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New in Town: Stompin Barley

When longtime accountant and food-lover Alesia DeBoer and her husband, Richard, were living in Phoenix, they loved the local spots that served wine before dinner, with just a few small plates to enjoy between sips of their favorite vintages. That’s the idea they had in mind when they opened their spiffy, streamlined Stompin Barley in a new Carmel strip mall, pouring local and craft beers and plenty of wine. Should you be not only thirsty but hungry, too, the wide-ranging menu from executive chef Kyle Allbright, formerly of The Oceanaire Seafood Room, features snacks and flatbreads, tacos, sliders, and, yes, even a few larger entrées if you do want to stay for supper. Smaller items are definitely the way to go, especially if it’s elegantly plated, tender beef carpaccio with microgreens and a tangy dressing. Chicken tacos are bright and flavorful, especially when they fold in a housemade pineapple salsa. A rack of lamb with a rich corn purée and a tangy red-wine reduction will satisfy the heartier appetite, and pair with just about any of the reds on the list here. Stomp in. 14560 River Rd., Carmel, 317-764-2974

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.