Ask Me Anything: Rachael Hoover Lekic
Martha Hoover’s middle child, a graduate of the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, is readying the family biz’s next addition for a summer opening.
He has free reign over the menu at Napolese, a pizza empire that grows by one more when Martha Hoover opens the restaurant’s third incarnation this month at Keystone at the Crossing. But success has not diminished chef Tyler Herald‘s sense of adventure. Here, the Portland-trained chef with the locavorian spirit reflects on his growing season.
Over a month ago, we reported that Martha Hoover, the owner of Napolese, was cool as a cucumber while preparing for yet another opening. Yesterday, she opened her new downtown Napolese (30 S. Meridian St., 317-635-0765) in the stunning Deco-style skyscraper that originally housed the L.S. Ayres men’s shop.
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.)
A glance at the rack of well-edited bottles that line the walls behind the bar at Martha Hoover’s new Napolese Wine Bar (114 E. 49th St., 317-925-0765) makes one thing clear: Hoover is keeping it simple. Instead of a War and Peace-sized list practically straight from the distributors, she is eliminating decision fatigue. The wine list is what you see displayed. And it will change seasonally,” says Hoover. She also told IM she is not increasing wine prices more than 20 percent above retail, unlike other spots in Indy that mark up two- or three-times the retail price.
A tiny blonde who looks nowhere near her years—she is sometimes mistaken for one of the hip, youthful servers—Hoover has achieved success through a variety of means. The type of restaurant she introduced to the city came at the right time. She ignored the cautions of industry veterans who told her that she could not prepare foods the way she wanted to. And, above all, she focused on details to an extraordinary extent.
Restaurateur Martha Hoover, overlord of the Cafe Patachou empire that currently boasts locations everywhere from Clay Terrace to Indianapolis International Airport, is opening yet another Broad Ripple joint to go with Petite Chou. Called Public Greens, it’s shoehorned into a smallish, older building at 902 E. 64th St., hard against the Monon Trail. True to its foot-friendly location, Greens will specialize in gussied up versions of “pedestrian” fare. “Food that is normally seen as either a guilty pleasure or as cornerstones of fast food menus will be elevated by the ingredients and preparation techniques used,” Hoover says. Look for a smoothie, juice and milkshake bar, plus burgers, salads, appetizers and desserts. Public Greens opens in March of 2012.