In a hotel decked out with eye-popping art installations such as a flock of birds carved out of old LPs and a portrait of Madam Walker made from combs, the dishes at this restaurant lit by the Indy skyline are the real attraction. Lightly smoked Mangalitsa pork arrives atop a marjoram-perfumed biscuit torn into rugged hunks with a maple gastrique, wild mushrooms, and arugula—topped with a fried egg. It’s breakfast for dinner, painted by Dali. Cooking-school classics such as chicken mousselines come with an addictive creme fraiche enriched with brown butter, and delicate sablefish gets the surprisingly wintry accompaniments of sage pappardelle, apple, and squash.
BOX LUNCH: Daily bento-box lunches offer a whole buffet’s worth of options such as pork belly, duck, or salmon—with plentiful sides like pear-and-papaya salad or potato salad with tasty bits of chorizo.
DARING DRINKS: Just as innovative as the cuisine are the oft-changing craft cocktails, including the Tigerlily Punch with applejack and flamed Chartreuse.
SWEET DESIGNS: Some of the more cutting-edge creations come in the form of multilayered desserts, like a deconstructed pumpkin parfait with bits of pecan “sponge” and “liquid raisin.”
PREVIOUS MENTION: Best Restaurants 2013
339 S. Delaware St., 317-870-1320, ceruleanrestaurant.com


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This article appeared in the May 2014 issue.