Happy Trails, Chef Hardesty
SoBro prix fixe fave Recess is closing, and Neal Brown’s Ukiyo will replace it.
Considering its hot SoBro location, inventive Latin-inspired food and drinks, and gorgeous (yet comfortable) interiors, Delicia (5215 N. College Ave., 317-925-0677) will have no problem filling its 125 seats on Friday and Saturday nights. Was this really the former Movie Gallery space we were talking about months ago? We were impressed from the moment we entered: Delicia packs plenty of panache. Sure, it’s on board with the reclaimed-wood trend. But here, the exposed wood beams are mixed in with ambient lighting, a curved partial wooden ceiling, glass arched accents, and white-glazed brick walls. It definitely works.
As we shared back in July, Craig Baker and Derek Means of The Local Eatery & Pub (14655 N. Gray Rd., Westfield, 317-218-3786) plan to open Bent Rail Brewery & Coffee Co. in the SoBro area, taking over the now-shuttered Monon Fitness Center. The 12,000-square-foot space will serve as restaurant and microbrewery. And the owners describe the menu as Tuscan and French peasant-themed with several house-cured meats, rustic dishes, and gourmet pizzas. For early hours, they plan to sell house-roasted coffee and fresh-baked goods.
Five weeks ago, we shared a preview of the reopening of Indy’s cherished Aristocrat Pub & Restaurant (5212 N. College Ave., 317-283-7388). Just like we remember it, the center cut fried pork tenderloin still takes up the entire plate. And the peppery potato chips still make us long for another pint of brew.
Rare is the restaurant under 500 square feet that garners much media buzz. An eatery that petite featuring burgers and tacos would strain to hit the gourmet radar. But when you are a chef who has racked up enough four-star reviews that you already have your own cutting-edge, postmodern “playground” where your culinary vision answers to no one, then just about any food you offer up, in any space, would draw a crowd.