Unless you park your yacht on Geist Reservoir, you probably haven’t kept up with all the name changes at 11705 Fox Road. Hint: Its days as Fireside Grill and Fox Pub & Grill are long gone. Late last summer, the newest owners of the property, sisters and Purdue alums Jill and Molly McGlinchey, picked up where its most recent occupant, Michael’s Southshore, left off. (Former owner Michael Moros, who left for a corporate job, did the most in recent years to make the spacious tavern, with its soaring ceilings and stone fireplace, a dining destination.) The McGlincheys changed the name to The Gathering and aimed for a more casual vibe, with promotions such as live bands. Translation: Put away your jacket and throw on your Colts jersey.
While the new menu highlights “Indiana Home-Cookin’ Entrees,” we tasted flashes of sophistication in the extras: smoked salmon–topped deviled eggs, jambalaya-inspired mussels. A generous baba ganoush platter offered plenty of crunchy veggies with tahini-rich eggplant dip thickened with garbanzos. Housemade soups came in the form of a hearty clam chowder and a creamy, if somewhat bland, beer cheese soup. A side Caesar, though overdressed, had a distinct kick of garlic and addictively crunchy Parmesan “shards” instead of croutons. Light, fluffy meatloaf from a family recipe came topped with a nicely savory tomato sauce. The grilled salmon was perfectly flaky and medium rare, simply garnished with tarragon butter. Disappointments were few, and dessert—a gooey brownie topped with ice cream—assured us we could enjoy ourselves at this perennially evolving tavern, no matter the name. 11705 Fox Rd., 317-723-3808, thegatheringatgeist.com
This article appeared in the April 2014 issue.