guide TABLE OF CONTENTS FOOD TRUCKS ........................................................................... 05 BEST OF 2012 ................................................................................ 09 MARKETS ....................................................................................... 14 RECENTLY REVIEWED ............................................................ 17 TRIED AND TRUE ...................................................................... 21 INDEX .............................................................................................. 31 PUBLISHER: Kevin McKinney (kmckinney@nuvo.net) EDITOR: Jim Poyser (jpoyser@nuvo.net) ARTS EDITOR: Scott Shoger (sshoger@nuvo.net) MUSIC EDITOR: Katherine Coplen (kcoplen@nuvo.net) NEWS EDITOR: Rebecca Townsend (rtownsend@nuvo.net) COPY EDITOR: Geoff OOley EDITORIAL CONTRIBUTORS: Neil Charles, Jennifer Troemner, Rachel Hanley PHOTOGRAPHY: Mark Lee, Kristen Pugh (pg. 5 only) SENIOR DESIGNER: Asha Patel (apatel@nuvo.net) DISTRIBUTION MANAGER: Kathy Flahavin (kflahavin@nuvo.net) MARKETING MANAGER: Lauren Guidotti (lguidotti@nuvo.net) DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING: Mary Morgan (mmorgan@nuvo.net) BUSINESS MANAGER: Kathy Flahavin (kflahavin@nuvo.net)

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SHOPPING GUIDE November 21, 2012 Got questions, comments or suggestions about this or other NUVO CityGuides? Send them to cityguides@nuvo.net EDITORIAL POLICY: NUVO Newsweekly covers news, public issues, arts and entertainment. We publish views from across the political and social spectra. They do not necessarily represent the views of the publisher.

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INTRODUCTION MY TWO CENTS WORTH In 2011, restaurants seemed to be opening at a record pace in Indianapolis in spite of economic meltdowns and threats of global collapse. The prevailing theme, among the more serious establishments, was comfort food reinvented to reflect and accommodate our shallower pockets and more regional culinary propensities. This year the pace has slowed a little, due in no small part to the continuing economic downturn and the growing cost of raw materials. Over the past few decades during which I’ve witnessed food trends come and, often, mercifully go, there’s been an inevitable coalescing of culinary styles, thanks in no small part to the prevalence of cooking shows on TV and the Internet. World travel to do a stage here or there is no longer the exception. And thanks to accelerated learning curves and overweening impatience, many young chefs are now able to fly like Icarus before they are truly fledged, often with mixed results. But the ambition is there in spades, and that’s what really matters. Major culinary advancements from the past four decades may now be well in the past, but their influences have been assimilated and appreciated. Long-gone now are nouvelle cuisine, cuisine minceur and the fleeting cuisine à l’eau. Less fashionable than previously imagined is the molecular gastronomy hailed for years as the next great thing, but now generally seen as a curious footnote which has contributed to our knowledge of the science of food, but which serves no great purpose to the average chef. Fusion is not a word you hear much these days, because everything’s pretty much fused. Parallel with world music, Western cuisine has gradually incorporated everything around it like a foodie gene-splicer. Noodles sit next to tacos; low on the hog is now high. Fiddly and fussy is out, mum’s cooking is in, shaded by a growing respect for the earth’s fragility and for the disparate cultures with whom we share the planet. These days, when someone asks me about a new restaurant, the first question is usually “What sort of food is it?” If it has its origins in this country, especially in the Midwest, I increasingly find myself replying “It’s the kind of food for which I’ve been waiting for years.” By which I mean it’s true to its origins, preferably local origins; it’s honest, it’s unfussy and unpretentious. It’s packed with flavor and it’s expertly executed. It doesn’t have a name other than Great Food. As issues of sustainability become more pressing, I believe that restaurants that serve this kind of food — like Black Market, Chef Joseph’s, The Libertine, Late Harvest Kitchen and Recess — will increasingly represent the way forward for Midwestern dining as we are forced to rely more and more on what grows fitfully just beyond our own doorstep. Significant, too, will be how our purveyors and chefs deal with other aspects of sustainability, such as take-out packaging, waste disposal and energy sources. It’s not a subject we’ve heard much about here, but it’s certainly on a lot of minds. It’s a subject you’ll be reading a lot more about in these pages and in future issues of Indiana Living Green .

— NEIL CHARLES

cityguides@nuvo.net

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4202 W. 56TH ST., • INDIANAPOLIS, IN MAIN MENU RED MEATS OXTAIL This special dish is cooked in rich brown gravy with butter beans. Served with your choice of red beans & rice and cabbage/carrots or plantains. CURRY GOAT A mild curry sauce simmered with kosher goat and served over red beans and rice. BEEF KABOBS Four marinated and tender beef kabobs served with your choice of a side. GRILLED STEAK A large perfectly seasoned steak served with your choice of side. POULTRY CURRY CHICKEN Served with red beans and rice and cabbage/carrots. JERK CHICKEN Served with red beans and rice or attieke and plantains or cabbage/carrots. CHICKEN YASSA Chicken smothered in a rich onion sauce and black peppercorns, served over rice. VEGETARIAN Cabbage/carrots, attieke or red beans & rice, and plantains. FISH CATFISH Deep fried catfish served with your choice of a side. TIEBDJEN The national dish of Senegal, fried fish served with red rice and cabbage/carrots. TILAPIA Whole tilapia grilled or fried, served with cabbage/ carrots or attieke.

SAUCES PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE Rich creamy, mild African sauce with beef, served with rice. KASSAVA SAUCE Kassava leaves cooked down with beef, smoked fish and a hint of peanut butter, served over rice. BEEF STEW A touch of African American in this beef stew with carrots and potatoes. SIDES Frid Plantains Tomato & Onion Stir-fry Rice & Beans with gravy Jamaican Patties also available DRINKS BYSSOP A homemade sweet African drink made from the hibiscus flower GINGER A zesty homemade African drink made with ginger and fresh lemon juice. OTHER SOFT DRINKS Pepsi products and some Caribbean favorites.

LUNCH SPECIALS Served daily from 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

HOURS Monday-Saturday 11a.m. - 9p.m. Sunday 12-8p.m. *Please contact us for pricing. Prices vary between lunch and dinner menus.

www.jiallos.com • 317-870-3230 or 317-492-1603


Sunday Funday Block Party at Sun King Brewing Co.

FOOD TRUCKS On the run? Indy’s food trucks make it easy to grab a bite. Buscafe Tom Rockwell and his bright blue converted school bus look for locations where people might otherwise have to drive to grab a bite to eat. Inspired by the fleet of food trucks that roll down the streets of LA and Chicago, the Hoosier Fat Daddy BusCafe brings fusion foods to the streets of Indy, like the refreshing shrimp salad sandwich, Empanada Dawg and steak sandwich with poblano drizzle. The bus moves between Downtown and the Northside during the week, but, says Rockwell, “on Friday evening we go to the Westfield Farmers’ Market and hang out up there.” 317-460-5665, hoosierfatdaddybuscafe.com, HoosierFatDaddyBusCafe, @HoosierFatDaddy Byrne’s Grilled Pizza Both a food truck and a sitdown restaurant, Byrne’s Grilled Pizza offers fresh, handmade pizza to passersby. Try the Byrne’s Specialty, a combination of pesto, artichoke hearts and ricotta cheese with fresh spinach and tomatoes. The thin crusts are crisp and slightly chewy at the center for a pleasing pop. “All our stuff is handmade, hand cut, nothing’s

frozen. It’s all about freshness and appearance,” says manager Derek Reinstrom, who’s earned his stripes in seven pizza joints over the years. 414 N. Dorman St., (Flat 12 Bierwerks), 317606-2111, byrnespizza.com, grilledpizza, @ByrnesPizza Cutie Pies Cutie Pies pizza truck bakes tasty, hot pizza in its truck equipped with a mobile oven and prep kitchen. Using only fresh made dough, Cutie Pies crafts its pizza without any added MSG or non-food products, taking pizza baking back to the basics. Based out of Noblesville, this food truck does office events, catering, birthday parties, and will even deliver straight to your door in the evenings. cutiepiespizza.com, @CutiePiesPizza DUOS “Slow food made fast,” is the Duos truck motto. And with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced foods and original, seasonally inspired recipes, Duos’ offerings have an inspiring level of ambition. The ever-changing menu ranges from creative reinventions of pastas, salads and surprises, but always makes sure to include an option of sandwiches or other meat-based products for the carnivores out there. “The way that we’ve structured our menu gives us a lot of freedom,” Becky Hostetter said. “We’ve found a little formula

and then we can fiddle each week.” 317-508-8614, duosindy.com, DuosIndy, @DuosIndy The Flying Cupcake Ooey, gooey cupcakes never looked so cute or tasted so scrumptious. The gals at Indy’s prettiest food truck serve up treats with smiles and style. Some of their creations include the “What’s Up Doc,” a carrot cake-inspired cupcake, and their “Red Velvet Elvis,” which is exactly what it sounds like-plus chocolate chips. The Flying Cupcake truck, whose name happens to be Petunia, is the prime destination for anyone experiencing sweet tooth cravings. This food truck is based out of four Flying Cupcake Bakery locations, and can frequently be found at food truck events or business offices. theflyingcupcakebakery. com, pages/The-FlyingCupcake/55400815741, @flyncupcake Groovy Guys Fries The Groovy Guys Fries truck’s motto is “Peace, Love, and Fry Grease,” but these are not the fries you covered in ketchup during your greasy-spoon days. They are a fresher type of spud, served with a variety of toppings and, in one case, not even fried, but baked. “We keep experimenting and try to have a variety of options to suit different moods,” says Joe Reeves, the truck’s

manager. These variations on the common fry are definitely fun. Try the Philly cheesesteak fries, the sweet potato fries with sweet and salty whipped cream cheese dip, or the pizza fries. groovyguysfries.com, Groovy-Guys-Fries, @GroovyGuysFries In a Pita Homemade Mediterranean cuisine doesn’t get any more authentic than In a Pita. Since the truck’s debut in early June, In a Pita has been showing Indianapolis locals how to “get sauced.” The falafel, tahini and hummus are closely guarded family recipes, which result in the freshest tasting mobile food of its kind. Owner Shadi Khoury wants to show you, “what’s really good” with his unique spins on traditional Middle Eastern fare and some of his tried and true classics. The honey and feta smothered pita chips are sweet and savory, fusing Mediterranean staples into an innovative taste experience. The crunchy softness of the vegetarian falafel keeps Indy satiated until the next time In a Pita hits the streets. inapitaindy.com, inapitaindy, @InaPitaIndy. Johnson’s Bar-B-Que Shack The brothers Johnson have a lot going for them. What began 10 years ago as a Thanksgiving smoked turkey has evolved into a full-blown mobile food operation. Between their truck’s eyecatching orange paint job and custom smoker, these pork and sauce gurus know how to reel in the masses. However, their smoky, mildly sweet and slightly hot BBQ

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Free e Wine ne Tastings tings with Hors d’oeuvres Every Friday 5:30-7pm Mix & Match Imports & Microbrews! OVER 200 TO CHOOSE FROM!

