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Marrow

Whatever you say about the restless soul of John Adams, whose resume nearly doubled in a two-year span of ad hoc supper clubs, consulting gigs, and restaurant stints, you can’t deny that he is a man with a culinary vision. Everything about Marrow, his most recent endeavor, radiates years of forethought, from its russet-toned color palette to the dining room’s faint campfire aroma emanating from a smoker that Adams installed before the restaurant’s November opening. Most exciting is how all of his years of playing with Asian components have matured into a sophisticated take on fusion. Adams doesn’t merely mix ingredients; he harnesses whole spectrums of flavor in rich soul-food standards brightened and enriched with hints of curry, tamarind, lemongrass, and chiles. In no dish is this more evident than his fried tandoori chicken, which wears a crackling, crunchy coating of Indian spices cooled perfectly by yogurt and smears of cilantro and red-pepper chutneys. Just as globally influenced are the bar’s riffs on classic mixers, such as a Sazerac with pineapple and cinnamon, and an old-fashioned composed of bone marrow–washed rye.

TIP: Order with abandon, divide, and conquer. Main dishes are enough for two people, and the menu structure encourages family-style sharing.

DON’T MISS: Luscious Shells & Paneer, a finessed interpretation of the macaroni trend that folds in veggies and curried butter sauce.

1106 Prospect St., 986-6752, marrowindy.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.
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