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David Zivan

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You’re a Good Chef, Charlie Trotter

When the history of cuisine in the United States in the 20th century gets written (it’ll take some time to get some real perspective), there can be no question that chef Charlie Trotter will have a place in the pantheon. His eponymous Chicago restaurant ranked with French Laundry, El Bulli, and other temple destination as one of the places anyone serious about dining needed to visit—not to mention served as a training ground for an emboldened generation of chefs, including the likes of Grant Atchatz and others. On New Year’s Eve, he announced that his cozy place would close in August, after its 25th anniversary. Get your reservations … now.

 

There is a good summary in the Chicago Tribune, as well as a Sun-Times piece from New Year’s Day. (Props to that scrappy newspaper, which broke the story.)

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Smoking Goose

Man does not live on meat alone. But since finding the offerings of the new meatery Smoking Goose (407 N. Dorman St., 317-638-MEAT) around town, we are determined to try. First came an elk pate, dense as a star (if stars were made of game meats), rich with spice, and rimmed with a thin layer of caul fat. It’s simultaneously sweet and luscious, and available at Vine & Table (313 E. Carmel Dr., Carmel, 317-817-9473). Then, from the Indy Winter Farmers Market, we took home a package of sliced, spicy capocollo—tender pork neck and shoulder, laden with chiles, paprika, black pepper, coriander, and probably some other magical stuff. We couldn’t stop eating it, despite the slow burn. There are numerous others we can’t wait to try; next up, heaven be praised, a sausage composed of duck, pear, and port.

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NEW IN TOWN: Harry & Izzy's North

Swells and their dames came out in force to celebrate the VIP opening of the north side’s new Harry & Izzy’s outpost (4050 E. 82nd St., 317-915-8045), the fourth offspring of St. Elmo (the first being the flagship H & I at Georgia and Illinois Streets; then the airport location; the 33 Lounge above the main flagship place; and now this stylish addition to the family), located near the new Nordstrom Rack. Rest assured that the shrimp cocktail, fiery as ever, can be successfully duplicated, along with the potent martinis. Former prosecutor Carl Brizzi was in attendance, as well as proud grandpapa Steve Huse, whose son, Craig, has overseen the company’s smart expansions, along with operations boss Chris Clifford.

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Indy Winter Farmers Market Opens in City Market

Gorgeous beets of several varieties (the goldens get snapped up fast), ice cream from Lick, crepes from 3 Days in Paris, lettuces of every stripe, fresh eggs, sausages from Smoking Goose (alas, the bacon sold out early, save for the lamb variety), bright Brussels sprouts, bison steaks from Circle L Bison Farm and, oh goodness, just about everything else you might want to eat was on offer this weekend at the Indy Winter Farmers Market, enjoying its inaugural Saturday in the west wing of the City Market. The Star had some great photos of the bin action. But our favorite discovery of the week were the colorful and super-delicious breakfast boxes from Fermenti Artisan: local eggs, veggies, cheese (goat, from Capriole), and sausage griddled up hot, topped with bright Fermenti kraut, and served in a Chinese-food takeout container.

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Time After Time

The Times. It is a Changin.

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Hi There, Pumpkin

Check out the crazy gourd action at Locally Grown Gardens.

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Vive Libertine

“I don’t like the word mixology, really,” said Neal Brown, glancing down the long bar toward his busy staff at The Libertine Liquor Bar (38 E. Washington St., 317-631-3333), which opened last week. “These guys are barkeeps. But if the word means making drinks like a chef makes food, then it does apply.” Call them what you like: they’re mixing the most innovative and delicious cocktails—not to mention serving up some of the tastiest grub (“bar food,” in the menu’s designation)—in the city.

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Independents Day

The Star does a very nice job today, on its front page, of reporting on the latest spate of restaurant closures … though they were singing

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Urbanski Arrives: This is Big

How apropos that the long, rudderless period at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra finished last weekend with an exciting evening of music featuring no  conductor at all.

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