Editor’s Note: When we hunger for clever twists on the classics we grew up with, we take to these savvy restaurants, where everything old is newfangled again. Say hello to the Best New Comfort Foods.
It’s no surprise that a restaurant known for gourmet deviled eggs and a flight of bacon would make a very big production out of a meal designed to be as painless as possible—meatloaf. The Lazy Grazer, Libertine’s riff on the sandwich of construction-worker lunch pails, begins with a single slice of doctored-up ground beef and braised short ribs. Unlike your mother’s loose, juicy, sweet version sealed into its loaf pan with a coagulated layer of ketchup, Libertine’s country-style slab emerges from the oven unadorned, heavier than most but sporting the nearly silken texture of a fine French terrine. Meatloaf is surprisingly difficult to get right, but this reinvention incorporates all of the rich, beefy flavors that make this dish worthy of a spot at the center of the dinner table. But wait—there’s more. The meatloaf lounges against two griddle-toasted pieces of crusty white bread smeared with an ethereal condiment: Thousand Island dressing spiked with the Asian chili-pepper relish Sambal. A slip of buttery Kickapoo cheese melts on top of the meat, with a thatch of fried pickled shallots adding some crunch.
38 E. Washington St., 317-631-3333; libertineindy.com
This article appeared in the January 2014 issue.