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Dining

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Revisit: Fancy This

The restaurant has tweaked the menu at all nine of its locations nationwide. Even the mashed potatoes (now silky Yukon Golds flavored with truffle oil) and the lobster bisque (assembled tableside for added drama) showed the alterations. The different cuts of steak, formerly just herbed and buttered, now get individual treatments, from a filet served with mushrooms and brandy-mustard sauce to the sirloin, grilled and applewood-smoked, with a mustard garlic aioli. A small note on the menu states that the steaks can instead be ordered with just a rub of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and garlic—a simple preparation that remains the best choice.

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Review: Michael's Southshore

As a rule, suburban strip-mall eateries aren’t known for being innovators in fashion-forward decor or cutting-edge cuisine. Too often, they’re stop-off points to grab a pint or some stick-to-your-ribs grub when you don’t want to drive into the city. Something about the spacious storefront at 11705 Fox Road, nestled as it is among the tree-lined curves of Geist Reservoir and sporting sky-high ceilings and a rustic stone fireplace in the bar, always seemed to require a more substantial establishment, and while a string of eateries have tried to capitalize on the space’s charm, it wasn’t until I entered Michael’s Southshore, the latest tenant, that I felt a destination restaurant had arrived.

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Review: The Ripple Inn

If the last millennium’s culinary scene ended with the luscious aged cuts and luxe accoutrements of steakhouses, our current century’s gastronomy has begun a lot closer to home. Indy’s abundance of chophouses is getting brisk competition from a new breed of cozy but no less elegant spots serving up dishes your mother might have made—had your mother, for instance, bathed her roast chicken in champagne and chestnuts.

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Revisit: Roll with It

Last year, Ichiban underwent a renovation that doubled the eatery’s size and added a bar and a banquet room that can hold 30 people, and yet the place feels as intimate as it ever did. The menu saw some changes, too, as owner Sammy Li explains. “We have many regulars—really beautiful people. But a lot of them are families, so they don’t order the traditional raw-fish sushi.”

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Greek Revival

Taki Sawi smelled smoke early in the morning of October 12. It was a rude awakening made ruder by the fact that he was sleeping in a room across the parking lot from the ovens and burners of his Santorini Greek Kitchen. He rushed to the window to see white, then black, smoke billowing from the building and watched as his aspirations literally went up in flames. Firefighters arrived within moments, soon enough to save the building, but most of the restaurant’s interior was destroyed.

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Review: Black Swan Brewpub

A decade ago, if you had said you were opening a restaurant in Indiana with comforting farmstead dishes paired to a full 16 taps of local beers, you probably would have roused a few chuckles. A full-bodied lager to go with that root-vegetable salad? Maybe a pale ale for the trout with Brussels sprouts? Is it Black Swan Brewpub’s location just off I-70 west of the city or its stark, neo–machine shed decor that makes the proposition still a bit surprising? Whatever the case, this gastropub arrives just as the state’s ascendant beer scene is becoming a bona fide movement. Who wouldn’t want to pull off on the long haul for a plate of sweet-potato gnocchi with braised duck or a Hoosier bison burger with truffled frites?

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THE SWOON LIST: Five Things We Adore Right Now

The creamed kale at Meridian Restaurant and Bar (5694 N. Meridian St., 466-1111). Taking a counter seat at Rock-Cola ’50s Cafe (5730 Brookville Rd., 357-2233) to watch the cook give three-quarter–pound grilled tenderloins and 10-ounce hamburger patties the smackdown on the grill top.

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NEW IN TOWN: Fire by the Monon

Local food, in season, cooked right. That is the promise of Broad Ripple eatery Fire by the Monon (6523 Ferguson St.), which moved into the former L’Explorateur spot on April 1. With local wine and beer, Ball-jar drinking glasses, and tables made of wood from an old high school basketball court, owners Michelle and David Dessauer are sourcing every possible detail from the Hoosierland.

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