Flavor of the Month: Octopus, Armed and Delicious

Even after you get past its B-movie looks, this can be a difficult beast to prepare. Three daring restaurants take on the delicacy.

1. Grilled Octopus

653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580, bluebeardindy.com

When chef John Adams can get his hands on the invertebrates, he grills the bodies intact to a smoky tenderness and coats the appendages with a warm, rich
bagna couda—a buttery sauce of garlic and anchovy. Arrange bites on slices of toasted City Loaf.

2. Baby Octopus and Shrimp

Topo’s 403
403 N. Walnut St., Bloomington, 317-812-676-8676, topos403.com

This upscale Greek restaurant incorporates miniature morsels of mollusk and crustacean into a warm, salty salad of smoked olive tapenade; potatoes; and fat, tender gigante beans. Fennel and red onion cut the richness.

3. Warm Octopus Salad with Tostones

5215 N. College Ave., 317-925-0677, deliciaindy.com

As the main component in this ceviche-like appetizer, octopus is grilled, chopped into bits with tomato and green onion, and tossed with anchovy paste. Add a squirt of fresh lime and scoop the mixture onto starchy, sweet discs of fried plantains.


Photo by Tony Valainis

This article appeared in the July 2013 issue.