Including: Sun King • Sprecher • Point • Schlafly Three Floyd’s Gumballhead & Alpha King

947 North Alabama St. 317-634-8792

If so, we want to know how your brain reacts to alcohol and the taste of your favorite drink. If you qualify, we will ask you to stay at the Indiana Clinical Research Center for 1 1/2 days to have 3 PET scans and 1 MRI scan of your brain while tasting your favorite drinks. For completing these procedures you will be compensated $500. You must be 21-35 to participate. We will ask you about your: drinking history, family history of trouble with alcohol, use of any drugs, sense of taste and smell, and general health. To see if you qualify, and for more detail, please call (317) 278-6771 for a phone interview:

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dining guide // 2012 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

Scout’s Treat Truck sauce keeps them coming back for more. Brothers Keith and Nate Johnson have, “developed a dry rub which we now use on most of our meats,” which they slow cook over local shagbark hickory and apple wood. They serve all the staple BBQ items, along with daily specials varying from gumbo and chili to even frog legs. johnsonsbbqshack.com, @jbbqshack Nacho Mama’s Food Truck Combining natural, vegetarian items, Chef Christen “Nacho Mama” Moore crafts creative and original nachos. Her vast experience in the food industry, and a bachelor’s degree in nutrition have inspired her to bring nutritious alternative food items to the center of her cooking. Advertising a menu ranging from ultimate nachos, which contain organic blue-corn tortilla chips and a special rice blend, to the more decadent spicy beer cheese nachos, the chef seems to have a wide enough selection to make just about anybody happy. Nacho Mama’s Food Truck can be found working events throughout Indy, in her neighborhood of Speedway, or on a street near you. nachomamasfoodtruck.com, NachoMamasFoodTruck, @NachoMamasFT The New York Slice “Everything’s working in favor of food trucks right now,” says John Ban, owner of the pizza-purveying truck, The New York Slice. Many around town give him credit for kicking off the local food truck movement when he and Arnold Park brought the idea for West Coast Tacos to Indianapolis. Since then, Ban has brought pizza to the table. New York Slice is a big proponent of social networking, and uses Facebook and Twitter to find hungry customers in need. The crust of New York Slice’s pizzas is ultra-thin yet bubbly, salty and slightly sweet with a pleasurably aerated texture. 317-7218434, theNySlice, @TheNySlice Nicey Treat Peddling homemade frozen treats from their carts or their “Nicecycle,” the owners of Nicey Treat concoct Indianapolis’ happiest popsicles. Sourcing local, organic ingredients, like dairy products from Traders Point

Creamery, is only one of the reasons that Nicey Treat puts the ice into nice! Offering lactose-free varieties of dairy and gluten-free varieties also contributes to the stream of smiles that can be found whenever this mobile food vendor is near. Some of the tantalizing selections offered are the not-so-hot chocolate, and the pink lemonade. By donating 1 percent of their profits to environmental organizations worldwide, Nicey Treat shares the love locally and universally. niceytreat.com, niceytreat, @NiceyTreat Scout’s Treat Truck When your sweet tooth beckons, Scout’s Treat Truck is where it leads. Behind the wheel you’ll find cupcakes, brownies and other assorted sweets, most of which were inspired by the recipes of owner Lisa Moyer’s great aunt Pippa Scout. Moyer’s aim is to provide the best red velvet cupcake in town, and she’s just about got it made. But the menu at Scout’s Treat Truck is always changing, with at least one vegan sweet in every lineup and a gluten-free selection in the works. Look for them parked near the New York Slice pizza truck for a double-whammy of pizza and a treat. 317-409-2600, scoutstreats.com, scoutstreattruck, @scoutstreats Scratch Scratch is the truck to visit if you’re looking for adventurous flavor combinations. From the refreshing basil lemonade, to the spicy chicken cone with mango jalapeno slaw and ancho chile aioli, to the New Orleans-inspired muffaletta salad, to the hoity toity BLT on French bread with arugula, to the Scratch burger with bacon marmalade, this is not your typical food truck. Like the name suggests, everything on the truck is prepared from scratch. Scratch aims to deliver its “modern comfort food” to locations where people congregate, but where there aren’t a lot of other food options within walking distance. 317-721-3613, scratchtruck. com, scratchtruck, @scratchtruck Seoul Grill Bryan and Crystal Calender have unleashed a culinary rarity on the Hoosier palate. Their food truck, Seoul Grill, has


Byrne’s Grilled Pizza blended the tastes of Korean and Mexican to create an Asian fusion sensation. Their menu selections are not only innovative tasting, but visually pleasing, too. Seoul Grill has the gift of being able to take something ordinary, like a potato, and transform it into an elegantly sliced delicacy streaked by a bright red stripe of sriracha. An addictive house made kimchi is threaded throughout their menu items like the kimchi quesadilla and kimchi fried rice. Seoul Grill is a wonderful truck to order a Korean classic or step out of your comfort zone and adventure into something exciting and delicious. @ seoulgrillindy SOT SOT SOT SOT, acronyms for Some Of This! Some of That!, brings Cajun/ Creole heat to the Indianapolis street corners. Owner Roscoe Chambliss serves up jambalaya, Cajun chicken wings, and po’ boys throughout the city from his mobile food kitchen. His chef’s special option varies from etouffee to gumbo to jerk chicken on a day-to-day basis, so you’re always in for a zesty surprise when you find him. His truck can be found at the usual food truck locales, or working small and large catering gigs. His authentic cuisine is served in spicy and milder forms, so any palate can partake in these Cajun specialties. @sotsot1 sotsot.weebly.com, Spice Box Regarding the genesis of mobile Indian food, “We thought that this would be a great opportunity for Indianapolis to taste all the spices and flavors that India has to offer,” says Nitin Naidu, an owner of Spice Box, during an IndyStyle.tv interview. Deriving its name from the traditional box of spices that most Indian households possess, Spice Box delivers Indian cuisine to the Indianapolis streets. It offers an assortment of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items ranging from the potato- and cauliflowerbased aloo gobi to the rich tomato sauciness of chicken tikki masala. One can experience the depth of the meals

in a variety of ways ranging from a garbanzo or chicken filled naan wrap, to entrees served with rice and a slice of naan. spiceboxindy.com, pages/Spice-Box/268317469866183, @SpiceBoxIndy Taco Lassi Owners Kari Nickander and Adam Perry have adorned their truck with graphics of a humble lotus flower and their enlightened looking bulldog giving it a down to earth essence, but their spicy flavors are actually quite loud. Taco Lassi is aptly named for their lassi beverage utilized to soothe the afterburn of meals, which they call, “the best hot food chaser ever developed.” Cultures and taste buds collide at Taco Lassi, which provides a zesty collaboration of Mexican and Indian recipes. They try to keep their recipes as local as possible by serving Fischer Farms meats and local ingredients whenever available. From chicken tandoori tacos to sea salt brownies, Nickander and Perry offer Indy a plethora of spice and variety. tacolassi.com, pages/TacoLassi/279222692115231, @tacolassi West Coast Taco West Coast Taco’s glossy black truck was the first rolling kitchen in Indianapolis more than a year and a half ago, and it keeps dishing up its light yet spicy fare to hungry customers throughout the city. This is unabashed street food, so the portions, while modest, are packed with flavor and designed to be enjoyed on foot. The contents of their tacos stay wrapped and won’t spill all over your shirt or slacks as you enjoy a light but satisfying midday meal. West Coast Taco’s trucks change locations daily, but the menu always remains the same. thebestdamntacos.com, pages/ West-Coast-Tacos/123291807684147, @WestCoastTacos

If your favorite restaurant is missing from this or any of our other sections, let us know at cityguides@nuvo.net.

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Where tofu and bacon live in harmony… (It’s a beautiful thing.)

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6360 Guilford Ave Broad Ripple (317) 257-5556 www.3sisterscafein.com Monday-Saturday 8am-9pm Sunday 8am-4pm Gratefully serving & eating vegans since 1996


On Time Seafood Restaurant

NEIL’S BEST OF 2012 $ Budget • $$ Moderate • $$$ Fine dining •

You voted for your 2012 Best Of Indy Winners. Now its Neil’s turn. BEST LOCAL CHINESE

On Time Seafood Restaurant Dim sum is one of the great ways to eat: freshly prepared plates or baskets of savory dumplings, buns and tidbits served in a constant procession until you call it quits. On Time’s menu offers around 50 dim sum dishes: four per person should satisfy even the heartiest of appetites. Not all dishes are available all the time, so if you’re inclined to make a special visit for the pork intestines or salt and pepper octopus, it might be worth calling ahead. The interior, although clean and well lit, is on the cavernous side. The main menu offers numerous fresh seafood dishes (many culled from the fish tanks at the rear of the restaurant) both reasonably priced and of excellent quality. 3623 Commercial Drive, 317-293-8888, $$

BEST LOCAL JAPANESE

Ichiban Noodles Fans of really tasty, mouthwatering home-style Japanese cooking are already doubtless well aware of Ichiban Noodles. Granted, it’s not exactly located at the epicenter of hip inner-city nightlife, and the restaurant probably won’t be featuring in Architectural Digest anytime soon, but you come here for the food, not for the zip code or the styling. The sushi is fresh,

expertly prepared and reasonably priced: The sushi rice is some of the best in town. The stars here are the noodle and rice dishes, fresh, vibrant, perfectly executed and, above all, extremely reasonably priced. Savory and somewhat addictive, these are dishes you’ll want to come back for. 8355 Bash St., 317-841-0484, $$

BEST LOCAL INDIAN

The Clay Oven A relative newcomer to the scene, The Clay Oven really over-delivers on quality and flavor. Although the emphasis may be upon the eponymous tandoori dishes, the restaurant offers a diverse assortment of lamb, chicken and seafood, with a smattering of goat. In addition, there’s a solid selection of excellent vegetarian items, quite a few of which are vegan. Service is prompt, the spices are freshly ground, the vegetables crisp, and the food is varied and interesting. Try the tandoori chicken, the vegan chana saag, and don’t forget the naan. Or if you can’t decide on just one dish, sample a little of everything with the lunch buffet. 7415 U.S. 31 South, 317-888-2600, theclayoven.com, $$

BEST LOCAL ITALIAN

Iozzo’s Garden of Italy Somewhat off the beaten path, Iozzo’s boasts one of the coolest outdoor dining areas in town: a secluded courtyard behind the 19th century brick building, shaded by trees and enlivened by flowers and plants. The interior doesn’t lack for old-

$$$$ Luxury

world charm, either. Although essentially southern Italian in style, the menu offers vibrant flavors, home-made sauces and frequent fish specials. Quality is consistently good. And you get a sense that they really know what they’re doing in the kitchen. The wine list is quite extensive, with a good number of well-chosen, moderatelypriced selections and a few surprises: Shafer Hillside, anyone? 946 S. Meridian St., 317-974-1100, Iozzos.com, $$

BEST LOCAL MEXICAN

Carniceria Guanajuato For the most authentic Mexican food around, Guanajuato is a must-visit, and is worth the drive from anywhere in town. Situated at the back of a sizeable grocery store, the restaurant offers the most comprehensive selection of seafood, doves, quail, rabbit, and piggy bits you’re likely to find within 200 miles. The tacos and burritos are huge and fabulous; apart from the usual fillings, contents include tongue, tripe and brains; the tortillas are homemade and the salsas truly delicious. It gets packed on weekends, so come at an off-hour or be prepared to wait a while. There’s a full bar and don’t forget to shop for value-priced produce and meats on your way out. 5210 W. Pike Plaza Road, 317-297-5755, $$

BEST LOCAL SPANISH

BARcelona Tapas Barcelona Tapas offers a very agreeable way to spend a relaxed evening consuming small plates of traditional Spanish fare while enjoying a pitcher

of sangria, a Catalonian lager or glass of Rioja. The décor and ambience are old-world in tone: vibrant, clattery, ceramic-tiled and brightly-colored, bringing a taste of the Mediterranean to Downtown. The best way to approach Barcelona is to pick a few cold plates, then move on to the hot, before enjoying a shared paella dish, made here with authentic rice from Valencia. Don’t forget the flan or churros for dessert. Tapas dishes are reasonably priced, and generally serve two. 201 N. Delaware St., 317-6388272, barcelonatapas.com, $$

BEST THAI

Siam Square A Fountain Square favorite, Siam Square serves up flavorful, fiery Thai dishes in a contemporary space decked in the red, orange and yellows of curry that’s as stimulating to the eye as the palate. Staple soups include the spicy thom yum and the silky thom kah gai. For a searing midday meal, try the Siam ginger plate lunch special, served with a spring roll to help douse the flames. For dessert, spoil your taste buds with an order of roti rolls — pan-fried flatbread smothered in sticky icing. 936 Virginia Ave., 317636-8424, siamsquareindy.com, $$

BEST VIETNAMESE

Saigon This spot is a must-try, whether it be for the rustic pork or catfish cooked in a clay pot with garlic, or the classic soup, Pho, replete with tripe and crisp vegetables, or just a couple of delightfully crunchy shrimp and lettuce spring rolls. Many of our favorite dishes are suffused with a complex savory umami character and often a pungent mouthwatering note that derives from the ubiquitous fermented fish sauce, nuoc namn.

