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Restaurant Guide Update: May 2019

New and updated from: OP Italian, Jamaican Breeze Sports Bar & Grill, Just Pop In, and Pots & Pans Pie Co.

Pots & Pans Pie Co.
Owner and baker Clarissa Morley got customers so hooked on her scratch pies and galettes at local farmers markets the last few years that when she opened her brick-and-mortar dream in late 2018, business came so swiftly she had to double her pie production within two months. A lot of credit goes to the perfectly flaky and just-right-amount-of-richness crusts that result from Morley’s devotion to a mix of butter and high-quality local leaf lard. The restaurant serves a rotating pie-of-the-day warm on site (think taco truck, meatball, or classic chicken pot pie), with a wider variety available frozen for customers to take and bake at home (pick up a biscuits-and-gravy pie now and thank us later for the advice). For your sweet tooth, choose the top-selling sugar crème brûlée pie, or other delicious options like butterscotch pie or giant chocolate-chip cookies. You may never want to leave the cozy space, entranced by the bright floral wallpaper up front and team of bakers working feverishly behind a glass partition. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Tues.–Sat., brunch Sun. 4915 College Ave., 317-600-3475

OP Italian
Eight years after it opened, the signature lobby restaurant at Indy’s J.W. Marriott hotel underwent a rebranding project in early 2019 and emerged as OP Italian, an homage to the old Osteria Pronto name. Dramatic lighting and an open kitchen revealing a stone oven still make this an especially stylish spot for dinner, but a streamlined and more refined menu will appeal to locals and travelers alike as one of downtown’s best Mediterranean choices. Garlicky roasted mushrooms with a drizzle of aged balsamic are a standout starter, and crispy pizzas such as one topped with prosciutto and Parmesan cream are always good bets. But highlights from the new menu include pillowy gnocchi with deeply savory Wagyu beef short rib and an earthy Gorgonzola cream, as well as a generous lamb shank that’s braised for half a day and served with creamy taleggio-enriched polenta, roasted peppers, and green olives. A bracing, sophisticated caramelized lemon tart makes a great finish to a rich and hearty meal. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon.–Fri., breakfast and dinner Sat.–Sun. 10 S. West St., 317-860-5800

Jamaican Breeze Sports Bar & Grill
The long-shuttered former home of Murphy’s Steakhouse, once a Shoney’s Big Boy, gained new life in late 2018 with this laidback Caribbean joint serving up spicy stewed oxtail and butter beans, curried goat, and jerk chicken. Flaky, rich house-made Jamaican patties stuffed with ground beef, chicken, or vegetables are a must, and daily specials include fricassee, brown stew chicken, or Sunday jerk pot roast slow cooked for eight hours and served with all the trimmings. Whole steamed or fried red snapper is a rare find that is definitely worth the wait. For a true cultural experience, step around to the bar and enjoy your meal or a late-night snack of wings, jerk nachos, or chicken salad with a Red Stripe and plenty of island beats. Lunch and dinner Wed.–Mon. 4189 N. Keystone. Ave., 317-426-4045

Just Pop In
This popcorn-centric restaurant at Just Pop In’s headquarters and production facility on the Monon Trail is bursting at the seams with good vibes, just like twin sisters Mandy Selke and Carly Swift, who founded the popcorn business in 2003. The first thing you see is a Ferris wheel mural with working blinking lights, and a gorgeous wooden bar with velvet teal chairs as cozy as they are stunning. The menu makes quirky use of Just Pop In’s famous favorites, with cheddar popcorn on the tomato soup, and macaroni and cheese with optional spicy curry popcorn. There are charcuterie boards, olive plates, and hearty sandwiches like Pearl’s Pot Roast, with marinated vegetables, smoked Gouda, and arugula. The star of the show is the lox service, with cold-smoked Scottish salmon from Smoking Goose served with a bagel and cream cheese, veggies, and dill pickle popcorn. Lunch and dinner Tues.–Sun. 6406 Cornell Ave., 317-257-9338

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