April’s First Bite

A woman prepares coffee behind the high wooden counter at a barbershop.
Commissary Barber & Barista

Tony Valainis

New In TownFrom antiques

to books to free-roaming cats, there isn’t much local coffee makers haven’t paired with steaming cups of java. So it’s a bit surprising it took as long as it did for Indy to gets its first bona fide top-shelf espresso bar and style shop where you can sip a foam-topped cortado while waiting to get clipped. Leave it to Brandon Burdine, proprietor of the popular throwback Brick & Mortar Barber Shop on Delaware, to bring the concepts together at his Commissary Barber & Barista, tucked just below street level east of downtown. Tinker Coffee pour-overs, artfully presented cappuccinos, and cold brews served beneath rustic brick arches are as fashionable as the cuts from the barbers next door, and kombucha on tap, as well as a rotating beer list and wine choices, turn your haircut appointment into happy hour. And pastries such as a perfectly flaky, sweet-glazed morning bun from Plainfield’s Milk & Honey Bakery make this a great start to the day, whether or not you’re stopping in for a fade. 304 E. New York St., 317-730-3121

Picture of a tall gentleman wearing a black or dark charcoal chef’s shirt.
Greg Hardesty

Pinch of Wisdom
“With coffee, I like a muffin or cookie with a decent amount of salt. The sweet triggers the endorphins, but the salt makes the coffee linger a little longer. It becomes more like a food-and-wine pairing event.”—Greg Hardesty, the former Recess chef behind Studio C, a private-dining space in Broad Ripple featuring events, dinners, classes, and morning coffee to go

There is a bit of a clandestine air about Caplinger’s Seafood Kitchen Restaurant 2Go, the latest addition to the Caplinger family of seafood spots. You pull up to the low-slung fish hut installed in late fall just off Pendleton Pike, framed in corrugated aluminum. Walk over to a tiny window, where you speak your order to the crew furiously frying up the next batch of clams, and then drive off with dinner in a paper bag. It’s everything you love about the original location on Shadeland Avenue—including golden, batter-dipped catfish or po’boys piled high with crispy shrimp—downsized and streamlined for speed. Just don’t expect a counter full of fresh fish. Kitchen 2Go eliminates the overhead with no-nonsense takeout service of its popular sandwiches and dinners. But, really, when there are blue-crab melts and lobster rolls this good, not to mention addictive, chip-like Buffalo fries, and some of Indy’s best collards, shouldn’t you leave the cooking to the pros? 9535 Pendleton Pike, 317-389-5378