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Local Eats, City Treats! SHOP CITY MARKET MERCHANTS MONDAY - SATURDAY Original Farmers’ Market every Wednesday from 9:30a.m. – 1:30p.m. through October Indy Winter Farmers Market every Saturday from 9am-12:30pm from Nov 10th through April

Indianapolis City Market, 222 E. Market Street 317-634-9266 | www.indycm.com

Voted Indy’s Best Place to Buy Local Foods by NUVO Readers.


Greek Islands Restaurant For close to 20 years now, the Greek Islands restaurant has served up some of the best Greek grub in town to a loyal clientele in an endearingly convivial setting. There’s always a festive atmosphere at this happy-go-lucky eatery, where the small dining room can get pretty lively as the saganaki flares and the wine begins to flow. It’s hard to resist the exoheko: phyllo pastry stuffed with sautéed pork loin and vegetables, or the always excellent kota: half a chicken roasted in olive oil and herbs, served with traditional green beans and roasted potatoes. There’s belly dancing on weekends and a solid list of Greek wines. 906 S. Meridian St., 317-636-0700, $$

BEST NORTH AFRICAN

Saffron Cafe Chef Anass Sentissi continues to dish up authentic Moroccan fare including a number of mouth-watering tagines at this popular Downtown location. We recommend the delicate and delicious saffron rice and the Antipasto Plate, a combination of three appetizers: hummus, zaalouk and bakoula served

BEST ENGLISH/BRITISH PUB

Chatham Tap A great hangout for the Downtown crowd, and an ideal spot for a beer and a snack after the theater, Chatham Tap offers great drinks and nightly specials, as well as two taps always dedicated to local brews. The menu is fantastic as well — and by that we mean the garlic cheese fries make us smile. Outdoor seating and dedicated soccer fans round out the attraction. There’s also a location on 116th Street in Fishers. 719 Massachusetts Ave., 317-917-8425, chathamtap.com, $$

BEST SANDWICH/DELI

Shapiro’s Shapiro’s has been the favorite deli of NUVO readers for at least 20 years, and won this category every single time we’ve taken your votes. According to the folks at Shapiro’s, they’ve only had a few simple goals since the place opened more than a century ago: “Cook good. Serve generously. Price modestly. People will come.” They might be on to something. The food is delicious, the portions are huge, the prices are mostly modest and the place is always

packed. You can dine in or carry out, but don’t miss the bakery items either way. Cheesecake is much better for you than corned beef. 808 S. Meridian St., 317631-4041, shapiros.com, $-$$

BEST BURGER

Bru Burger Bar Excellent burgers and a first-rate beer list from the folks who brought us Mesh. Everything at Bru is prepared in-house, including the bread, ketchup and mayonnaise. The burgers are all made to order from a proprietary blend of hormone-free sirloin, chuck and brisket. The chicken is Amishraised. Certainly you pay a little more for meat of this quality ($8 to $11 for a burger), but it’s worth every penny if you care about provenance. Appetizers are substantial, so count on sharing. Burgers are ideally proportioned, so that every ingredient can be tasted in a single bite. 410 Massachusetts Ave., 317-635-4278, bruonmass.com, $-$$

BEST PIZZA

Pizzology Pizzeria & Pub Although far more than a pizzeria, Pizzology is a standout in this category. Using the best of locally-grown and sustainably-farmed ingredients, Chef Neal Brown and his talented cohorts create authentic Neapolitan pizza in an 800-plus degree oven, as well as a short but carefully considered menu of traditional Italian dishes. The crusts are the closest thing to the real thing we’ve tasted in these parts, and although carry-out is available, they are best

consumed on-premise. Sommelier Lindy Brown has assembled a thoughtful, out of the mainstream wine list which goes well beyond the usual Chianti and pinot grigio. 13190 Hazel Dell Parkway, Carmel, 317-844-2554, pizzologyindy.com, $$

BEST STEAK HOUSE

St Elmo Indianapolis’ first steakhouse has also been chosen as its best time and time again by NUVO readers and staff. This Downtown institution has been serving perfectly cooked steaks exactly the way patrons ask for them for more than 100 years (not to mention a host of other delicious dishes and a solitary and much-emulated appetizer: the best shrimp cocktail on the planet). While the choices are traditional, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Why mess with success? Classic steakhouse food served in an upscale saloon atmosphere work just fine. Visit the 1933 Lounge upstairs for an authentic post-Prohibition cocktail or two. 127 S. Illinois St., 317635-0636, stelmos.com, $$$$

BEST WINGS

Scotty’s Brewhouse A perennial favorite with our readers and sports fans alike, Scotty’s delivers solid bar food and a terrific selection of beers (with an increasing number of excellent ales from their own Three Wise Men brewery.) And what do sports fans who like drink specials and bar food want to eat? Hot wings, of course! Scotty’s has some pretty damn good ones. Make sure to try a variety

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$7.49

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BEST LOCAL GREEK/ MEDITERRANEAN

with mild feta cheese and pita wedges. You might also try one of two specialty dishes: a Kafta Sandwich, finger rolls of finely ground, deeply seasoned and char-grilled beef served on an openface pita and the Couscous Royale, a medley of vegetables served over couscous and steamed in a clay pot. 621 Fort Wayne Ave., 317-917-0131, saffroncafe-indy.com, $$

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Clean, well-lit and welcoming, the simple interior promises a no-frills approach to dining, delivering an early promise that your modest check will go in large part to what arrives on your plate and delights your senses. 3103 Lafayette Road, 317-927-7270, saigonrestaurant-indy.com, $$

ECIA

Pad Thai • Thai Fried Rice • • Spicy Basil Fried Rice • • Ginger Lovers • • The Thai Cashew Nut • • Thai Beef Oyster Sauce • •

Sweet & Sour Saut’e • • Green Curry • • Red Curry • • Yellow Curry • • Mussaman Curry • • Chicken Noodle Soup • •

11021 Allisonville Rd 348-2658 www.thaikitchenfishers.com 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 2012 // dining guide

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location at the corner of Pennsylvania and 49th Street in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood has been dishing up carefully-sourced and healthy meals for more than two decades. Now with a family of dining establishments, including Napolese and Petit Chou, the original Patachou with an expanded dining room and outdoor patio is a neighborhood kitchen for sophisticated tastes. Take a morning to taste for yourself. Check the website for all the locations. 4911 N. Pennsylvania St., 317-925-2823, cafepatachou.com, $$

BEST VEGETARIAN

Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room of homemade sauces including brew, barbecue and honey mustard (we love the garlic teriyaki) offered in varying degrees of heat. 1 Virginia Ave., 317571-0808; 3905 E. 96th St., 317-5740101; scottysbrewhouse.com; $$

BEST PORK TENDERLOIN

Rock-Cola Café If you’re in the mood for a hearty slice of ’50s nostalgia and some equally heart-stopping grub, then this quirky little establishment is well worth the visit. Housed in a modest commercial building, Rock-Cola transports you back to a time and place that most of us only know from

movies and music. Unlike your average greasy spoon, it’s spotlessly clean with friendly, efficient service. Orders are taken promptly, and food comes out when it’s ready. The tenderloin, 12 ounces uncooked, is a Hoosier classic, and is best appreciated with a side of onion rings and a chocolate malt. Bring an appetite. 5730 Brookville Road, 317-357-2233, rockcolacafe.com, $$

BEST BREAKFAST/BRUNCH

Patachou Still one of the best breakfasts or brunches anywhere in the city is Café Patachou. The restaurant’s original

SoBro Café SoBro Café offers a relaxing oasis in which to cool off and enjoy some madeto-order sustenance at almost any time of the day. Pleasantly devoid of attitude or pretense, this smartly appointed eatery caters to a wide range of tastes, from vegan to carnivore, with a strong emphasis on freshness. The menu is short, but well thought out. The house specialty is the pannekoek, or Dutch pancake, which comes in a dozen or so preparations, some sweet and some savory. The chai tea, rich and complex, takes a few minutes to brew, but it’s absolutely worth the wait. 653 E. 52nd St., 317-920-8121, sobrocafe.com, $$

BEST CHEAP EATS

Yats The Best Cheap Eats in Indy for more years than we care to count — NUVO readers love Yats! Which means you might have to wait in line behind a bunch of other people hungry for

delicious Cajun and Creole offerings for a handful of bucks. But the wait is worth it. This is soul food in a soulful place and you will only be a stranger once. Mardi Gras lasts all year here, but the menu changes daily. After you’ve decided on your dish comes the hard part, deciding which of the nine types of hot sauce you’re going to cover your plate with. 5463 N. College Ave., 317253-8817 and other locations around town, yatscajuncreole.com, $

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room Unconstrained by the former limitations of a strictly Italian menu, Chef Joseph Heidenreich is now able to let his imagination run wild. Open for lunch and dinner, this sumptuously appointed dining room offers a concise menu drawing upon wide-ranging global influences. Expect anything from a duck meatball sandwich to a perfectly roasted flounder, or Memphis-style pulled pork with Puerto Rican black beans. This is very high quality comfort food with nicely judged portions, harmonious and yet seemingly disparate ingredients: the kind of food you think might not work at first, but then turns out to deliver an explosive punch of flavors and textures. It’s also reasonably priced. 115 E. Ohio St., 317-600-3577, chefjosephs.com, $$$ If your favorite restaurant is missing from this or any of our other sections, let us know at cityguides@nuvo.net.

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NEW SUSHI BAR!

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WE'VE MOVED FROM NORA, AND ARE NOW LOCATED IN CARMEL. Enjoy our Great New Mouth Watering Menu!

HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS Half Price Selected Appetizers Half Price Selected Signature Rolls

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Rene’s Bakery

MARKETS

(of equal or less value)

For the first time, we include markets in our Dining Guide. Look to future DGs as we expand this feature.

For a limited time

Georgetown Market Your one-stop shop for healthy living, Georgetown Market is smallish but packed to the gills with organic fresh produce, dry goods, cereals, supplements and gluten-free products as well as a host of alternatives to the usual chain grocery store fare. Sandwiches, soups and salads are available at the in-store eatery, as are freshly made juices, tea and coffee. The friendly and knowledgeable staff is on hand to provide advice on health issues. 4375 Georgetown Road, 317-2939525, georgetownmarket.com

Wed - 50% off Selected sake Thu - 50% off Selected Polynesian drinks Sat & Sun - FREE DRINK with a purchase of Lunch Combo Entree

Asian Cuisine & Sushi | Dine-in or Carry-out 12297 N. Meridian St., Carmel, IN | 317.848.1888 visit www.MarkPiCarmel.com for more details

BROAD RIPPLE BREWPUB

Goose The Market/ The Smoking Goose There’s not much that hasn’t been said about Chris and Mollie Eley’s culinary phenomenon, which has helped propel awareness of Indiana’s gastronomic excellence to regional and national audiences. The stateof-the-art smokehouse turns out a stunning array of artisan hams and salume, while the market offers some of the best sandwiches on the planet, as well as locally-raised, sustainablyfarmed meats and artisan cheeses. Visit the enoteca downstairs for a charcuterie plate and a glass of wine from the short but intriguing list. 2503 N. Delaware St., 317-9244944, goosethemarket.com

Now serving Bloody Marys and Margaritas daily.

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Kincaid’s Meat Market Owned and run by third-generation butchers Dave and Vicki Rollins, Kincaid’s is approaching a century in the meat business. A traditional, old-fashioned butcher shop, Kincaid’s has survived the steady march of the big boxes and is now once more at the center of the growing localist movement. Offering expertly butchered, locally raised beef, pork and lamb, as well as house-made sausage, combined with outstanding personal service, this is an essential destination for all meat-eaters. 5605 N. Illinois St., 317255-5497, lekincaidmeats.com

Joe’s Butcher Shop & Fish Market Offering a stellar selection of locally produced hormone- and antibioticfree beef and pork, much of which is pasture-raised and/or dry-aged, Joe’s is a must-visit for carnivores who need to know where their food comes from. The fresh fish selections are without equal in the area, and are harvested from sustainable sources. Seasonal items, like Thanksgiving turkeys or holiday roasts, can be ordered through their website.111 W. Main St. Carmel, 317-846-8877, joesbutchershop.com Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market Established in 2009 by celebrated local chef Tony Hanslits and his wife and business partner, Rosa, Nicole-Taylor’s (named after the Hanslits’ daughters) is the only local manufacturer of fresh pasta products. Over 20 varieties, from angel hair to fusilli and rigatoni, are offered on site from Tuesday to Saturday, or at the Carmel Farmers’ Market during the summer. The pasta is made from durum wheat and is egg-free, so it’s vegetarian and vegan-friendly. They also make fresh mozzarella, soup and salads, and there’s a fine selection of imported cheeses and cured meats. 1134 E. 54th St., Studio C, 317-257-7374, nicoletaylorspasta.com René’s Bakery Turning out a thousand croissants a week by hand, as well as countless cookies, loaves and cakes, pastry chef Albert Trevino is now in his ninth year as proprietor of this boutique bakery just off the Monon in Broad Ripple. As fewer restaurants these days prepare their own desserts, you’ll find Trevino’s artisan creations, but also at finer establishments including Capitol Grille, Black Market and the SoHo Café. Although he’s been known to make the occasional cupcake, it’s the croissants — some of the best this side of the Atlantic — that will keep you coming back for more. 6524-B N. Cornell, 317-251-2253, renesbakery.com

If your favorite restaurant is missing from this or any of our other sections, let us know at cityguides@nuvo.net.


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BoomBozz Taphouse

RECENTLY REVIEWED $ Budget • $$ Moderate • $$$ Fin

Here are the restaurants we’ve visited in the past year, for your feasting delight! BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse BJ’s is where you go when you don’t know what you want, or you can’t get a crowd to agree on a single dining experience. The menu has close to a hundred items to tempt the palate, all of them fresh and filling, and ranging from pizza to Cajun cuisine to elegant seared ahi tuna, as well as a number of gluten-free selections. But the real draw is the beer, which is craft brewed and high quality. If you’re feeling indecisive, ask your server for suggestions, and they’ll help you find favorites you’ve never even considered. 1251 U.S. 31 N., Greenwood, 317-881-3500, bjsbrewhouse.com, $$ Black Swan Brewpub Ignore the decor at this Plainfield-based brewpub; it’s about the beer, and at $3.75 a pint, brewer D.J. McCallister

offers excellent quality and a clear understanding of what he’s doing. Much kudos to the man for using Fuggles hops and Ringwood yeast, two seldom-seen ingredients which elevate this brewery way above the commonplace. The food, though offering a refreshing departure from typical brewpub fare, needs a lighter touch; missteps are common, though the grilled eggplant rolls could’ve come out of Indy’s better Italian kitchens. 2067 E. Hadley Road, Plainfield, 317-838-7444, blackswanbrewpub.com, $$ BoomBozz Taphouse BoomBozz Taphouse offers the standard triumvirate of pizzas, sandwiches and salads, along with a selection of pub appetizers and desserts, but there’s nothing standard about this pizza. Available as “Calzones,” “Classic Favorites,” “Old World Style” and “Famous Creations,” it’s all made on a perfectly balanced crust that doesn’t buckle under the weight of the generous toppings. Wash it down with one of the best selections of local craft beers in the area, including its own specialties, as well as local favorites

e dining • $$$$ Luxury

like Sun King, Flat 12 and Upland. 2430 E. 146th St., Carmel, 317-8432666, boombozztaphouse.com, $$

wait for your food and enjoy a flexible assortment of beers, including Louisiana brew Abita Turbodog. No visit is complete without a taste of the beignets, absolutely heavenly in both the raspberry and chocolate sauces. 1261 Shelby St., 317916-5555, bpoboy.com, $

Brewstone If you like varnished wood, vaulted ceilings, exposed stone, stained concrete floors and phalanxes of flat screens, then Brewstone should yank your crank. But if you’re interested in an imaginative beer list or reasonably priced food, why not head south to Twenty Tap? Not that the food — including solid $12 burgers — is bad; it’s just nothing to write home about, at least upon opening. This is the first link in a chain-to-be, with locations on the way in Pennsylvania and Ohio. 3720 E. 82nd St., 317-577-7800, brewstonerestaurant.com, $$

DeeGusto’s Located a few blocks west of the Indianapolis Zoo, DeeGusto’s could get away with taking a walk on the wild side, but there’s no need for gimmicks with this take on classic southern comfort food. The flavor doesn’t come from the overdose of salt and sugar usually found in southern comfort, but from top notch ingredients and masterful application of seasoning. And the price is right —$10 gets you a generously portioned main course, cornbread and a choice of two sides. For $2.99, you can savor the selection of house-made desserts. 1430 W. Washington St., 317-4233553, deegustoskitchen.com, $

B’s Po’Boys As you’re riding down the Cultural Trail in Fountain Square, take a moment to poke your head inside B’s Po’Boys. B’s does one thing and they do it well, with a wide selection of po’boys ranging from traditional seafood to more creative fillings all stuffed inside bread that comes straight from Leidenheimer bakery in New Orleans. Play in the bocce ball court outside as you

Grille 39 This spot features surprisingly good hotel food. Chef Phil Kromer has arranged his dinner menu in a clear and logical fashion, omitting superfluous flourishes and keeping the number of choices to a manageable few. Meats are grilled on an 1,800-degree infra-red broiler, ensuring a wonderful sear and a juicy interior to the steaks. Seafood

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HOURS Sunday & Daily Lunch Buffet: 11:30am-2:30 pm Dinner: Mon-Fri. 5-10 pm, Sat. 2:30-10 pm Sun. 2:30-9:30 pm

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Catering for private parties! Call for carryout! | THE SPOT for vegan and vegetable dishes! (non-veggie too!) Come in for our Sunday dinner buffet! | Up to 250 people banquet hall for parties or conferences


Tandoori King is either grilled, sautéed or baked. In addition to meat and fish, there’s a good selection of sandwiches and salads as well as a couple of soups of the day. Try the impeccably sautéed diver scallops or the superbly flavorful filet steak. 11925 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 317-814-2550, marriott.com/ hotels/travel/indbr-renaissanceindianapolis-north-hotel, $$$ Jamaican Style Jerk Situated next to a liquor store on the east side of Keystone Avenue, Jamaican Style Jerk serves a short menu of deliciously authentic island dishes in generous portions. There’s only one table outside, so unless you’re either a fan of traffic fumes, or have no other choice but to eat in the parking lot, grab your to-go bag and either head home or to the nearest park. You’ll want to carry off the exceptional pork ribs, cooked low and slow to a dark, almost caramelized ochre, not quite falling off the bone. And come back for the slow-cooked jerk chicken, which is just shy of perfect and spicy, savory patties. 3355 N. Keystone Ave., 317-926-1110, $ Kelties It’s a silly gastronomic fantasy — that just around the next corner in, say, Loofah, Kan., there may lurk a comfortable little bistro that delivers delicious food and solid execution at reasonable prices — the sort of place that makes a long drive worthwhile, but lacks the big-city pretensions of so many fine-dining restaurants. Kelties, an attractive independent in downtown Westfield, is just such place, offering a relaxing atmosphere, attentive service and a menu which spikes familiarsounding dishes with well-considered touches of originality. The onion soup was little short of perfect — the

broth clearly house-made, the onions perfectly cooked and the salt content refreshingly restrained. As for entrees, stick with the juicy and impeccably spiced meatloaf; skip the stuffed airline chicken, which suffers from an excess of sage. 110 S. Union St., Westfield, 317-867-3525, kelties.com, $$$ Mama Irma Mama Irma’s food, make no mistake about it, comes straight from the heart. The interior of this tiny Peruvian restaurant in Fountain Square is simply but colorfully decorated in gold and burgundy; the atmosphere is comfortable and inviting. Servers are effusively friendly and extremely helpful. The ceviche, comprised of squid, shrimp and tilapia, is truly remarkable. A touch spicy and seasoned with just a few flakes of cilantro and thin slices of marinated onion on a bed of a lightly dressed slaw, it’s a meal in itself. 1058 Virginia Ave., 317-423-2421, $ Tandoori King Short on atmosphere but long on flavor, Tandoori King, situated on the Far Westside, offers a familiar selection of traditional dishes, with a few lesserseen dishes thrown in for the more adventurous. There are five goat dishes on the menu, for example, as well as an unrivaled selection of breads, in addition to the more traditional naans and parathas. Particularly impressive are the mattar paneer, a creamy dish of chick peas and cottage cheese, and the goat curry, quite lamby and complex, though by nature very bony. 7222 Rockville Road, 317-240-8000, $$

If your favorite restaurant is missing from this or any of our other sections, let us know at cityguides@nuvo.net.

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Good Morning Mama’s

TRIED AND TRUE $ Budget • $$ Moderate • $$$ Fine dining • $$$$ Luxury

Some of Indy’s best restaurants. BREAKFAST & BRUNCH Good Morning Mama’s Once again, the Leuers of Mama Carolla’s (the funky, home-style restaurant next door to the Café) have bucked conventional wisdom. In this case, they’ve taken over what used to be a garage for imported car repairs and given it a lively makeover. It’s now a fanciful retro-themed joint, employing chrome embellishments, plenty of Fiesta dinnerware and bright, primary colors. The breakfast menu offers all the traditional dishes — eggs, pancakes, French toast, bacon — but there are also some original combinations, like the 1940s omelet made with fried Spam, onions and Cheez Whiz with a drizzled marinara sauce. 1001 E. 54th St., 317-2553800, goodmorningmamas.com, $ Peppy Grill Open 24 hours, you can’t go wrong popping into Peppy any time of day or night. Located in the Fountain Square Cultural District, a diverse crowd has been known to frequent the intimate dining room to order some classic, greasy diner food. The food is cheap and quick, but don’t get too full on the

thick french fries and cheeseburgers and forget about the giant slices of pie. Friendly cooks and servers make Peppy a regular haunt for the Downtown crowd. Breakfast is a must, and don’t forget to pop a dollar into the jukebox. 1004 Virginia Ave., 317-637-1158, $

DELIS & SANDWICHES Ralph’s Great Divide With a “Sarcasm Is a Complimentary Service” motto that we’re thinking about borrowing, Ralph’s Great Divide also provides a great assortment of sandwiches, soups and salads for reasonable prices. Order the Ethel, a stack of thinly sliced ham combined with smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a toasted English muffin. Or try the Q Club, a classic, including roasted turkey and bacon on toasted wheat. Ralph’s says its club sandwiches are a favorite for law enforcement officers, and with a slogan that reads “Good Things Made Better,” that’s the whole truth and nothing but. 743 E. New York St., 317637-2192, ralphsgreatdivide.com, $

DINNER & DRINKS The Aristocrat The Aristocrat — long a neighborhood favorite for its Irish music by Hogeye Navvy on Saturday nights — temporarily closed in August 2011 after

an office fire compromised much of the restaurant’s interior (not to mention the apartments directly above). Lucky fans of the restaurant will see it reopen in October, ideally by the time this dining guide hits the stands! While the menu itself won’t change much — don’t fix if it ain’t broke! — the beer selection has almost doubled, with dozens of craft beers on tap. Expect local brews to go with this brand spanking new local interior! 5212 N. College Ave., 317283-7388, aristocratpub.com, $-$$ Binkley’s Kitchen and Bar New faces in the kitchen have revived this College Avenue bar and restaurant, which carries menus for just about any time of the day. Dinner offerings include a healthy selection of salads, steaks, sandwiches and pizzas, most available on the lunch menu as well. The brunch menu features hearty favorites, including three-egg omelets in vegetarian, Tex-Mex and Binkley’s style biscuits and gravy, and the interesting crab cake benedict. Stop in for a drink to wash down something tasty from the late-night menu. 5902 N. College Ave., 317-722-8888, binkleyskitchenandbar.com, $$ Broad Ripple Brewpub Not only does Broad Ripple Brewpub deliver some great beer, the food matches the quality, making for a great experience. Try the traditional,

English-style cask ales for the real pub experience. Or maybe the Lawn Mower Pale Ale, a draft that is sure to quench your thirst during the hot summer months. After a few pints, the Drunken Tortelloni will satisfy your hunger with its five-cheese tortellini covered in spicy vodka cream sauce. Its great location by the Monon Trail means you can while away the time people-watching as they bicycle, roller-blade, saunter and walk their dogs up and down the trail. 842 E. 65th St., 317-253-2739, broadripplebrewpub.com, $$ Brockway Modern and industrial, loosely styled after a contemporary Dublin bar, Brockway has the best Guinness in town, plus an excellent beer selection and a friendly staff who knows their rugby (a crucial quality.) Try the battered fish sandwich and the indulgent appetizers: The rest of the menu can be a bit hitand-miss. Apart from the food and drink, Brockway offers live music every Friday and Saturday evening and keeps the calendar busy with special events. Stick to the appetizers, the fish and chips and the beer, and you’ll have a fine old time. 12525 Old Meridian St., Carmel, 317-669-8080, thebrockway.com, $$ Brugge Named after one of the most beautiful Belgian cities, Brugge pays homage to such Belgian specialties as mussels, frites, crepes and, of course, beer. Calling itself a gastropub, Brugge doesn’t offer a huge menu. But each of the limited selections is choice. The frites are as good, if not better, than

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their old country cousins, with a variety of great dipping sauces. The mussels come cooked in a variety of tasty broths. And the beer, brewed on site, is nonpareil. Go early if you don’t want to wait for a table, because this place gets deservedly crowded — even with the expanded upstairs seating (inside and balcony). 1011 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-255-0978, bruggebrasserie. com, $$

• Daily lunch special • Daily soup • Daily vegan and vegetarian options • Clean natural food • Voted Indy’s Best Juice Bar

4375 georgetown rd., indianapolis

georgetownmarket.com (317) 293-9525

BuDa Lounge One of downtown’s hippest nightspots, BuDa is an intimate Asianinfused cigar/martini bar offering drinks and a relaxing setting. Featuring specialty martinis like the Dirty Geisha, Ricksaw and Flying Grasshopper, the drinkery also features a 12-foot tall cigar humidor and a broad range of cigars. The upscale BuDa Lounge offers a selection of unique, artsy sushi rolls, like the Kamikaze, with lobster and crab meat, rolled in rice, topped off with avocado or the popular, special lobster roll, topped off with crab meat and wasabi; the roll is then torched like a crème brûlée. 148 E. Market St. (new location), 317-8228522, budalounge.com, $$-$$$ Detour American Grille Detour is as a fun-filled bar and grill, family friendly, with musical entertainment on the weekends. Catering to a diverse crowd of hungerstricken wanderers, the menu is quite lengthy, offering a broad range of dishes: part pub grub, part AmericanMexican and a little Pacific Rim fusion. With a friendly and enthusiastic staff, the experience is sure to please even the pickiest diner. And considering that Detour has 20 beers on tap and an abundant cocktail menu, there’s plenty to choose from in the drinks department. 110 W. Main St., Carmel, 317-571-0091, detourgrille.com, $$ Hal’s Fabulous Vegas Bar and Grill Hal’s Fabulous Vegas Bar and Grill is exactly what it sounds like: a little piece of Las Vegas on the Southside. Try a retro Harvey Wallbanger on a granitetopped bar with built-in drink chillers, or book one of the private rooms for a taste of celebrity. Start off with an order of Jackpot Shrimp, try the Tomato and Mozzarella Napoleon salad, with a Velvet Elvis layered dessert to top it all off. Owners Hal and Carol Yeagy are also the owners of the Slippery Noodle Inn and they’re making sure their experience leaves you feeling like a winner. 1133 N. State Road 135, Greenwood, 317-888-3427, halsvegas.com, $$ The Libertine The Libertine is not your father’s cocktail bar, and it’s not the kind of place you come to drink 8-ounce Cosmopolitans and dance on the bar in 4-inch heels. Everything here is measured, from the music’s agreeable volume to the meticulous proportions of the drinks prepared by stylishly-clad mixologists. The food menu is short and expertly executed, but the plates are small. Similarly the wine list is expertly thought out and reasonably priced, and contains a number of bottlings from lesser-known regions of Europe. The Libertine deserves support from anyone who puts value on independence,

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local produce and creativity. 38 E. Washington St., 317-631-3333, libertineindy.com, $$ The Local In an unassuming strip mall just north of 146th Street is The Local, so-named because it is not only a watering hole for locals, but because it also specializes in locally grown and raised ingredients. While the variety of ingredients is somewhat limited by Indiana’s infamous weather, The Local offers a variety of regular menu items and a monthly selection of seasonal dishes, including Viking Farm’s lamb, Gunthorp beef and produce from Homestead Growers. Try the smoked salmon flatbread, the pulled pork sandwich, the chicken ranch wrap — or ask for a recommendation from the truly exceptional staff. 14655 Gray Road, Westfield, 317-218-3786, localeateryandpub.com, $$ MacKenzie River Pizza Co. Part of a small family chain, MacKenzie River Pizza Co. offers a rustic country atmosphere and food that’s hearty and assertive in portion size and flavor. The pizza is the star of the menu, with an exemplary crust and a wide and well-thought-out array of toppings. Unlike other pizza chains, MacKenzie River offers a variety of options, from buffalo chicken mac and cheese to blackened cod tacos. All of it is delectable, and the selection of local beers is worth checking out. Kitchen staff and management are known to jump in and help when the joint gets jumpin’. 4939 E. 82nd St., 317-2880609, mackenzieriverpizza.com, $$ MacNiven’s This addition to the Mass Ave pub scene offers some of the best comfort food around, including great fish ’n’ chips, authentic neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), mince (well-braised beef) and one of the best burgers in the city — a huge, crisp disc you have to fold over to get on the bun. With an impressive selection of imported beers, including over 15 Scottish beers (many of them on tap), MacNiven’s atmospheric sound of clinking mugs raised in toasts sets the mood in this raucous and fun place to watch the game — even if it’s not soccer. 339 Massachusetts Ave., 317-6327268, macnivens.com, $-$$ Mark Pi’s Opening its doors in 1984, Mark Pi’s has become a classic name among Chinese food, and it still remains a favorite among Hoosiers. Rather than succumbing to the lackluster nonchalance of other fast-food chains, Mark Pi’s insists on using some of the freshest ingredients in the business. The staff is friendly, and the meals they serve come out famously fast. The extensive menu includes Thai and Vietnamese dishes in addition to the classic Chinese fare, and the staff is willing to tweak dishes to taste. 916 E. Main St., Greenwood, 317-888-1689; 12297 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 317848-1888; Markpi.com; $-$$ Mediterra Previously known as Midtown Grill, this restaurant has been reborn as Mediterra — an effort to make high end Mediterranean food accessible to


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Scotty’s Brewhouse the everyman. The service is warm, friendly and professional, the setting is classy, and naturally, warm bread is served with butter and olive oil while you wait for your meal. Among the traditional Mediterranean fare, perhaps the most impressive is the selection of flatbreads, though the goat-cheese stuffed chicken has also been known to impress. Weather permitting, ask for a seat in the outdoor dining area for a taste of classic European al fresco. 815 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-253-1141, mediterraindy.com. $$ Mousetrap You’d think that after mastering the art of the unpretentious music venue, Mousetrap wouldn’t need to worry about food. Between the EDMinspired Altered Thurzdaze and the jam bands on Fridays and Saturdays, Mousetrap has already gathered a loyal clientele to grace its dance floor. But Mousetrap wouldn’t be what it is without drink specials for every day of the week and a satisfying menu to keep you going while you’re cheering on the band. If you’re daring, try the mouth-watering spicy stew, or stick with the old bar food favorites, like the truly impressive chili cheese fries. 5565 N Keystone Ave., 317-255-3189, themousetrapbar.com, $$ Northside Social The new Northside Social has a very particular allure: comfort-chic. The place goes beyond yesterday’s craft beer flights and gourmet burgers to new terrain like aromatherapeutic aperitifs. Social sources locally made infusions — scents like Thai basil, lemon and cucumber — to impart strong smells and a hint of flavor to some of their more choice cocktails. Everything on the beer list is priced around $5, which helps to counteract the sticker shock of the $10-plus martinis. In the latter’s defense, some libations boast acai, matcha and other healthful additions, so they’re clearly looking to carve out a niche with these premium offerings. 6525 N. College Ave., 317-253-0111, northsidesocial.com, $$ Old Point Tavern The Old Point Tavern, where Julian Opie’s electronic go-go dancer does her thing at the corner of Massachusetts and Alabama, is a time-tested place to start

the evening — or finish it off. Great chili and well-packed sandwiches made with topnotch ingredients have made this a Mass Ave institution. Is there a better spot to sit and watch the Downtown world go by? This pivotal intersection features theatergoers, music revelers and just plain big-city revelers. Sit outside and enjoy the good life. 401 Massachusetts Ave., 317-634-8943, $-$$ Rathskeller Indy’s premier biergarten pairs one of the best beers to meet draft form, the Spaten Optimator, with expertly done German food. A musttry: Brat ’n’ Kraut Balls, a blend of juicy brats, sausage and beef, lightened by just the right amount of sour delivered via modest amounts of kraut, served with a brilliant beer-infused cream sauce. Set in the historic, 19th-century Athenaeum Building in Downtown, The Rathskeller is reminiscent of a quaint inn tucked in the Bavarian hills and a lively beer hall in Munich. The establishment also features the Kellerbar, stocked with 12 imported draft beers and over 50 imported bottled beers, and hosts Indy’s best bands. 401 E. Michigan St., 317636-0396, rathskeller.com, $-$$

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Scotty’s Lakehouse The newest effort of local entrepreneur Scott Wise, The Lakehouse is a gastropub with inspired bounty. It has a great, Indiana-centric beer lineup that melds into the food itself. Most fried sides at Scotty’s Lakehouse are served with a trio of sauces: chipotle ketchup, garlic mayo and Sun King beer mustard. The latter, made with Sun King’s malty Wee Mac Scottish ale, is outstanding. The beer mellows the mustard’s tart edge enough to make it addictive. The Lakehouse also makes a point of being as green/ sustainable as possible. 10158 Brooks School Road, Fishers, 317-557-2900, scottyslakehouse.com, $$ Three Ds’ Pub and Cafe Three Ds’ Pub and Cafe, formerly known as Mickey’s Irish pub, has received a much needed renovation and revamp of their menu. With open mic night, free pool night, trivia, and a variety of music, there are plenty of events to keep you entertained. They have also added a new high-end coffee bar, which donates 10 percent of their

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Barking Dog Café sales to Prevail. The new Three Ds’ Pub and Cafe is also non-smoking, and offers family friendly dining until 9 p.m. 13644 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 317573-9746, threedspubandcafe.com, $

mustard and pickles). For a side, try the pomme frites (think Belgium-style fries) with homemade chipotle ketchup. 115 E. 49th St., 317-924-2233, barkingdogindy.com, $

Twenty Tap Newly occupying the old Northside News space, this locally owned establishment perfectly fits its So-Bro neighborhood confines. Everything about this place, in fact, feels neighborhood-y, from its emphasis on locally brewed beer and locally sourced food, to its lack of televisions to distract from friendly conversation. Beer can be purchased in pints, half-pints or flights; on a recent visit we discovered a new IPA, the People’s Mound Builder (brewed in Lafayette). As for the food, the Pickled Beets starter was a delight while the classic Burger left us feeling full and happy. 5406 N. College Ave., 317-602-8840, twentytap.com, $

Flatwater Restaurant Located on the site originally occupied by Bazbeaux, Flatwater makes the most of its canal-side location with great outdoor seating. The inside isn’t much bigger than a (very) cozy neighborhood pub and local Sun King and Upland brews on tap increase the neighborhood vibe. The menu is small, but nicely packed with a sophisticated selection of vittles including an excellent pulled pork sandwich, smoked in-house. 832 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-257-5466, flatwaterbroadripple.com, $$

Union Jack’s A Broad Ripple landmark since 1979, this is a prime vintage English pub with an American twist. It offers a tasty, extensive assortment of beers, malt scotches and whiskies as well as English eats, American pub favorites (burgers, ribs, you name it) and awardwinning deep-dish pizza. It even serves breakfast (the best cure for a hangover). While you’re there, you can watch your favorite sports team on one of 11 hi-definition televisions. And bring the kids — this place is 100 percent smoke-free and family-friendly. Add to all this the fact that Union Jack’s is considered by many to be ground zero for the greening of Broad Ripple. 924 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-257-4343, unionjackpub-broadripple.com, $$

CAFES & BISTROS Barking Dog Café The quiet little café in the shadow of the ever-expanding Patachou operation across the street, Barking Dog is Meridian-Kessler’s other neighborhood restaurant offering fresh and creative spins on traditional favorites. Its midday menu consists of soups, salads and signature sandwiches, as well as Dog House specials like Tucker’s Nantucket Clam Chowder, Jeff’s Single Cheeseburger with Everything (served with a “special sauce,” lettuce, onion, ketchup, Dijon

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Monon Food Company Featuring a recently added party room, The Monon Food Company “gets” Broad Ripple in some crucial ways. In its neighborly style, the MFC feels like it’s already been there for a long time, thanks to its roots as the Monon Coffee Company for so many years. The new place is delicious and inviting, and it’s a dog-friendly establishment, too, so be prepared to be greeted by pooches waiting for their two-legged companions to finish their grub and be on their way. With generous portions, bold flavors and pleasant service, the Monon Food Company is a place to share tasty, affordable food with good friends. 6420 Cornell Ave., 317-722-0176, mononfood.com, $ Pearl Bistro Pearl Bistro’s American-flavored menu is a melting pot that bubbles with Southwestern touches. Salty-sweet combinations abound among the appetizer, salad and dinner offerings. The veggie wrap ($6) hits a fresh, wellbalanced and satisfying note and is best paired with the tri-colored chip mix ($3). Serving upscale cuisine with a casual feel, Pearl Bistro’s mission is to delight its guests by consistently preparing and serving healthy and innovative fare at a competitive price. 1475 W. 86th St., 317-876-7990, pearlbistro.biz, $-$$ Petite Chou Initially only serving breakfast and lunch, Petite Chou of the ever-growing Patachou family tree of restaurants has recently created a popular dinner menu


for its Broad Ripple location. With fresh, French-inspired food, this restaurant, while still offering sandwiches and salads, now serves Indiana-raised panseared steak, a fresh catch of the day and Chicken Paillard, a seared chicken breast with lemon-scented pan sauce. A fine selection of champagne cocktails that mixes sparkling wine with different concoctions of fruit and juice is also offered. 823 Westfield Blvd., 317-2590765, cafepatachou.com, $$ Taste This unique café and marketplace, owned and operated by highly trained and experienced chefs Marc Urwand and Deidra Henry, offers gourmet coffee drinks, a full breakfast menu, a lunch spread of salads and gourmet sandwiches, pantry necessities and catering services, all housed in a stylish, open space with expansive windows giving a great view of the avenue. Everything is good here, but pay attention or you might get sticker shock at the total on your check. 5164 N. College Ave., 317-925-2233, tastecafeandmarketplace.com, $$ The Loft Restaurant & Dairy Bar at Traders Point Creamery This eco-conscious eatery, located at Indiana’s only 100 percent grass-fed organic dairy farm, features a dairy bar with delicious ice cream selections made on-site. They are open seven days a week, Monday through Saturday for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, and Sundays for brunch. All items are prepared with fresh, organic ingredients from Traders Point and other sustainable farms. Reservations recommended for brunch and groups of six or more. Enjoy drink specials as well, including halfprice wine glass and bottle specials on select nights. And if you want, you can get yourself a tour of the farm — a real Indiana treat! 9101 Moore Road, 317733-1700, tpforganics.com, $-$$ Zest! An ambitious menu catering to ambitious patrons, Zest is a spicy neighborhood café alongside the Monon Trail perfect for foodies. Allow yourself time to survey the 12-page menu, but listen to the daily specials with great attention. If all else fails, we recommend Baja Tacos, mixing corn meal-crusted basa with white cheddar on white corn tortillas with cilantro-lime rice, black beans and lime sour cream. Serving breakfast all day, it also offers a rustic scrambled omelet, a stuffed tortilla and crème brûlée french toast. 1134 E. 54th St., Studio H, 317-4661853, zestexcitingfood.com, $-$$

FINE DINING Black Market Classic modern American dining, where anything goes, as long as it’s good. Making the most of locally-sourced ingredients, Black Market offers a concise and exciting menu at reasonable prices in a cool and contemporary setting. Choosing from a dozen or so dishes in all, diners can sit at one of a handful of smaller tables, or join other gastronauts at a large communal table, bringing to mind feasting of old. The wine-and-beer list is

as succinct as the menu and well chosen, with the emphasis on foodfriendly wines at very fair prices. There’s now an outstanding selection of artisan rums and stylish cocktails. 922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-8226757, blackmarketindy.com, $$$ Capital Grille The Capital Grille promises it’s the place to go to be “wined, dined and dazzled.” With a critically acclaimed menu and an award-winning 5,000-bottle wine list, Capital Grille in the Conrad Hotel tries hard to please. Experience extravagant dining with an impressive selection of dry-aged steaks and fresh seafood, served with a decadent variety of sides. 40 W. Washington St., 317-423-8790, thecapitalgrille.com, $$$ Dunaways One of Indy’s most elegant restaurants, this rooftop perch situated above the old Oxygen Building affords gorgeous sunset views of Downtown with some very upscale and ambitious cuisine as well. The emphasis is Mediterranean, with some generous meat dishes for the more traditionally minded diner. Exceptional wine list offers dozens of gems, and the views of the Indy skyline from the rooftop deck are some of the best in the city. Perfect for a romantic evening. Call ahead for reservations. 351 S. East St., 317-6387663, dunaways.com, $$$ Fire by the Monon This Broad Ripple grill house procures delicious meats and takes pride in offering a seasonal menu, gathering its ingredients from local growers and herders. It also practices the fine art of cold-smoking: exposing meats to hardwood and fruitwood smoke that’s under 100 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time. This process enhances the flavor and preserves the moistness of the meat without actually cooking it. The result is then seared over an open flame. Oh, and vegetarians don’t have to worry. Their Veggie Burger proves to be satisfying as well. 6523 Ferguson St., 317-6028590, firebythemonon.com, $$ Meridian Located in a grove of trees immediately south of the historic Central Canal and alongside its namesake street, Meridian has the look and feel of an elegant country inn, with a spacious wood-beamed dining room and a cozy bar. This setting is a handsome complement to Meridian’s food, which emphasizes fresh ingredients and elegant presentation. If you’re on a budget, try a salad with a delicious seasonal soup. The Lobster Pot Pie is especially recommended. And the cocktails are profound. 5694 N. Meridian St., 317-466-1111, $$$ Mo’s Steakhouse Definitely one of the best places to get a steak in Indy. Naked, topquality beef from their signature bonein ribeye and limited-supply Kobe beef comprise the entire entrée menu (save a chicken breast or two). Thirsty? The Danielle Manhattan martini transports you to New York dining frivolity. Ask for the soup of the day or try the satisfying

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lobster bisque. Still hungry? Grab a walnut brownie with ice cream to go. 47 S. Pennsylvania St., 317-636-5418, mosaplaceforsteaks.com, $$$ Oakley’s Bistro Hands down one of the best restaurants in the city. Chef and owner Steve Oakley is an artist with flavor. And we aren’t just saying that. He’s a James Beard award nominee as well for his creative pairings of things like a rich pancetta vinaigrette and a mild fish like tilapia. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The meatloaf, based on an old family recipe, will amaze you. While there are many opportunities to spend a lot of money on a good meal in this town, choose Oakley’s if you want every bite to be worth it. 1464 W. 86th St., 317824-1231, oakleysbistro.com, $$-$$$

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R Bistro Chef Regina Mehallick takes special care in arranging the weekly menu in order to best incorporate seasonal, locally grown produce, offering one of the most creative menus in Indianapolis. The result is an imaginative culinary treat. Reasonable portions and pricing leave clientele satisfied, while upscale décor makes for a sophisticated ambiance. Given the intimate dining space, it is highly recommended to make reservations, especially on weekends. Consult the website to see what seasonal offerings are available. 888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312, rbistro.com, $$$ Recess/Room Four Recess proves that our local chefs are committed to making Indianapolis a real dining destination. For about $40 to $60 per person (minus alcohol), local star chef and owner Greg Hardesty takes you on a food tour through his mental playground with a singular prix fixe menu that changes nightly. Supplemental courses are sometimes offered, along with choice of entrée. The wine list is one of the best in town, eschewing big names and popular labels in favor of high-quality, well-chosen selections from smaller producers around the world. The list of aromatic whites is especially impressive. 4907 N. College Ave., 317925-7529, recessindy.com, $$$

PASTA & PIZZA Ambrosia This long-time favorite has been serving Italian food in Broad Ripple for more than 30 years. The staff is congenial and the food is consistently fine. Thoughtfully prepared and smartly presented for a reasonable price, Ravioli della Mamma is composed of large squares of fresh spinach and cheese ravioli served with a pesto cream sauce. Rich yet delicate, creamy but never cloying, it is certainly one of the top vegetarian entrees in the city. 915 E. Westland Blvd., 317255-3096, ambrosiaitalian.com, $$

13825 Britton Park Road, Fishers, IN 46038 • 317.773.9988 Located between 131st and 141st Streets off State Road 37

“Exceeding Your Expectations”

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dining guide // 2012 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

Amalfi’s Founded by ex-patriot Neapolitan Mario DiRosa, along with wife Joni and mother Pina, in 1991, this has long been one of the handful of go-to, authentic Italian trattorias. Cozy and classy, Amalfi’s is often filled with a hearty following of regulars and a genuinely raucous spirit. The dishes are equally hearty and comforting, just like Mama used to make.

(Be sure to try the eggplant parmagiana — it’s the best in the city.) And the wine list represents the best of Italian wine regions. In short, this place is a local favorite that deserves its stellar reputation. 1351 W. 86th St., 317-253-4034, amalfiristoranteitaliano.com, $$ Amici’s This beloved restaurant always feels like home, plus it features one of the best jukeboxes in town. Try the Chicken Botticelli or the pasta tossed with sautéed chicken livers. Also, the pizza and calzones will fill you up nicely as you enjoy a walk in the adjoining neighborhoods. Amici’s definitely epitomizes the idea that restaurants are places that make you feel like you’re part of the family. There’s also great outdoor Italian garden seating in summer months. 601 E. New York St., 317-634-0440, $$ Bazbeaux And the award for the longest winning streak of NUVO Best of Indy awards in our 20-year history goes to … Bazbeaux Pizza, winner of the 2012 Best Of. In fact, NUVO readers have never selected anything other than Bazbeaux as the city’s Best Pizza. In addition to excellent locations (Mass Ave and Broad Ripple) and terrific staff, what makes Bazbeaux so enjoyable is the variety of options. Pour over a massive list of ingredients and craft your own masterpiece, or skip the work and choose one of the standard favorites like the Basilica, which drops tomato sauce for pesto, adds black olives and sundried tomatoes, and finishes off with feta cheese. 811 E. Westfield Blvd., (multiple locations), 317255-5711, bazbeaux.com, $ J. Razzo’s If checkered tablecloths and Frank Sinatra aren’t your thing, J Razzo’s offers an elegant Italian dining experience in a cool and modern environment. The concise menu features a wide range of classic dishes, including an excellent osso bucco and a spicy cioppino. Most entrees are under $20 and arrive promptly and expertly prepared. Service is seasoned and friendly and the wine list tries a bit harder than most to provide interesting selections. 12501 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 317-844-9333, jrazzos.com, $$ Napolese Rustic Neapolitan pizza is becoming more and more in demand here in the States, and this new sister eatery to Café Patachou’s is happy to oblige. Just around the corner from Patachou’s Pennsylvania Street location, Napolese is a cozy pizzeria with all the style of a classic Italian restaurant. Build a pizza yourself or choose from some winning combinations like the BLT (bacon, caramelized leeks and taleggio) or PFG (pancetta, roasted fingerling potatoes and gorgonzola). To satisfy your sweet tooth, try the Nutella Stuffed Pizza or the rotating selection of Patachou’s own Premium Gelato. 114 E. 49th St., 317-925-0765, cafepatachou.com, $$-$$$ Osteria Pronto Today, one of the many measures of a hotel is the quality of its restaurant. This Italian restaurant, located on the


