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Chef John Adams, who departed Bluebeard mere months after the hit restaurant garnered a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant last year, is returning to Indianapolis to head up the kitchen at Plow and Anchor, the latest restaurant enterprise from chef and restaurateur Craig Baker (The Local Eatery and Pub, Bent Rail Brewery). Located on the ground floor of the Ambassador apartment building at 9th and Pennsylvania Streets, an address that has seen such recent tenants as Bar Yats and Azul Mexican and American Bar and Grill fail to make a go of it, Plow and Anchor will showcase an extensive raw bar, along with a menu heavy on seafood and local produce, with selected meat dishes, beers, and wines. The restaurant will also be open for lunch, offering sandwiches and appetizers along with elegant small plates.
After leaving Bluebeard in November, Adams moved to Louisville, where he quickly found positions at such culinary heavy hitters as Milkwood and Proof on Main. But he always had plans to return to his hometown, where he gained a name for his innovative and often cheeky creations at such restaurants as H2O Sushi. “I always knew I would return, but I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Adams says. “With the new position at Proof, I figured I’d be in Louisville for a while. But then Craig called me in February, and I started thinking that this could really happen.” No doubt Adams will use his extensive knowledge of seafood in creating a menu unlike any other downtown.
For Baker, this is an opportunity to bring his creativity and talents to a historic building close to the heart of a city where he is quickly becoming a culinary force. Inheriting a somewhat compromised kitchen space, Baker intends to convert a portion of the restaurant’s existing bar into a dishwashing area, as well as opening a wall into the kitchen prep area and extending the pantry into the dining area.
A new lighter color scheme and tables made from repurposed wood are also in the plans. “We found a guy in Brown County who had two-inch thick planks of red oak in his barn,” Baker says. “We’re making tables out of it with wrought-iron bases.” Baker plans to have the new restaurant up and running by early May. “We hope to fly on this project. With the Plaza Apartments next door and so much promise in the neighborhood, we’re really hoping to give this corner a new character and life.”
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