Just returned from a conference in Indianapolis and wanted to thank the CH’s for all of their recommendations and good advice. Here’s a quick rundown of a few restos we visited.
Tallent - Bloomington
The quality and execution is as good as everyone says…however…I was a bit disappointed by our server. She was very young, had to check with the kitchen about a standard preparation, and had a very limited knowledge about the wine list. And yes, the banquettes are too low for the tables.
Let me just preface this review with, “I know, I know. I should have listened.” But the location and desire for a historical carnivorous experience that didn’t require driving got the better of me and I succumbed to the siren song of St. Elmo’s. The shrimp cocktail is indeed excessively overpriced at app. $3 a shrimp and the sinus searing cocktail sauce would be better suited in a Thai dish or chicken wings. We ordered the 32oz. porterhouse to share and had to request it sliced. In every other temple of beef that I’ve visited, slicing an enormous steak is not only assumed but done tableside. The steak arrived cold, little to no carmelization on the exterior and was so tough that the serrated knife was having a rough time negotiating through the filet portion and gristle. Yes, gristle and an ample amount at that. Our server was very polished and very fast. So fast that we got the impression he had a pressing social engagement or wanted to turn his table quickly at 9:00 on a Sunday evening. The upside? The Bordeaux selections are reasonably priced and extensive.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to secure a room here for our stay but did manage to visit the restaurant for lunch. The scallop risotto was superb, the lobster bisque sublime, and the wedge salad was well presented and impossibly fresh, so fresh that upon cutting into the lettuce it made a comically loud “crunch’ in the very quiet dining room. I only wish I had come here for dinner instead of the steak place next door.
Bourbon Street Distillery
Quite possibly, the best fried pork tenderloin sandwich that I’ve eaten. The breading was perfectly done and not greasy but adhered perfectly to the tenderized, butter soft pork. Thanks Davydd, the guru of the Indy pork tenderloin sandwich.
And after you’re done eating, hop on one of the horse-drawn carriages and learn about this charming city’s past.
Cheers from Cleveland!