The Local Eatery & Pub

Owners Derek Means and Craig Baker built their suburban farm-to-table brasserie around the idea that fine dining and family dining could sit at the same brown-papered table. Daily market specials showcase whatever local ingredients the partners procure from area farmers, as interpreted by snout-to-tail enthusiast Means. Beef-tongue cheesesteak, crispy fried frog legs, and rabbit potpie have made appearances alongside the burgers and craft beers. The mash-up makes perfect sense in a restaurant offering both a thoughtful children’s menu and a bar that fills up on lazy Sunday afternoons with regulars watching sports on the flat screens and eating wings until they need to loosen their belts—or their BabyBjorns, as the case may be.

TIP: Among the cocktails, several shaken and sweet elixirs are perfect for when Mommy needs a martini.

DON’T MISS: The Backyard Burger, with pickled mustard seeds, spicy aioli, and wilted onions.

PREVIOUS MENTIONS: Best Restaurants 2014, 2013, 2011

14655 Gray Rd., Westfield, 218-3786, localeateryandpub.com

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A graduate of IU’s Master of Fine Arts program in creative writing, Terry Kirts hails from a town in Illinois so small it didn’t have a restaurant until he was in the 8th grade. Since 2000, he’s more than made up for the dearth of eateries in his childhood, logging hundreds of meals as the dining critic for WHERE Indianapolis, Indianapolis Woman, and NUVO before joining Indianapolis Monthly as a contributing editor in 2007. A senior lecturer in creative writing at IUPUI, Terry has published his poetry and creative nonfiction in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Gastronomica, Alimentum, and Home Again: Essays and Memoirs from Indiana, and he’s the author of the poetry collection To the Refrigerator Gods, published by Seven Kitchens Press in 2011.