Indy’s Great Steakhouses: Ocean Prime
Purists, stand down. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a savory bearnaise sauce or a heap of shrimp scampi atop a fine steak. Ocean Prime offers six such “accessories,” and they’re rightly given equal billing with the red meat on the menu. Sure, the grain-fed Midwestern filets, strips (including a bone-in, Kansas City variety), and ribeyes here are broiled at 1,200 degrees, searing in the juices and making the cuts comparable in flavor to the steaks of most other high-end places in town. But the real—some might say unfair—advantage the beef at the 86th Street chain enjoys is what it wears. The black-truffle butter, Maytag bleu-cheese crust (an artisanal variety from Iowa), brandy cream sauce, bearnaise, Oscar style, and garlic shrimp scampi (featuring jumbo prawns) represent the richest, most decadent steak-toppings menu in the city.
As for the atmosphere, the luxury-liner interior and white-coated busboys suggest a formality that softens considerably at the table. The servers do introduce most of the menu up front and present the appetizers at a precise angle, but many diners dress casually. And the heated, all-season patio with a bar, a hedgerow, and live music? Even Ocean Prime is going to have a hard time topping that. 8555 N. River Rd., 317-569-0975; oceanprimeindy.com
Price per ounce of the small filet: $4.87
Largest steak on the menu: 16-ounce boneless ribeye
Grade of meat: USDA Prime Aging process Wet (except the dry-aged Kansas City strip)
Wines by the bottle/glass: 180/43
Most-famous customer: Andrew Luck
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.