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How should one sum up Bluebeard, which doesn’t fit neatly into one culinary category, but is the most delicious version of all things to all people? It’s not an Italian restaurant, but we dare you to find a better pasta dish in town than the Casarecce, made with butcher-shop Bolognese. Sports bars would be wise to take notes on the housemade French onion dip, served with crispy, still-warm-from-the-fryer potato chips. And don’t get us started on the anchovy butter, smeared on bread from sister bakery Amelia’s. This umami-packed spread is reason enough to unfriend anyone who tries to talk you out of gluten. There may be no one better in town than chef Abbi Merriss at delivering the classics while offering up seasonal surprises that are as daring as they are comforting. A spring picnic platter of fried morel mushrooms and chicken liver crostini had our hearts and Instagram feeds aflutter, and the gooey grilled cheese gets tangy heat from kimchi and Sriracha mayo. We’ll take one of everything, always.


Social media feeds reveal the Bluebeard gang as one of the liveliest crews in town. They’ll let everyone else in on the fun with the launch of a Bluebeard podcast.


“Trust your server when they nudge you out of your comfort zone. Don’t let the canned beets your mom forced on you as a kid scare you away from a delicious beet salad.” — Jess Parrotte, Server

A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.