Saturday, August 06, 2005

Eating Too Much!

In the past couple of weekends, I've popped in for food/cocktails at a few new places and old favorites. I'm always heartened to see great food happening in Indy:

The Music Mill: Think Birdy's for grownups who don't like scary bathrooms. This place has potential -- with a great bar and restaurant space, a well air conditioned live music space and a good club vibe. Finally -- a live music venue in Indy where one doesn't feel like they're slumming.

Elements: I hadn't been to Elements in a while after some uninspired and unimpressive meals there when they first opened. But last weekend, it wasn't bad - the food was well done and wines good. Greg is focusing on light, traditional dishes with a hint of Asian inspiration (like nori in the duck spring roll). All in all very nice. And, by the way, one of the nicest small wine lists I've seen in town along with (and I don't say this lightly) the best dessert wine list. I liked their dessert menu (so tired of creme brulee) which was original and had lots of fresh fruit. The execution wasn't top notch but still very good. The service has come along somewhat since opening, but front-of-house training is still not one of Greg Hardesty's strong suits. I was happy not to be sitting next to the table where the busboy was changing a tablecloth in full bedsheet-flapping splendor (watched by a manager slouching against the bar.) All in all, though, good -- and I'll go back.

Oakley's Bistro: Ahh, time for our monthly dinner at Oakley's trying just about everything on the menu. I still believe Steve is doing the best cooking in Indianapolis, although he must be raising the bar because a few are getting close. Everything was terrific (as usual) and while I chafe against the exceedingly traditional dessert menu, I find it *incredibly* well executed. Steve may have the highest ratio of CIA chefs in his kitchen now of any restaurant in the area (at least 2.) Also, Lisa has a great way of finding wines that drink for more than the money -- best at our table, the Black Oak Pinot Noir and BR Cohn Cabernet -- in quartinos which is a great idea. Chef Oakley is cooking at Cakebread Cellars on Sept. 12 and 13 which happens to be a time when I'll be in the SF Bay Area so I may stop in.

1 comment:

john clark said...

Some fine insights into a couple of good (but sometimes uneven) restaurants. You know, I still haven't been to Music Mill, maybe because I lump it with the soon-to-be-retooled Vizion as a place unwelcome to the chronically unhip. I'll give it a try.

BTW: I stumbled across your site, braingirl, as I was seeking info about the new owner of Malibu (the dark side of thinktankery is constantly prospecting for funding). Nice blog, I flatter myself perhaps to think that it reveals a critical sensibility similar to mine. I've been too busy the past few months to cruise new eateries and drinkeries, mainly using to keep myself informed about where I need to go. I'll now probably start trusting your judgments as well. Thanks.