Indy’s Great Steakhouses: Eddie Merlot’s

The Showstopper
Owner Bill Humphries founded Fort Wayne–based steakhouse chain Eddie Merlot’s with women in mind, cultivating a warmer aesthetic than that of conventional manly temples of beef. Everything from the lofted ceilings to the Art Deco murals was chosen to bring a more feminine clientele in the door. And you would be hard-pressed to find more pearl-clad ladies per steak knife anywhere else in town.

Thankfully, the beef—cut at an in-house butcher shop—delivers all the brawny flavors you would expect from your grandfather’s steakhouse, especially when it comes to the bone-in Wagyu New York strip, an Eddie Merlot’s exclusive cut sourced from Greg Norman’s ranch in Australia, famous for its luxury-grade beef. Dry-aged for at least 100 days, the meat develops a velvety interior on par with a filet and a nutty essence that propels it into the top tier of steaks served in the world. The New York strip’s burlier cousin, a 32-ounce Wagyu tomahawk ribeye, boasts a robust, rich flavor and a texture that gets juicier toward the bone.

The lengthy dessert menu is just as flashy, with 12 options ranging from the house-favorite signature carrot cake, with its delicate layers of whipped cream-cheese frosting, to the $17 vanilla cognac brownie flamed tableside and large enough to guarantee you’ll go home with leftovers. 3645 E. 96th St., 317-846-8303,

Price per ounce of the small filet: $4.93

Largest steak on the menu: 32-ounce Wagyu tomahawk ribeye

Grade of meat: USDA Prime; filets are USDA Choice

Aging process: Majority are wet-aged for 28 days

Wines by the bottle/glass: 129/50

Most-famous customer: Larry Bird


We love steak, any way you slice it. In Indianapolis, there’s a steakhouse to cater to every occasion and level of sophistication, and after months of dining like wealthy cavemen, we present them to you here, in juicy detail. A la cartes include a primer on the king cuts (for those who don’t know a porterhouse from a portobello), tips on the best cheap chops in town, a cattle call of beefy terms, and a stab at defining that common condition among steak-lovers—the meat sweats. You want a piece of this? Dig in.