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Devour Downtown Starts Today!

8 Aug

Last time Devour Downtown came around, I posted that while I appreciate the prices, it isn’t my favorite way to enjoy a restaurant.  That being said, there are some restaurants who really do Devour well, with great menus and great service that is too good to pass up.  In general, I think the steakhouses do a great job.  Fogo de Chao offers the full experience (including dessert!) for $30 which is a steal.  And I have had great experiences at both St. Elmo and The Capital Grille during Devour Downtown.

This time I’m looking forward to trying Sensu and Turner’s.  How about you?  What do you think about Devour Downtown–love it or leave it?  What restaurants do it well?

Tacos at Monon Food Company

10 Jun

Tacos at Monon Food Co.

I’ve been hearing about the tacos at Monon Food Company for quite some time.  So I finally decided to see what all the buzz is about.  In case you haven’t been to Monon Food Company, you should know they do a heck of a lot more than tacos.  Their dinner menu features sandwiches, salads, pizzas and entrees like salmon, meatloaf, ribs and mac and cheese.  They also serve brunch on the weekends.  But this visit was just about the tacos. Continue reading

Appetizers at Harry & Izzy’s

9 Jun

I met some friends recently for a late dinner at Harry & Izzy’s.  We decided to do appetizers and salads as no one was in the mood for a big meal.  So I guess I’ll have to go back sometime for a more complete review!

Harry & Izzy's Shrimp Cocktail

Although I had never been to Harry & Izzy’s, I had an idea I would like it.  It’s owned by the same people who own St. Elmo Steakhouse and I’ve always been a big St. Elmo fan.  Harry & Izzy’s has the same classy feel as St. Elmo, yet is more comfortable and relaxed.  They also feature the famous St. Elmo shrimp cocktail: jumbo shrimp with a blow-your-head-off, painfully delicious sauce.  This really brings meaning to “hurts so good”. Continue reading

Review of Tegry Bistro

14 May

Ok, I admit it.  I’m a little spoiled.  Not in the traditional sense.  Well, okay, that too.  But what I’m talking about is Asian food.  I lived in Seattle for six years, a city with a large Asian population and and amazing food.  So when I go out for sushi, I turn into a total snob.  I’ve been anything from underwhelmed to disgusted by the sushi offerings in Indianapolis.  But there are a few restaurants that can make me happy, and Tegry Bistro is one.  Continue reading

Dinner at Donatello’s Italian Restaurant in Carmel

13 Apr

What’s better than a home-cooked meal?  When someone else does the cooking!  That’s what dinner at Donatello’s is like.  And for good reason.  Donatello’s is family owned and operated by mom, dad and son and they cook up grandma’s recipes daily.  Like grandma’s house, it isn’t very big, so be sure to make reservations.

My friend and I started with toasted ravioli, which they call “a Midwestern take on an Italian comfort dish”.  As it turned out, that meant large, filled with a generous amount of creamy cheese and served with a homemade red sauce.  This is without question the best fried ravioli I’ve ever had.  Period.

Donatello's Toasted Ravioli

The rest of our meal didn’t disappoint either.  Continue reading

Innovative Fare at Tavern on South

30 Jan

Filet Mignon Meatloaf

Tucked away behind Lucas Oil Stadium is Tavern on South, an inviting restaurant with an upscale, innovative menu and a gorgeous bar. Chef Allen Schideler, formerly of Broad Ripple Steakhouse, displays his talent for combining flavors and a flair for artistic plating. Tavern on South has only been open for about a month, and I visited during the very hectic Devour Downtown. I always expect a new restaurant to take some time to settle in, and while Tavern does have some room for improvement, the depth of experience of Owner Steve Geisler shows. Service was running smoothly and there were more hits than misses on the menu.

Tavern Salad

When I saw the filet mignon meatloaf on the menu I was instantly intrigued by the idea of using one of the finest cuts of beef in a meatloaf. It was even better than I imagined. The flavor of the filet really stood out among the chunks of fresh vegetables and the slightly smoky, sweet tomato sauce. This is truly a wonderful dish and I can’t wait to have it again. Other hits include the Tavern Salad with its granny smith apple vinaigrette and the broiled sea bass with a bloody mary corn and crab sauce. Next time I will try the Indiana “Shagged” Ahi appetizer.

Broiled Sea Bass

The big miss of the evening was dessert. Something went terribly wrong here. Its just incongruous to have such well-prepared entrees and a completely sub par last course. The apple strudel was a tough, over-worked pastry with a mushy apple filling that was almost completely lacking in flavor. The crème brulee, while flavored appropriately, was runny. The crème in crème brulee is actually a custard that is prepared the day before and sets up in a refrigerator overnight. This was not a proper custard. It’s possible that it did not contain enough egg yolk. However, I think it is more likely that they ran out of the dish and made the decision to make more and serve it without the proper setting time. For now, I’m going to blame the disastrous desserts on the restaurant’s newness and the demands of Devour Downtown. I look forward to going back to Tavern on South, ordering dessert, and eating it too.

Overall, I give Tavern on South a rating of 2.25. I think this restaurant has the potential to become a 3, and I look forward to reviewing it again later this year.

Price = $$$

Deliciousness = 2 (good to very good)

Ambiance = 3 (a feast for the eyes)

Service = 2 (friendly and efficient)

Bang for Your Buck = 2 (overall experience justifies the price)

Overall Dining Experience = 2.25

Click here for an explanation of my rating system.

Here’s what others are saying about Tavern on South:

Review by Traci Cumbay, IndyStar Correspondent

Review by W. Alexander, blogger, Indiana Insider

Review by Erin in Indy, blogger, Indianapolis Restaurant Scene

Tavern on South on Urbanspoon

Quickie Review–Praise for Biscuits Cafe in Broad Ripple

26 Jan

Biscuits Vegetarian Chimichanga

Part diner, part dive, Biscuits Cafe this is THE place to get your grub on for breakfast and lunch in Broad Ripple.  With a mix of traditional diner food, breakfast and Mexican, there really is something for everyone.  There is even a vegetarian section of Mexican offerings.  I highly recommend the chicken and chorizo quesedilla.

The prices are very reasonable and the portions are huge–a great value in the sea of Broad Ripple’s over-priced breakfast options.

Biscuits Chicken & Chorizo Quesedilla