Mini Review: The Eagle's Nest

The Hyatt’s rooftop revolving restaurant, The Eagle’s Nest (1 S. Capitol Ave., 317-616-6170), quietly unveiled a tasteful facelift last week. In sedate champagne hues, with crisp white-leather seating and metallic wallpaper—it’s a P. Diddy video up there—the updated space does not compete with its own 360-degree view of a downtown Indy after dark, lit up like a Lite-Brite board. Diners sink into booths so deep (some equipped with throw pillows) that they can barely reach their Flirtinis and Lemon Drops, while Sade provides the obvious background track.

With the new look came a new menu and a new chef. Even so, the offerings are nothing more than you would expect from a restaurant known more for its ambiance than its food. Capriole-stuffed Amish chicken and thick elk chops served rare and plated with earthy mashed root veggies in place of potatoes show that the kitchen has some sophisticated ideas. But we gave up on a disastrous prime rib, nearly half of its 18 ounces not worth the sawing and foraging required to get at it. The duck got lost in its fig sauce. And a much-anticipated bowl of Brussels sprouts proved tough and bitter. Though conceptually impressive, most of the dishes need a little more love, a little more follow-though. Or maybe The Eagle’s Nest is banking, smartly, on the reality that most diners are going to hit a point in the meal when they just put their forks down, look out the window, and forget about the food.