Fans of restaurateur Craig Baker long expected his second Indianapolis effort to be the Monon Trail’s Bent Rail Brewery. But nine months before Bent Rail debuted, Baker surprised local foodies last spring by quietly reviving the ground floor of downtown’s historic Ambassador Building with Plow & Anchor. Baker’s crew stripped the dark shading off the windows and truncated the bar to make this a light and airy place with just enough hand-me-down furniture and repurposed wood to be on trend. It hasn’t been quiet since.
Convincing departed Bluebeard chef John Adams to return from his stint in Louisville was the year’s staffing coup. While Adams has moved on to host supper clubs, his imprint is seen in an uncompromisingly seasonal menu with maritime influences and international accents, from South America to the Mediterranean, handled best in such dishes as a meaty, smoky octopus with Romesco; red snapper with linguine and crawfish; and roasted cauliflower with North African chermoula.
Poaching baby radishes in butter and foaming a redeye gravy–inspired Hollandaise were just a couple of innovative techniques that ensured Plow & Anchor would be anything but derivative. And while he stepped in late last year at a fresh-faced 26, former Restaurant Tallent sous chef Toby Moreno hasn’t skipped a beat.
Owners: Craig Baker and Derek Means
Chef: Toby Moreno
Pedigree: Baker and Means own Westfield’s The Local Eatery & Pub as well as Bent Rail. Moreno hails from Bloomington’s Restaurant Tallent.
Try If You Like: Bluebeard
Check It Out: 43 W. 9th St., 317-964-0538, plowandanchor.com