320 N. Meridian St., 317-956-5584
Acclaimed for her decadent and whimsical desserts at Vida and other Cunningham Restaurant Group outposts, pastry chef Hattie McDaniel now bakes up French-style pastries and crusty bread and rolls at this welcome patisserie in the Chamber of Commerce Building downtown. Sweet and savory Danishes, cinnamon blossoms with maple cream-cheese icing, and brioche-like Bostocks with frangipane and seasonal fruits are among the knockout morning offerings. But sandwiches are worth the trip back for lunch, especially a spot-on ham-and-cheese and a pastrami-and-Havarti on house rye. Salads, sides, and daily iced teas are thoughtful touches at this takeout-only spot that opens for weekly chefs’ tasting tables where Cunningham toques dazzle guests with test recipes and other off-the-cuff creations. Breakfast and lunch Mon.–Fri.
130 S. Pennsylvania St., 317-560-4848
In a sleek, well-placed fish house across the street from the Pacers’ home arena, diners pregame on fresh seafood delivered from the restaurant’s own South Bristol, Maine, fishery. The selections range from a fried chicken sandwich to market-priced lobster prepared baked, steamed, or char-grilled. But the lobstah roll, dressed with either butter or mayonnaise, is the star of the show. Order two. Dinner daily.
15009 Gray Rd., Noblesville, 317-218-3508
More than a year after Caplinger’s Fresh Catch closed inside longtime Noblesville produce market Broccoli Bill’s, this funky franchise hailing from Huntington Beach, California, now provides the hookup for hungry fish-lovers on the north side. Generously stuffed shrimp burritos, fries smothered in clam chowder and bacon, and a grilled cheese layered with lobster and crab are among the more popular creations. But fresher choices include street tacos with simple grilled fish, cabbage, and a trio of sauces, as well as a supremely satisfying power bowl of rice and veggies topped with tilapia, salmon, and shrimp. Carnivores will love the surf-n-turf burger slathered with lobster, cheese, and caramelized onions and finished with tangy house “awesome” sauce, but purists should opt for a pristine Maine-style lobster roll with unadorned lumps of the prized crustacean stuffed into a well-buttered split-top bun. Lunch and dinner daily.
1702 Bellefontaine St., 317-426-5978
Erin Kem’s seasonal, globally inspired creations and creative pub snacks make for innovative pairings with the pints at Mark Swartz’s friendly brewery in the developing Kennedy King neighborhood. Addictive bar mix, funky tacos (try the deviled egg version in a beet tortilla), and panini are mainstays, but specials such as Alsatian tarte flambée, Indian curries, and a spot-on Hot Brown show the breadth of Kem’s skills and give plenty of reasons for frequent returns. And ice cream sandwiches, beer floats, and homey pies go surprisingly well with Swartz’s rotating palate of brews such as a black IPA, a Thai basil golden ale, and an easy-drinking Kölsch. Dinner Wed.–Fri., lunch and dinner Sat.–Sun.(Editors’s Note: Following the publishing of this dining update, Cannon Ball Brewing was purchased by Scarlet Lane Brewing. While some aspects of the dining list are likely to change, we are unaware of those plans.)
6404 Rucker Rd., 317-257-7557
This upbeat pizza joint has created its own style of pie, rectangular with the density of focaccia and liberally topped with ingredients that take liberties with the Italian tradition. The Trap Pizza, gooey with cheese and loaded with the contents of a buttery seafood boil, has a loyal following. Same goes for the Woodstock, which carries a load of tender chopped brisket from Indy’s Hank’s Smoked Brisket slathered in barbecue sauce, and the short list of other creative pizzas. Trap music provides the dinner soundtrack for this family-run 21-and-older spot (though families can dine on the outdoor picnic tables) that sells beer and wine by the glass or bottle. Dinner Thurs.–Sun.