Saturday we tried Euphoria in downtown Indianapolis - a marvelous setting for a restaurant. Since we hadn't been there, on our way up the stairs we checked out Creation Cafe. It looks like a great place for lunch, especially once the weather gets nicer - the outdoor dining space has a great view.
We were seated right away and to our surprise and pleasure, one of our favorite waiters, Brian, from L'Explorateur is working there now. It was nice to catch up a bit with him and find out where almost everyone from L'Ex had gone to - and how generous the other restaurants in Indy were in helping everyone find a place to continue working. Kudos to them all.
Euporia is on the upper level of the Buggs Temple and it is a nice looking place. Dark woods, high ceilings (we didn't notice a noise level problem either), the kitchen is open to the dining room, there is a separate bar area and outside dining too!
Brian told us they just started their Spring menu and since it was such a nice day we were really pleased to hear that. The menu looked good - several fish dishes and only a few red meat. We checked out the wine list and ordered an '05 Chassagne Montrachet.
I started with the Pea soup and Mr CF with the Duck Confit, those sounded good to both of us and we thought we'd share.
The pea soup was not very much of a pea soup. I was thinking 'Spring menu, fresh peas - a bright, light and fresh tasting soup - yum!', and boy was I wrong. The soup was grainy and a pale green color with almost no pea flavor, but the real problem was the 'salmon pastrami' that was layered over the entire bowl of soup. The salmon did not go well with the soup, it was hard to eat (large strips of cured fish draped over a liquid) and frankly - it didn't taste good. Maybe if the salmon had been chopped and added as a small garnish it would have worked. So I sent it back and got the Spinach salad with blue cheese and fried Morel mushrooms - which was about 10,000 times better than the soup.
On to the confit:
Way better than the soup but salty and probably should have been cooked longer so that it came off the bone the way it should. Cue the Chef at NOCA in Phoenix - that is the best confit I've ever had - for confit lessons. But I really have to say that the 2 bites I had were quite good (if salty) with a crisp skin and flavorful duck.
Mr CF had the Skate and I had the Halibut with Morels. My halibut was delicious. Pan seared, perfectly cooked so that it just flaked apart and set on a little bed of mashed potato with a sauce of morels and peas.
Mr CF's skate wasn't quite as much a hit - the skate was good (it was the biggest piece of skate we had ever seen) and cooked well enough, but it was a bit cool in temperature and the little coating of flour (for the saute) had gotten a little soggy. And then there was the 'side' of pasta... with a red sauce. Why wouldn't the sauce be complimentary to the fish, to make it part of the total dish?
Euphoria has an interesting cheese list - woo hoo! Brian also told us that they were going to expand it, which was even more exciting - I love cheese! We ordered a few cheeses to take home with us and I wish I had written the name of one of them down because it was a rich, ripe, soft cheese that they had to put in a little container - otherwise it would have spread it's goodness all over - oh my! Was it good!
So over all our impression of Euphoria was a bit hit or miss. My fish was excellent , the confit was good, it's an independent and Brian is there. We'll be back (outside dining! great view!) to give them another whirl - plus they've got cheese!