A sleek, street-level restaurant was part of the big reveal when boutique hotel Le Meridien opened in the luxurious digs formerly occupied by downtown’s historic Canterbury Hotel. The decor, subdued yet striking, features muted earth tones dramatically lit. The menu is playful in a post-molecular way, pairing fried anchovies with shishitos, boldly serving pork-belly corndogs with gourmet dipping sauces, and placing seared crispy bass atop charred-corn pudding and Brussels-sprout leaves. Chef Tyson Peterson puts his focus on “authentic food and drink sourced and influenced from the best of Indiana’s craft vendors and purveyors,” an idea as intoxicating as the cocktail list, which includes barrel-aged picks straight from the cask and a manly concoction of coffee-infused rum, Pisa liqueur, and Xocolatl mole bitters called Bugattis Road Kill.
Concept: Bespoke dining
Owners: Private equity firm Rockbridge and Azul Hospitality Group
Chef: Tyson Peterson
Pedigree: Peterson worked under nationally known chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at J&G Grill in Park City, Utah.
Try it if you like: Cerulean
Check it out: 123 S. Illinois St., 317-737-1616, spokeandsteele.com