Entering its 11th year, Devour Downtown’s discounted-dining fest is a great way to broaden your restaurant repertoire. This year, a record 91 downtown businesses are partaking in the event that runs today through February 7, most of them whipping up special multi-course meals in the $30–$35 range. Here are some of the highlights.
New Kids on the Block
Cropichon et Bidibule (735 Massachusetts Ave., 317-737-2772), which serves French staples like boeuf bourguignon and mousse au chocolat, is offering three courses for $30 during Devour Downtown’s run. For a true taste of Philly, hit up Hoagies & Hops (414 Dorman St., 317-296-8430) inside Flat 12 for a Hog Island Hoagie loaded with salami, ham, and prosciutto. For more East Coast flavor, head to Gandolfo’s New York Delicatessen (309 S. Delaware St., 317-964-0700) for a signature sandwich and fresh-baked cookie. Looking to spice up your sandwich experience? Mimi Blue Meatballs (870 Massachusetts Ave., 317-737-2625) serves a loaded meatball sub that consists of one massive meatball on a tiny piece of baguette. Louie’s Wine Dive (345 Massachusetts Ave., 317-929-1644) serves a pecan-crusted trout that will knock your socks off. Top it off with a glass of vino.
Boasting arguably the best view in the city, Eagle’s Nest (1 S. Capitol Ave., 317-616-6170) might be one of the toughest places to get into during Devour Downtown’s two-week run. If you can book a reservation to dine at the Hyatt’s revolving rooftop restaurant while its specially priced menu is available, do it. You can decide between the herb-crusted prime rib and the pumpkin-and-sage ravioli later.
The Steak Tour
If there’s one thing Indy knows how to do well, it’s a steak. Whether you’re craving the ultra-tender filet from Ruth’s Chris Steak House (45 S. Illinois St., 317-633-1313) or need St. Elmo Steak House‘s (127 S. Illinois St., 317-635-0636) signature shrimp cocktail to balance out your meal, you can’t go wrong with any of Indy’s steakhouses. Not to be missed is the 14-ounce New York strip with shallot butter from The Capital Grille (40 W. Washington St., 317-423-8790) or the espresso-rubbed strip filet at McCormick & Schmick’s (110 N. Illinois St., 317-631-9500).
Serving up classics like the patty melt alongside unique creations like its Bourbon Burger (bacon, peppercorn-bourbon glaze, and horseradish Havarti), Bru Burger Bar (410 Massachusetts Ave., 317-635-4278) is the place to eat if you’re on the hunt for a juicy hamburger. Another knockout is the legendary burgers made from a blend of brisket and chuck at Burgerhaus (335 W. 9th St., 317-434-4287). Order the Tuscan burger, and you won’t be disappointed. Punch Burger (137 E. Ohio St., 317-426-5280) is another standout restaurant that prides itself on sourcing only local grass-fed Angus beef. Calories aside, this is one burger you can feel good about eating. Repeal Restaurant (3630 Virginia Ave., 317-672-7514) is also serving up some delicious entrees sure to please any carnivore, including a Szechwan Pork Burger draped in a sheet of egg.
For artisanal pizza at its finest, Napolese (30 S. Meridian St., 317-635-0765) serves up some of the best slices in Indy. Its special menu features a four-course meal for $40 per couple and includes two of its best pies, one of which is a delectable vegetarian option topped with roasted winter squash, arugula, onions, and gorgonzola. Napolese also caters to the gluten-free crowd with special crusts upon request. Pizzology’s (608 Massachusetts Ave., 317-685-2550) drive to serve pizzas with principle makes its pies easy to love. As a bonus, you and your date get to split the pizzeria’s Italian rum cake for two. Bazbeaux (333 Massachusetts Ave., 317-636-7662), Rockstone Pizzeria & Pub (433 N. Capitol Ave., 317-951-7170) and the tucked-away Pearl Street Pizzeria (65 E. Pearl St., 317-638-3110) are also spreading the pie love.
Shake off those winter blues with a plate full of Southern comfort food courtesy of Georgia Reese’s (14 E. Washington St., 317-986-7883). Georgia Reese’s has both lunch and dinner specials, but luckily for us they’re serving up their signature fried chicken all day. If you’ve never tried French comfort food before, now’s the time to remedy that with R Bistro’s (888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312) special French cassoulet. The slow-cooked meat-and-bean casserole is the main event in its three-course $35 meal.
Sharing Is Caring
Among the six tapas you’ll be served from Barcelona Tapas’s (201 N. Delware St., 317-638-8272) special tasting menu, there’ll be plenty of food to go around. It’s impossible to leave B’s Po Boys (1261 S. Shelby St., 317-916-5555) still hungry, and you’ll likely end up taking home leftovers from their massive meal for two on offer. For $30, you and a friend will get B’s amazing fried green tomatoes, a po’ boy of your choice, red beans and rice or gumbo, and an order of bread pudding.
Eat Your Feelings
Smokehouse on Shelby (1103 Shelby St., 317-685-1959) isn’t kidding around when it creates its signature barbecue dishes. This three-course meal is enough food for almost three meals, so come hungry.
A special shout-out to 1933 Lounge (127 S. Illinois St., 317-0635-0636) for crafting what sounds like the most approachable Devour Downtown menu. In its spot above St. Elmo Steak House, 1933 Lounge offers a special menu that simply consists one of its famous Elmo Colas, two sliders, a crock of Gouda Mac & Cheese, and a serving of melt-in-your-mouth creme brulee.
With so many celebrated restaurants taking part in Devour Downtown, it’s tough to narrow down your choices, but some lineups look especially promising. That includes Penn & Palate’s (28 E. 16th St., 317-602-6975) buttermilk roasted chicken with portabella-Parmesan bread pudding; The Libertine Liquor Bar’s (608 Massachusetts Ave., 317-631-3333) $35 five-course meal that includes mouthwatering options like lamb pate and shaved foie gras; and Black Market’s (922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757) cornmeal-crusted skate and rice pudding with caramel bananas. Plow & Anchor (43 E. 9th St., 317-964-0538) has both a new chef and an updated menu that encompasses more fresh seafood, which makes Devour Downtown a perfect time to sample oysters on the half shell with peppercorn mignonette, PEI mussels in ‘nduja-seasoned broth, and seared cod. Having recently revamped its lunch menu to reach beyond the bento-box offerings, Cerulean (339 S. Delaware St., 317-870-1320) is featuring an open-faced grilled eggplant sandwich with warm cheese curds, spinach, a fried egg, and winter herb pesto on top.
The Rathskeller (401 E. Michigan St., 317-636-0396) is including eight of its signature desserts in its Devour Downtown menu, including its decadent, double-chocolate Sacher torte.
Incredible food aside, a restaurant isn’t fantastic if it doesn’t have a drinks menu to match its entrees. Plat 99 (333 S., Delaware St., 317-624-8200) certainly knew that, which is why one of three signature cocktails is included with your Devour Downtown meal. If sipping on a cocktail isn’t your thing, try out Chilly Water Brewing Company (719 Virginia Ave., 317-964-0518) instead. Go with a friend, and you each get a pint of beer of your choice.