The New Indy Must-Do List: 26 Experiences to Try
No doubt, Indy has quite an array of intriguing things to explore, but here are 26 of the city’s most noteworthy musts.
The biking craze goes old school at National Moto+ Cycle Co., where owners Matty Bennett and Brendan Fox pay homage to Indy’s days of racing gone by with re-created vintage motorbikes, including an exclusive collection for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Accessories include aviator-style helmets and goggles. 5206 N. College Ave., 698-2418, nationalmoto.com.
Inspired by the success of upscale watering holes like Ball & Biscuit, Libertine, and Bluebeard, Valerie Vanderpool, chef and co-founder of Zest! Exciting Food Creations (1134 E. 54th St., 317-466-1853) is getting in on the cocktail craze. In April, Vanderpool plans to open Twist Lounge in the former N. Rue spot next door to her SoBro restaurant. The lounge will have a “sparkly, Paris boudoir look,” according to Vanderpool, who plans to apply Zest’s philosophy about food (“make it fresh, use quality ingredients, add a little whimsy”) to drinks such as the Cuzmopolitan and the SoBro Long Island Tea. “It’s going to be a total extension of what we’ve been doing for the last six and a half years,” Vanderpool says.
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.
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.
“As all of us change, this place stays the same. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to get in here. And one of the first times I bartended, my grandfather was sitting at the end of the bar watching everything I did. Which was intimidating. I just wish he could see me back there now.”