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Food & Drinks

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Book Ends

First, let’s clear up the confusion that nearly turned last week’s dinner planning into an Abbott & Costello bit. There are two library-themed restaurants in the Indianapolis area: The Library Restaurant & Pub (2610 S. Lynhurst Ave., 317-243-1124) on the west side, and Woody’s Library Restaurant (40 E. Main St., Carmel, 317-573-4444) to the far north. The two are unrelated and located on nearly opposite ends of town, and yet you will need to make sure that everybody in your party is on the same page when you say, “Let’s meet at The Library for dinner.” Take our word for it.

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

The fried mozzarella and beets, over lightly dressed greens, at Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757). Elevates this pub staple to a light and intriguing treat. Beef ribs at Mama’s House Korean Restaurant (8867 Pendleton Pike, 317-897-0808).

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Hi There, Pumpkin

Check out the crazy gourd action at Locally Grown Gardens.

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The Skinny

If you are the type of person who prefers the savory crackle of Colonel’s Original Recipe over the aggressive crunch of Extra Crispy, you will appreciate this finger-licking-good story on chicken skin’s new gourmet cache from The New York Times. Chicken skin salad? Chicken skin tacos? Gravy encased in a chicken-skin balloon? That’s poultry in motion.

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COMING SOON: Public Greens

Restaurateur Martha Hoover, overlord of the Cafe Patachou empire that currently boasts locations everywhere from Clay Terrace to Indianapolis International Airport, is opening yet another Broad Ripple joint to go with Petite Chou. Called Public Greens, it’s shoehorned into a smallish, older building at 902 E. 64th St., hard against the Monon Trail. True to its foot-friendly location, Greens will specialize in gussied up versions of “pedestrian” fare. “Food that is normally seen as either a guilty pleasure or as cornerstones of fast food menus will be elevated by the ingredients and preparation techniques used,” Hoover says. Look for a smoothie, juice and milkshake bar, plus burgers, salads, appetizers and desserts. Public Greens opens in March of 2012.

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Remodel: St. Elmo Steak House

Using a manly dose of dark woods and deep colors, and a fully restored vintage bar from 1898, the 109-year-old St. Elmo Steak House has converted its unused 3,000-square-foot second story into a speakeasy-style lounge—an answer to the dinnertime surge known to choke the steakhouse’s main-level bar on busy nights. Dubbed “1933 Lounge,” the new bar serves classic cocktails, offers an abbreviated bar menu, and adds seating for 55 in the lounge and 10 more in an adjoining private dining room. “St. Elmo’s interior design has spanned so many decades, but the era we decided to focus on for the new space is the early 1930s, when Prohibition was lifted,” says Jill Huse, the $1.8 million project’s interior designer (and wife of co-owner Craig Huse). Huse made bold design choices, fusing the classic swank of exposed brick walls and two antique fireplaces with eclectic, clubby elements like leather curtains. Vintage black-and-white photographs celebrating the end of Prohibition hang alongside television monitors in a fashionable hideout where even Al Capone might choose to take refuge. “We want it to be seamless between the old and the new, ” explains architect Dave Gibson of A3design. “It’s supposed to look like it’s been there forever.” You mean it hasn’t?  127 S. Illinois St., 317-635-0636, stelmos.com

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Review: Black Market

The homemade pickles on the plate in front of us weren’t exactly the ones our grandmothers made us as kids. There were cucumbers, yes, though mostly to support the lightly brined stars: hunks of crunchy daikon radish with a subtle bite of kimchi; a beet-pickled egg blushing pink. A single slender ramp—a wild leek foraged in spring—snaked around to a glistening dollop of peanut spread. Was this the new wave of pub grub, or just some quirky concoction dreamed up by a pregnant chef? And just how did the folks at Black Market, the much–buzzed-about, long-awaited nouvelle comfort-food spot tucked at the end of the Mass Ave restaurant district, expect us to approach it? “People eat it all kinds of ways,” said co-owner Ed Rudisell, smiling from behind the bar where we sat sipping glasses of wine. “We don’t tell customers how to do it.”

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Tastes Like Team Spirit

An All-Star lineup of chefs and NFL players will mix it up on Super Bowl eve for the Taste of the NFL event, an annual fundraiser with proceeds benefiting food banks in every NFL City. Start saving now. Tickets for the Feb. 4 “Party with a Purpose,” held inside Gleaners Food Bank, run $600. Part strolling food-and-wine event and part celebrity gawk-fest, the evening features about 40 stations manned by top chefs from NFL cities around the country and players representing each of their teams.

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Taste Test

Any eatery that calls itself “A Taste of (insert city, region, state, nation and/or ethnicity here)” sets a dangerously high bar for itself. But that hasn’t stopped a handful of Indy-area eateries from doing it.

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MINI REVIEW: J. Razzo's

When J. Razzo’s (12501 N. Meridian St., Carmel, 317-844-9333), a new far-north restaurant with a local pedigree, opened a few weeks ago, there was a built-in buzz factor. Of course, Indy’s enduring obsession with good Italian food has been well publicized (as is only fitting for a cuisine imported from a country shaped like a boot to a state shaped like a sock). But this Carmel ristorante also boasted the golden touch of John Perazzo, the former chef at Indy institution Salvatore’s and, later, co-owner of downtown’s recently deceased Zing—an ancestry worthy of kissed fingertips in and of itself.

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

The embarrassingly large portion of smoked rib tips—probably a dozen of them—and scoop of macaroni and cheese that goes back to basics with just a bit of crunch on the edges, at GeoSoul Soul Food (3705 N. Illinois St., 317-920-8090), which opened in May. The Cuban sandwich at Twenty Tap (5406 N. College Ave., 317-602-8840), a reference to the storefront’s former tenant, Northside News

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Swoon List: 5 Things We Adore Right Now

The Boogie Monster, a massive cheeseburger fortified with grilled pastrami, onion rings, and a fried egg, at Boogie Burger (1904 E. Broad Ripple Ave., 317-255-2450). The grilled fruit dessert at Canal Bistro (6349 Guilfo

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King David's New Dog House

Get your Chicago Dog and tots while you can. This Friday is King David Dogs’ last day before moving exactly one block north, where the hot dog eatery will triple its seating. The hiatus will last a week or so. Owner Brent Joseph hopes to be back open at 135 N. Pennsylvania Street by the first of October. And then, the world is his hot dog bun. Regarding King David’s future plans, Joseph says, “A northside location is definit

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Slam Dunk

How long does a box of warm, fresh Virginia Kay’s Doughnuts last in an office full of editors with the mid-afternoon munchies? Just barely long enough to snap these photos.

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COMING SOON: N'awlins Creole Cafe

Po’ boy lovers, rejoice. Another Cajun restaurant is making its way to Indy. N’awlins Creole Cafe is opening a second location at Indiana Avenue and West Street., in the former Zing location. Co-owner and New Orleans native Brian Marcelin, who also runs a N’awlins Creole Cafe in Avon, says the move-in date will probably come sometime in October. “We liked the location, and the building looked like it belongs

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