Destination Dining: Topo’s 403

Upscale Mediterranean is just a short drive to Bloomington.

Inside a restored 1870s Greek Revival Italianate building on the edge of downtown Bloomington, Topo’s 403 looks like a posh townhouse full of floor-to-ceiling silk drapes, striking Art Deco accents, and splashes of blue. This lavish ambience sets the scene for the upscale Mediterranean menu prepared by chef Doug Petersen. The former toque of Bloomington favorite Grazie Italiano was brought on last year for his skills with seafood—and he shows them off in plates like the grilled octopus, a tangle of tentacles sizzled in olive oil and dressed in a simple white wine–lemon sauce, and in the beloved shrimp and feta, the tangy, whipped spread dotted with pepperoncini that pack just enough kick. The kitchen also pays tribute to the classic dishes that owner Stephanie Topolgus grew up with, like her grandma’s Greek spaghetti recipe with a ragu of beef, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and honey. It’s not a big, fat Greek feast without baklava, and Petersen’s wife, who serves as pastry chef, layers up a rendition drizzled in chocolate and strewn with walnuts and pistachios for added crunch. 403 N. Walnut St., Bloomington, 812-676-8676


Tues.–Sat. 5–10 p.m., Sun. 5–9 p.m.

Drive Time

1 hour 30 minutes

Know Before You Go

Thursday nights bring a roast party on the porch, when Petersen cooks whole pigs and lambs over hardwood charcoal.

What’s Your Hurry?

The Bloomington Playwrights Project next door often debuts new plays from the off-Broadway circuit. 107 W. 9th St., Bloomington, 812-334-1188