The Loft At Traders Point Creamery

There’s something about walking across the gravel lot at Traders Point Creamery and ascending a set of creaky, pre–Civil War barn stairs to its resident restaurant, The Loft, that feels immediately soul-soothing. The aroma of freshly baked bread wafts from tables of diners feasting on homemade pumpernickel piled with egg salad and hay-smoked salmon. Candlelight flickers off the barn wood while darling servers chat up patrons about chef Brandon Canfield’s use of the adjacent garden’s fingerlings and sorrel on an entree of wild-caught fish. And that’s when you begin to realize that the eatery’s “pasture-to-plate” mantra isn’t just a trendy concept—it’s what drives every ingredient on your plate, from the grass-fed livestock raised exclusively for Canfield’s milk-braised pork loin and beef-and-bacon burger, to the freshly plucked ground cherries that fringe the roasted duck breast. Even sides of braised greens are strewn with the creamery’s Brick Street Tomme cheese, a smoky-salty dish we’ll be raving about until the cows come home.

TIP: Meals at The Loft are slowly paced. Give yourself two hours to soak up all the country charm.

DON’T MISS: The evening’s grass-fed steak—be it topped with a scoop of rich liver butter or slathered in bearnaise.

PREVIOUS MENTIONS: Best Restaurants 2011, 2014

9101 Moore Rd., Zionsville, 733-1700, tpforganics.com

See all 25 Best Restaurants here.

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.