The Feed: Cunningham Swoops In On Cerulean, And Txuleta Opens In Broad Ripple

Here’s what’s cooking in Indy this week.
Cerulean (339 S. Delaware St.) may be closing at the end of the year, but the space won’t sit vacant for long. Mike Cunningham, owner of the Cunningham Restaurant Group (Mesh, Bru Burger, Vida, and Provision, among others), told  The Indianapolis Star that CRG is taking over the spot and completely gutting it, with plans to open an Italian restaurant by late April or early May. Cunningham also says CRG will open a Nashville hot-chicken restaurant later this year at a downtown location, and teased a third concept in development for 2018.

Txuleta Basque Cider House (1011 E. Westfield Blvd., 317-919-3555) is now open, right above Brugge Brasserie in Broad Ripple. Brugge owners Ted Miller and Shannon Stone opened the Spanish-themed steak-and-cider house in the wake of their closure of The Owner’s Wife downtown earlier this year.

Chef Neal Brown may have pulled the plug on his plans for Juanita, a taco shop originally intended for Fountain Square, but he’s bringing the concept back as a pop-up in December at his Libertine Liquor Bar (608 Massachusetts Ave., 317-685-2550). The underground restaurant will celebrate Navidad all month with tacos and cocktails.

India Palace Restaurant (4213 Lafayette Rd., 317-298-0773) recently completed a $1.3 million renovation of its restaurant and banquet facilities, and is marking the occasion with a free lunch buffet for the community this Saturday, December 16, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Mayor Joe Hogsett and Congressman André Carson will be on hand to celebrate the restaurant that has operated in the International Marketplace for more than 30 years.

Sonja and Alex Overhiser, the local couple behind the popular A Couple Cooks website, released a holiday gift guide full of their favorite cookbooks and kitchen tools, along with a list of local, women-run food businesses you can visit for holiday shopping. The Overhisers’ own cookbook, Pretty Simple Cooking, comes out February 6.

Love Handle is closed for now (reopening in January at its new location at 877 Massachusetts Ave.), but you can still get some of the popular breakfast-and-lunch spot’s grub when Hotel Tango (702 Virginia Ave., 317-653-1806) hosts Love Handle owners Chris and Ally Benedyk for Sunday Funday Brunch on December 17. One $50 ticket gets you a three-course meal with bottomless Bloody Marys and Tangosas.

Chocolate for the Spirit chocolatier Julie Bolejack created an all-new collection of her favorite custom flavors for the holidays. The $49 limited-edition Winter Spirit box includes flavors like dulce de leche eggnog, Dark Vader, gingerbread caramel with allspice liqueur, and mocha latte with marshmallow.

Traders Point Creamery (9101 Moore Rd., 317-733-1700) has Santa’s Official Milk available for purchase at the farm during December, or in grocery stores wherever the milk is sold. (The legal elves even trademarked the festive holiday name). We plan on hanging on to a bottle and using it to decorate with some Christmas greenery next year.

The national media’s love affair with all things Martha Hoover continued last week when Eater named her the 2017 Restaurant Empire Builder of the Year. The popular food-journalism website praised Hoover for her consistency in product and staffing, and lauded her decision to offer benefits (not a given in the cutthroat restaurant biz) and other non-traditional employee perks, including financial literacy workshops and an emergency relief fund. Eater also praised Hoover for being “a tireless worker, a charismatic host and speaker, and an impassioned feminist and believer in ‘female capital.’”