Swoon List: The Garden Table, Fat Dan's Deli, and More.
Gourmet empanadas, a juice sampler, a cult-favorite dessert, and more.
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.
If you’re a salmon fan, you’ve probably recently seen the name Skuna Bay Salmon on a number of menus. We’ve seen it at The Oceanaire (30 S. Meridian St., 317-955-2277), The Local Eatery and Pub (14655 N. Gray Rd, Westfield, 317-218-3786), Kona Jack’s (9419 N. Meridian St., 317-843-1609), Harry & Izzy’s (153 S. Illinois St. 317-635-9594), and Goose the Market (2503 N. Delaware St., 317-924-4944).
Dan Dunville, the award-winning chef at Meridian Restaurant (5694 N. Meridian St., 317-466-1111), recently left his post after a dispute with owner Rick Lux of LUX Restaurants. After Dunville’s departure, Lux announced to the staff that sous chef Edsel Chad Secrest (who had been with Meridian since the restaurant’s opening) would be the new executive chef. After this staff announcement, and unbeknownst to Edsel, Lux interviewed other chefs in the city for the executive chef position. Through a text message, Edsel learned that Lux had hired Layton Roberts of Mesh (725 Massachusetts Ave., 317-955-9600) as the executive chef. When Lux was asked why the sudden change, he said he was concerned Edsel was too close to Dunville. Roberts begins his new post on February 29 and is expected to bring his kitchen crew.
One of Indy’s newest food trucks, Mac Genie, ambitiously began its mac ‘n’ cheese service during Super Bowl. On the Friday before the big game, it sold over 600 bowls in seven hours. Macaroni and cheese dishes are prepared to order in skillets. The comfort food truck features traditional, or Naked, mac ‘n’ cheese as well as items with a creative twist. Buffalo Chicken Mac comes topped with breaded chicken, creamy buffalo sauce, and a wedge of crunchy Parmesan crostini from Irvington’s Roll With It Bakery. These hearty portions of gooey noodles don’t come cheap. The price during Super Bowl was $8 a serving.
Those estimated 150,000 Super Bowl visitors will be in dire need of satiation—and hundreds of Indy-area restaurants are getting prepared. Chris Clifford, director of operations for St. Elmo Steakhouse (127 S. Illinois St., 317-635-0636) and Harry & Izzy’s (153 S. Illinois St., 317-635-9594; 4050 E. 82nd St., 317-915-8045) anticipates going through 600 pounds of shrimp and more than 80 pounds of horseradish during the event’s Thursday-to-Sunday crush. “Our supplier, McFarling Foods, will keep an extra 400 pounds [of shrimp] aside ‘just in case,’” says Clifford. Daily deliveries will arrive downtown between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
January 9th marks the first day of this winter’s early Devour Downtown (pushed up because of that little event you might have heard about … The Super Bowl), and we’re closely watching restaurants post their menus. Here is what to expect from a few of the 54 restaurants participating in the $30/three-course eating frenzy that runs through Jan 22.