Friday, January 12, 2007

Three Latest and Best

ShelBi Street Bistro: What a find in Fountain Square! Perfect little pizzas, great sandwiches, and rich salads grace the menu at this eclectic but sweet cafe across the hall from the Fountain Square Diner. And bonus, they do the food at the rooftop in the summer as well!

Fried Oysters at Mo's: We all know what Mo's, A Place for Steaks does well. I mean, they dry age their own Prime. But my new favorite dish? The fried oysters in a blue cheese sauce on a bed of spinach. Dinner in a bowl. Don't forget the bread for sopping.

Food of the Week: Pre-cooked steelcut oats from Trader Joe's sweetened with a little maple syrup and brown sugar in the frozen food section. Each box has two pre-cooked, pre-measured portions of this yummy, breakfast goodness. