Restaurateur Ian Hall quickly found a following for his fresh take on locally inspired cuisine when he opened this Southern Indiana standout in a strip mall in 2011. But his loyal clientele quickly outgrew the original spot, and he moved his gastropub to the former Shraders Stable and Livery building in downtown New Albany in late 2012. An extensive renovation has helped turn this historic factory site (also a former home to a poultry company and a tire warehouse) into a true tavern. Hall fitted his new space with plenty of contemporary fixtures and rustic touches, such as plank shelving and a stunning metal ceiling fan. Glassed-in private dining on the second floor makes sipping a classic honey-and-apricot “Bee’s Knees” all the more chic. Rotating entrees with plenty of nearby farmstead sources have included elegant shrimp and grits with smoked-tomato chutney, as well as a knockout pork chop glazed with brown sugar and bourbon. Empanadas stuffed with goat cheese from nearby Capriole Farms come with a trio of sweet and spicy sauces, and a salad of heirloom tomatoes and peaches with luscious fresh mozzarella makes for an excellent starter. Mon.–Thurs. 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 5–10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.–2 p.m., 5–11 p.m.; Sat. 1–11 p.m. 118 W. Main St., New Albany, 812-948-6501, newalbanyexchange.com
While in New Albany, check out ...
Bank Street Brewhouse: Big garage doors open to one of Southern Indiana’s funkiest bars, where patrons sample eclectic ales and porters brewed onsite by the New Albanian Brewing Company or pair tacos, frites, or a rich egg-and-ham–topped Croque Madame with a Hoptimus Imperial IPA. Sunday brunch includes build-your-own Bloody Marys. 415 Bank St., 812-725-9585, newalbanian.com/bank-street-brewhouse
River City Winery: In the basement of this neoclassical building dating to 1900, winemakers produce and bottle a variety of award-winning reds, Chardonels, and Vignoles. Above ground, Baer’s Bistro serves brick-oven pizzas, salads, and crab-stuffed ravioli. 321 Pearl St., 812-945-9463, rivercitywinery.biz
Mansion Row Inn: Step back into Civil War history when elegant Italianate, Vic-torian, and Greek Revival homes lined Main Street in what was then Indiana’s largest city. Many of the rooms at this inn (which doubles as a wedding chapel) feature high ceilings, marble pillars, and canopy beds—and are dedicated to luminaries such as Abraham Lincoln, Stephen Foster, and Florence Nightingale. 1014 E. Main St., 812-945-0312
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the October 2013 issue. See more Destination Dinner stories here.