When owner Caleb France handed his toque to Local Eatery & Pub alum Alan Sternberg this summer, the new chef pledged to boost the “accessibility” of Cerulean’s lauded but sometimes playful-to-a-fault dishes (we’re still pondering a convoluted buffalo mousse from one of the restaurant’s first menus). Thankfully, the food so far does not lose its modern verve completely on its way to the masses. Sternberg’s tweaks to the ever-changing menu have included a Hoosierific take on steak tartare, composed with ruby-red Indiana tomatoes instead of beef, and a bourbon-inspired Gunthorp Farms pork chop with deconstructed-bourbon accents—smoky broth, fried corn polenta, and orange bitters to boot. Unsure where to begin? While you consider, order a “shared plate” of scallops—the flawlessly smoked and seared protein has been one of the capricious menu’s few steady offerings since the beginning, with good reason. Or visit at lunch, when the beloved bento boxes allow you to marry a main (like soy-marinated pork belly or pork-sausage hash) to inventive sides, including dreamy roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon.

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