From The Libertine to Recess and Oakleys to Bluebeard, Korean to Latin and sushi to steak, our critics choose the cream of Indy’s dining crop.
Seven of Indiana’s top culinary dogs are strutting their stuff as 2013 James Beard Foundation nominees, selected from more than 44,000 online entries in 20 categories. Last week, the foundation unveiled its “long list” (421) of the year’s semifinalists—which will be cut down to the final list of nominees on March 18 during a press brunch in Charleston, SC. (NOTE: nominations will also be announced live via the Foundation’s Twitter feed.)
1. Two fully saturated and crumble-topped hunks of buttermilk bread pudding at Bluebeard (653 Virginia Ave., 317-686-1580), scattered with ricotta and sweetened with prosecco cherries.
2. The Polo Loco Real at El Meson (multiple locations)—chicken breast pounded thin, grilled, and topped with liquefied cheese, with mini flour tortillas for taco making and juice sopping.
3. The Mega-Miller breakfast sandwich from Uptown Cafe (809 Conner St., Noblesville, 317-674-8668): a biscuit sandwich with egg, American cheese, ham, bacon, and hash browns, topped with jalapeno jelly, spinach, and tomatoes.
4. Cafe Korea’s (7262 Fishers Crossing Dr., Fishers, 317-578-1987) seared pork dumplings. Inside a crispy fried crust, the filling is just hot enough to bring out the pork’s full flavor.
5. The open-faced braised short rib sandwich at Palomino (49 W. Maryland St., 317-974-0400), in which tender meat holds its own against a starchy double whammy: mashed potatoes and a crusty roll. Beef Manhattan with an attitude.
Since January, Indianapolis Monthly has been following the progress of Bluebeard (653 Virginia Ave.). So this past Friday, our forks were at the ready for the restaurant’s soft opening. Fans of Abbi Merriss Adams and John Adams were happy to see the pair back in the kitchen (right behind the bar), plating everything from white-bean salad with chorizo, zucchini, and radicchio fleur to a sharable whole snapper with house giardiniera.
Editor’s Note: This story on the soon-to-be-opened Bluebeard restaurant appeared in the May 2012 issue. For 10 weeks this winter and spring, we followed father-and-son team Tom and Ed Battista as they faced the joys and tribulations of opening their new restaurant, Bluebeard. It is a venture, however rewarding, not for the faint of heart. […]