Shoefly’s Craig Mariutto is November’s Foodie of the Month

Mariutto woks on with his new Asian-inspired eatery, LongBranch.

Craig Mariutto admits he’s not the chef you would expect to see laboring over pork tonkatsu, spring rolls, and bone broth, but he’s got a hunch for what his Fall Creek Place community needs. “There’s such a demand for carryout and third-party delivery services here,” says Mariutto. “What’s better for that than Asian food?” Enter LongBranch, Indy’s new source for classic and contemporary riffs on Asian take-out food. The venture comes three years after upstate New York native Mariutto and his wife, Kaitlin, opened Shoefly Public House, located a block away. Though he originally envisioned a bare-bones menu, he started thinking bigger after bringing in Adam Ditter, former sous chef at Bluebeard, to run the kitchen, and another Bluebeard veteran, Scott Lowe, to manage the bar.  Diners can expect craft cocktails served alongside savory, playful dishes like poached sesame shrimp and Korean short rib ragout with fried rice cakes.

“I was tired of the 700-seat place and massive batch cooking. I wanted to get back to smaller, more personal things.”

Either by kismet or coincidence, the casual eatery occupies the very spot—in The Delaware mixed-use complex—that Mariutto had originally intended for Shoefly (before the developer pulled out). As with Shoefly, he wants LongBranch to have a cozy, neighborhood vibe, something the food-industry veteran craved after a 10-year stint in Las Vegas, where he eventually oversaw the busy restaurant operation at Mandalay Bay’s House of Blues. “I was tired of the 700-seat place and massive batch cooking,” he says. “I wanted to get back to smaller, more personal things.” 

Craig’s Favorite Things

(1) Bob’s Burgers: “It has funny bits of restaurant humor in every episode.”
(2) Iced coffee with bourbon: “On a weekend afternoon.”
(3) Cook’s Illustrated: “Sunday is reading day.”
(4) Merrell “Realm” Mocs: “A good pair of work shoes are really important.”
(5) Mom’s Christmas cookies: “She makes two dozen kinds, mostly family recipes.”
(6) Pineapple Chili Farro