El Sol de Tala ground floor of Downtown’s still relatively new, blue JW Marriott Hotel, is a welcome addition to the Indianapolis dining scene. Osteria Pronto breathes new life into everyone’s favorite cuisine, packing it with flavor and freshness. It has adopted the cost-conscious policy of offering whole and half sizes for its pasta dishes. This place has all the makings of a Downtown destination worth visiting. Reservations are recommended. 10 S. West St., 317-8338554, osteriapronto.com, $$$ Puccini’s Smiling Teeth Puccini’s mission statement is to make your entire mouth happy — thus the name — and it does just that. A local favorite is the campfire pizza: Andouille sausage, gorgonzola cheese, and sweet onion marmalade in place of typical pizza sauce, all of which comes together for a kick of flavor. The salads should come with a warning: these are not appetizers. These enormous creations are meals in themselves, topped off with homemade dressings which fans swear will make your taste buds sing. They’ve recently downsized their beer selection to only include local brews, but we’re not complaining! 1508 W. 86th St., 317-8759223, puccinissmilingteeth.com, $$

CAJUN/CREOLE Jazz Kitchen The Jazz Kitchen has tweaked its menu and kitchen service over the years to the point it seems to have found a steady groove. The inflection here is definitely inspired by New Orleans, but the overall effect is more fusion, including Southwestern and Italian accents, with a solid Heartland backbeat in its selection of pizzas, burgers and pasta dishes. The bar service is swift and the cocktails sincere. But then what else would you expect from the jazz club of your dreams? 5377 N. College Ave., 317-253-4900, thejazzkitchen.com, $$

CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICAN/ CARIBBEAN El Sol de Tala Now under new management, the beloved Mexican restaurant El Sol de Tala continues the 30-year-old institution’s success. A luscious, commodious interior is inviting to all; you expect a mariachi band to come strolling around the corner at any moment. Featuring a menu with an

exquisite list of dishes with complex blends of flavors and textures, El Sol has always taken great pride in guacamole. Come see what surprises they have in store for you — while adhering to dependable traditions. 2444 E. Washington St., 317636-1250, elsoldetala.com, $-$$ Havana Café Serving up a savory brand of Cuban cuisine in a small space, Havana Café has been treating Indy to a variety of dishes true to its Cuban roots. Meat occupies front and center: This culturally honest cafe offers a range of chicken, beef and pork variations, with a few seafood options thrown in. While trade and travel restrictions are keeping Indy’s inhabitants and visitors off real Cuban soil, we are fortunate to have our own taste of Cuban cuisine right here at home thanks to Havana Café. 3839 Moller Road, 317-293-2822, havanacafecubancuisine.com, $ Jiallo’s At first, the menu might appear foreign and confusing, offering a lot of potentially unfamiliar dishes. But fear not: Flavor and spices abound, and the friendly staff will be more than happy to explain the more exotic dishes. Jiallo’s Jerk Chicken is the stuff of legend. Consisting of a boned bird presented on a mound of red beans and dirty rice with a generous side of fried plantains, this is a fabulous dish. 4202 W. 56th St. B-2, 317-492-1603, $ Las Tortas Occupying a tiny space just north of Indy’s burgeoning Fountain Square, Las Tortas serves up a terrific selection of traditional Mexican and Latin Americanstyle sandwiches. It takes two hands (and plenty of napkins) to manage one of these creations. The foundation is baked telera, a light bun that measures 6 inches across and comes packed with a variety of meats, like smoked pork and chorizo sausage, as well as cheeses and veggies. Bring an appetite. 641 Virginia Ave., 317-658-0735, $ Oaxaca Tucked between the numerous BBQ and fried chicken joints on MLK Jr. Street, this culturally focused restaurant is rustic in a thrilling way. Impressive hand-hewn tortilla chips, beginning as a soft corn tortilla are liberally salted and served with a spring-green salsa designed to clean one’s clock. The moles offered

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here — chocolaty, nutty, sublime sauces that take meat to new heights — are commendable. If it’s an authentic Southern Mexican atmosphere accompanied by a just as authentic cuisine that you seek, slide over to Oaxaca. 2958 Martin Luther King Jr. St., 317-490-2429, $ Tata Cuban Café Tata came to Indianapolis like manna from the heavens, filling a sorely felt void in Cuban food. Slow-roasted pork and thick, sweet plantains are soul food staples that are executed effortlessly here. The menu includes Cuban sandwiches (picky eaters can’t go wrong), salads, traditional dishes, desserts and coffee. If you really want to induce sleep, order your food with a side of thick and starchy fried yuca. Also be sure to wash down your dish with a flavorful $5 mojito. 137 W. Market St., 317-6860855, tatacubancafe.com, $$

GREEK/MEDITERRANEAN Santorini Greek Kitchen Before you order anything else on Santorini’s tempting menu, plan to save room for galaktaboureko for dessert. Other than that, we recommend just about everything. Spanakopita, souvlaki, saganaki are all tasty and the tomato balls burst with flavor. Belly dancers perform on Friday and Saturday nights, so make reservations, as tables fill up fast. Settle down for a long meal because the portions are enormous, leaving even the biggest appetite fully satisfied. 1417 Prospect St., 317-9171117, greekkitchen.dine.com, $$

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INDIAN India Garden Fifteen-time Best Of winner India Garden continues its domination as the Best Indian Restaurant in Indy from our readers’ perspective. A culinary adventure worth taking for those looking to expand their horizons through culture and flavor. Navigating the menu is easy with thorough descriptions of the exotic samplings, the only hard part is deciding on which mouth-watering dish to try. Tandoori ovens and Northern Indian spices make the dishes burst with flavor and melt with tenderness. Make sure to include a mango lassi in your order; the tropical frozen drink is a delicious staple of Indian tradition. 830 Broad Ripple Ave. (multiple locations), 317-2536060, indiagardenindy.com, $-$$ India Palace It’s not surprising that one of the city’s best Indian restaurants is on Lafayette Road, nestled next to other outstanding ethnic eateries. The lunchtime buffet gets rave reviews, and it’s vegetarian-friendly. The menu features the finest Northern Indian entrées and the specialty Tandoori (clay oven) dishes. India Palace is elegant, relaxed and affordable, inviting guests to enjoy the hospitality that reflects the restaurant’s Indian heritage. 4213 Lafayette Road, 317298-0773, indiapalaceindy.com, $$ Passage to India Passage to India — formerly Udupi Café —is the only restaurant of its kind in the city, specializing in

dining guide // 2012 // NUVO // 100% RECYCLED PAPER

authentic Indian vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The expanded menu offers a rich array of dishes from the two great schools of Indian cooking, Northern (with its dairy leanings) and Southern (known for its robust use of spice), resulting in a dining experience that relies on an uncommonly rich array of flavors, textures and degrees of heat. Try the lunchtime buffet or one of many vegan and vegetarian curries. 4225 Lafayette Road, 317-299-2127, $-$$ Shalimar Shalimar is everything Indian comfort food should be. The hot is just the right level of spicy, the naan is fresh and fluffy and the samosas are oh-sosatisfying. For around eight bucks, the lunch buffet is a great way to get your fill after you’ve worked up an appetite on the nearby Monon Trail, and the dinner plates also come with generous portions that are sure to satisfy. The buffet doesn’t cover as many bases as many of the other Indian buffets around Indy, but the dishes carry a lot of flavor to make up for it. 1043 Broad Ripple Ave. 317-465-1100, $$

NORTH AFRICAN/ MIDDLE EASTERN Abyssinia Indy’s oldest Ethiopian restaurant may not be much to look at, but behind the strip-mall facade you’ll find a menu offering a satisfying selection of dishes from one of the world’s most distinctive cuisines. Be prepared to get your hands dirty, most entrees are served

on injera, the absorbent bread used to sop up flavorful meat and vegetarian dishes, and is meant to be eaten with the fingers. Bottom line: Abyssinia provides what amounts to some of the world’s most exotic comfort food. 5352 W. 38th St., 317-299-0608, abyssiniarestaurant.com, $$ Cairo Café The Cairo Café is part of the international mosaic of dining options that have mushroomed in recent years on the city’s Westside. You get a particularly happy sense that, by simply crossing a threshold, you’ve managed to change the shape of everyday Indianapolis a little bit. Cairo Café signals its origins in its entryway by offering a range of goods like handmade sandals, melon seeds and hookahs for sale. The café features hummus, baba ghanoush and a rich raita made from cucumbers and yogurt. Heavily cooked vegetable dishes, grilled chicken and gyros are complemented by a selection of fresh vegetables ready to be turned into salad. 3047 Lafayette Road, 317-926-2233, $$ Istanbul Café Open since 2007, Istanbul Cafe defines itself as offering Mediterranean cuisine. But as the name suggests, Istanbul Café’s understanding of this cuisine is distinctly Turkish, placing it at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and expanding its flavor horizon to include an extraordinary array of nuances that have been successfully appropriated throughout centuries of


THAI Thai Kitchen This cozy restaurant is tucked into the corner of a nondescript strip mall, but it’s earned its reputation as one of Fishers’ hidden gems. The staff’s attention to detail with service and decor brings to mind a pricier, fancier restaurant, though the prices remain down-to-earth. The food takes its time, but it’s well worth the wait, because it’s often described as some of the best Thai in Indy — especially the specialty mango curry. On weekdays Thai Kitchen also features lunch specials, which are served with a spring roll, soup and salad for around $8. 11021 Allisonville Road, Fishers, 317-841-8988, thaikitchenfishers.com, $-$$ Thai Orchid Thai Orchid offers a solid Thai experience in Castleton, complete with obliging service and an impressive interior of bright colors and tablecloths. Select your level of heat intensity on a scale of six with the curry lunch specials. For dinner, warm up with the Silver Noodle Soup and

then try the Pad Makhau with shrimp in a smolderingly hot Thai sauce. Wash down the intensity with a helping of the Hawaiian fried rice ($12.99). 8145 Bash St., 317-578-8155, thaiorchidindy.com, $$ Thai Papaya Tom Yum Noodle Soup is a favorite, steaming with fresh flavors like cilantro and lemongrass. Conversely, Massaman curry features a rich sauce pregnant with sweetness and spice-like cloves. This menu runs the gamut of Thai dishes elegantly. For starters, try the Tod Mun Pla, deep-fried fish patties mixed with red curry and served with cucumber salad. For dessert, check out the interesting selections of sticky rice with mango, fried banana or tapioca pudding. 3905 W. 96th St., 317-334-1482, $$

JAPANESE/SUSHI H2O Sushi An eclectic mix of traditionalstyle sushi and modern flavor combinations that borrow on a variety of traditions — European, South American and North African, to name a few — H2O continues to evolve while always delivering the quality we’ve come to expect. The menu boasts customary sushi bar items like sashimi and nigiri, but chef John Adams also offers creative specials, such as black mussels steamed in spicy tomato and corn sauce and seared foie gras with pain perdue, arugula, quail egg, Marcona almonds

Isushi Café This small but pristine sushi shop on Carmel’s green but slowly blooming 116th Street corridor is a sushi-lover’s dream. Featuring everything from a crunch spicy tuna roll to salmon sashimi to Kobe beef to an Ali roll with soft shell crab and fresh, ripe avocado. Isushi Café also has a variety of spices, including habanero, citrus, jalapeño and wasabi. With attentive service, as well as friendly owner/chef Chang Lee, Isushi Café is a quality location for a delightful meal of Pacific Rim cuisine. 820 E. 116th St., Suite 140, Carmel, 317363-3507, isushicafe.com, $$ Oishi Sushi Oishi Sushi shows its excitement with rolls like the tasty Afghanistan, which the menu describes as eel and avocado pieces “erupting” with spicy shrimp tempura and masago. Plenty of selections to try on the menu, like Mongolian-style fried rice or the Bento box combo of teriyaki-style hot food and sushi rolls. Tatami rooms are available for couples and families, complete with soothing music. 6929 E. 10th St., 317-356-8880, indyoishi.com, $$-$$$

NAISA, located in Fountain Square, is entirely made from scratch, from the sauces to the freshly grated zest of the tangerine chicken to the spicy basil curry dish studded with chicken, beef and shrimp. The restaurant also offers delicious cinnamon sugar puffs ($4.95), a light-bodied, fresh ginger sauce with bite instead of an overly sugared sweet and sour mess. For a beverage, try the tea: an iron pot with chrysanthemum or jasmine leaves steeped throughout, yielding a much lighter-flavored goodness. 1025 Virginia Ave., 317-602-3708, $$ Taki Restaurant It’s one thing to walk into a restaurant and be asked whether you prefer to sit in the dining room or the bar. At Taki Restaurant, you get three very different choices: a room where chefs wield cutlery with ninja-like finesse on steaks, seafood and chicken and then cook it on a grill in front of you; a spacious and handsomely appointed dining room (also featuring a full bar); or, finally, an elegant sushi bar. Taki’s sushi menu is enormous, complemented by new entries on a daily basis, and the presentation of these dishes provides a model of understated elegance. 4040 E. 82nd St., 317-849-8254, takirestaurant.com, $$

NAISA Pan-Asian Café The exotic-sounding name of this new eatery is simply “Asian” spelled backward. The menu of

If your favorite restaurant is missing from this or any of our other sections, let us know at cityguides@nuvo.net.

DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS

ING SO M Outdoor Bar on Patio!

ON!

“When you try it, you will love it!”

and Pedro Ximinez vinaigrette. Everything is made from scratch. 1912 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-254-0677, h2osushibar.com, $$$

CO

travel and trade. The team at Istanbul Café brings a sophisticated skill set to this great culinary tradition and updates it with an emphasis on fresh ingredients that lend an almost startling clarity to even standby offerings, like the requisite table serving of pita bread. 1450 W. 86th St., 317-876-9810, indyistanbulcafe.com, $$

—Chef Sentissi

Live Lute Flute every Saturday!

Daily Lunch Specials Starting at $4.99

Thank You for making Saffron Cafe Indy’s #1 Best Middle Eastern Restaurant in Nuvo’s 2012 Best of Indy!

1/2 price appetizers Monday - Friday 3- 6 p.m. Dine In Only

Unique daily specials Everything on our menu is made from scratch!

Morocco imported food & wine

50¢ Wing Weekends Saturday & Sunday Dine In Only

Now Open All Weekend Long After Hours Breakfast Saturday & Sunday 3 a.m. - 1 p.m. VOTED BEST KARAOKE BAR IN INDY!!

CALL TO RSVP. 317-917-0131 OR VISIT WWW.SAFFRONCAFE-INDY.COM Located downtown at 621 Ft. Wayne Ave., Indianapolis IN 46204

934 N. Pennsylvania | 635-0361 100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 2012 // dining guide

29


CLASSIC VEGAS ATMOSPHERE & COCKTAIL LOUNGE BLACK ANGUS STEAKS • SEAFOOD • PASTA NACHOS, SIDES & SNACKS NACHO GRANDE “HOUSE SPECIALTY” .... $12.59 Nachos topped with Diced Onions, Tomato Bits, Shredded Lettuce, fresh Ground Beef and real Bacon Bits. DEEP FRIED PICKLES .... $6.99 Served with Sweet & Spicy Sauce FRIED GREEN BEANS .... $6.99 Lightly Onion Battered fried Green Beans w/Sweet & Spicy Sauce SAMPLE PLATTER .... $12.99 4 Buffalo Wings, 3 Mozzarella Sticks, 4 Chicken Strips. Served with Marinara and Ranch Dressings. SHRIMP SAMPLER .... $15.99 4 Jumbo Shrimp, 4 Won Ton Shrimp, 1/2 order of Buffalo Shrimp. Served with Cocktail Sauce and Sweet & Spicy Dip.

BURGERS, WINGS, SUBS & SANDWICHES BLUES BURGER .... $9.99 Sautéed Onions, Green Peppers, Mushrooms, Bacon and choice of Cheese WHISKEY PEPPER CHEESEBURGER .... $8.99 Whiskey Pepper Marinade, Topped with an Onion Ring & Provolone Cheese MACNOODLE BURGER .... $8.99 Special Sauce, Diced Onions, Shredded, Lettuce, Pickles & American Cheese GARDEN BURGER (VEGGIE BURGER) .... $8.49 Choice of American, Swiss, Mozzarella or Jalapeño pepper THE VEGAS BURGER .... $11.99 Black Angus burger topped with Rib Roast, Smoked Bacon, Sautéed Mushrooms, Cheddar-Jack Cheese and Caramelized Onions.

DINNERS Filet Mignon Hearty Center Cut .... $24.99 Melt in Your Mouth Choice Center Cut Beef Tenderloin, Broiled to Order New York Strip 10 Ounce Choice Cut .... $20.99 Ribeye Steak 10 Ounce Choice Cut .... $20.99 Breaded or Grilled Grouper .... $17.99

OPEN AT 4PM DAILY • CLOSED SUNDAY

YOU CAN BET ON FABULOUS FOOD AT HAL’S! JACKPOT SHRIMP .... $12/$20 Dusted in Cajun spiced flour, fried and tossed in our chili garlic cream sauce. BOXCARS .... $13 2 bite sized filet mignon medallion sliders; topped with grilled onions, shredded lettuce and Cajun mayonnaise. Served with onion petals DUCK TACOS .... $12 Local Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with carmelized onions, corn and blackberry salsa, avocados and local Capriole Farms goat cheese on flour tortillas. 7 COME 11 FILET .... $24/$32 This choice grade center cut filet is our leanest selection offered to you in two custom cut sizes. BONE IN “COWBOY” RIB EYE .... $31 (Hal’s New Favorite) The center cut of the prime rib, offered in a generous one pound cut. THE VEGAS STRIP .... $29 The Chairman of all steaks, this center cut of the strip loin is a thick hand cut 13 ounces. BLACKJACK BURGER .... $14 (Hal’s 2nd Favorite) Black Angus burger topped with rib roast, applewood smoked bacon, sauteed mushrooms, Cheddar-Jack cheese and caramelized onions, served on a fresh baked bun with “Made From Scratch French Fries.” PORK TOMAHAWK .... $22 Pan roasted, single bone pork

Hal’s Vegas is Smoke-Free

Young Adults Welcome

loin, topped with apple, onion and smoked gouda dressing. Drizzled with red wine reduction, pink inside and cooked to medium. Served with choice of side. CHICKEN SINATRA .... $18 Juicy double chicken breasts with garlic, artichoke hearts, capers, feta cheese, tomatoes and shallots in a white wine sauce. Served with choice of side. CEDAR PLANKED RAINBOW TROUT.... $19 Two trout filets roasted directly on cedar wood and served with swiss chard and bacon. Served with your choice of side. MEDITERRANEAN PAPER WRAPPED SALMON .... $23 Garlic, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, olives, capers and fresh oregano all cooked inside a paper packet and opened Tableside for maximum wafting, choice of side THE GAMBINO .... $21 Garlic, tomatoes and seasoned Black Angus ground beef sautéed with our homemade red sauce. Served over angel hair pasta and topped with shredded parmesan cheese and two Boss meatballs.

1133 N. SR 135 Greenwood, Indiana South on Meridian St. (SR 135) 1 blk past County Line Road

PH: (317) 88VEGAS www.halsvegas.com


INDEX Abyssinia..........................................................28 Amalfi’s ............................................................26 Ambrosia..........................................................26 Amici’s..............................................................26 Aristocrat .........................................................21 B’s Po’Boys ......................................................17 BARcelona Tapas ..............................................9 Barking Dog Café ............................................24 Bazbeaux .........................................................26 Binkley’s Kitchen and Bar ...............................21 BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse .....................17 Black Market ...................................................25 Black Swan Brewpub ......................................17 BoomBozz Taphouse ......................................17 Brewstone........................................................17 Broad Ripple Brewpub ....................................21 Brockway .........................................................21 Bru Burger Bar .................................................11 Brugge..............................................................21 BuDa Lounge ...................................................22 Buscafe...............................................................5 Byrne’s Grilled Pizza ..........................................5 Cairo Café ........................................................28 Capital Grille ....................................................25 Carniceria Guanajuato ......................................9 Chatham Tap ...................................................11 Chef Joseph’s at The Connoisseur Room ......13 Clay Oven ..........................................................9 Cutie Pies ...........................................................5 DeeGusto’s ......................................................17 Detour American Grille ...................................22

Dunaways ........................................................25 DUOS..................................................................5 El Sol de Tala ...................................................27 Fire by the Monon ...........................................25 Flatwater Restaurant ......................................24 Flying Cupcake ..................................................5 Georgetown Market .......................................14 Good Morning Mama’s ..................................21 Goose the Market/The Smoking Goose ........14 Greek Islands Restaurant................................11 Grille 39 ...........................................................17 Groovy Guys Fries .............................................5 H20 Sushi.........................................................29 Hal’s Fabulous Vegas Bar and Grill ................22 Havana Café ....................................................27 Ichiban Noodles.................................................9 In a Pita..............................................................5 India Garden....................................................28 India Palace .....................................................28 Iozzo’s Garden of Italy ......................................9 Istanbul Café ...................................................28 Isushi Café .......................................................29 J. Razzo’s..........................................................26 Jamaican Style Jerk .........................................19 Jazz Kitchen .....................................................27 Jiallo’s...............................................................27 Joe’s Butcher Shop & Fish Market .................14 Johnson’s Bar-B-Que Shack..............................5 Kelties...............................................................19 Kincaid’s Meat Market....................................14 Las Tortas.........................................................27 Libertine ...........................................................22 Local .................................................................22

Loft Restaurant and Dairy Bar at Trader’s Point Creamery ..........................25 MacKenzie River Pizza Co. .............................22 MacNiven’s ......................................................22 Mark Pi’s ..........................................................22 Mediterra .........................................................22 Meridian...........................................................25 Mo’s Steakhouse.............................................25 Monon Food Company ...................................24 Mousetrap .......................................................23 Nacho Mama’s Food Truck ..............................6 NAISA Pan-Asian Café ....................................29 Napolese ..........................................................26 New York Slice ..................................................6 Nicey Treat.........................................................6 Nicole-Taylor’s Pasta and Market ..................14 Northside Social ..............................................23 Oakley’s Bistro.................................................26 Oaxaca .............................................................27 Oishi Sushi .......................................................29 Old Point Tavern..............................................23 On Time Seafood Restaurant ...........................9 Osteria Pronto .................................................26 Passage to India ..............................................28 Patachou ..........................................................13 Pearl Bistro.......................................................24 Peppy Grill .......................................................21 Petite Chou ......................................................24 Pizzology Pizzeria & Pub .................................11 Puccini’s Smiling Teeth ...................................27 R Bistro.............................................................26 Ralph’s Great Divide .......................................21 Rathskeller .......................................................23

Recess/Room Four...........................................26 Rene’s Bakery ..................................................14 Rock-Cola Café ................................................13 Saffron Café .....................................................11 Saigon ................................................................9 Santorini Greek Kitchen ..................................28 Scotty’s Brewhouse .........................................11 Scotty’s Lakehouse..........................................23 Scout’s Treat Truck ............................................6 Scratch ...............................................................6 Seoul Grill...........................................................6 Shalimar ...........................................................28 Shapiro’s ..........................................................11 Siam Square.......................................................9 SoBro Café .......................................................13 SOT SOT .............................................................7 Spice Box ...........................................................7 St Elmo.............................................................11 Taco Lassi...........................................................7 Taki Restaurant ...............................................29 Tandoori King ..................................................19 Taste.................................................................25 Tata Cuban Café .............................................28 Thai Kitchen .....................................................29 Thai Orchid ......................................................29 Thai Papaya .....................................................29 Three D’s Pub and Café ..................................23 Twenty Tap ......................................................24 Union Jack’s.....................................................24 West Coast Tacos ..............................................7 Yats ..................................................................13 Zest! .................................................................25

Clay Oven

SoBro Café

BARcelona Tapas

Goose the Market/The Smoking Goose

100% RECYCLED PAPER // NUVO // 2012 // dining guide

31


Dining Guide 2012  

Insiders guide to Indy's bars, restaurants and night life!

Dining Guide 2012  

Insiders guide to Indy's bars, restaurants and night life!