Making a splash with a new restaurant may be easy, but it takes focus to cruise as seamlessly into a third year of business as this farmhouse-chic Mass Ave gastropub has. And if co-owner Ed Rudisell has been distracted by his newer projects Rook and Thunderbird, you will not see it in the relaxed, tell-it-like-it-is staff and the Instagram-worthy favorites chef Micah Frank puts out every week. Daily chalkboard specials, such as lamb-neck pappardelle, show Frank’s drive to innovate, but we will never tire of his fried perch, his tangy-sweet duck buns, or his apple-brined pork chop. One might balk at the Welsh rarebit and beef tongue that persist on his starters list. But they are so expertly executed—the rye drenched in nutty cheddar, the tongue surprisingly tender—we cannot help ordering them time and again.
WE CAN PICKLE THAT: Lovers of all things tart and acidic can sip cocktails mixed with drinking vinegars.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOR: Don’t be shy at this no-reservations spot when elbowing to your seat at one of the two community tables.
SWEET STUFF: Frank’s desserts have evolved from rustic throw-togethers to prize-winning confections such as the subtly sweet rosemary–olive oil cake.
PREVIOUS MENTIONS: Best New Restaurants 2012, Best Restaurants 2011, 2013
922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757, blackmarketindy.net
See all 25 Best Restaurants here.
This article appeared in the May 2014 issue.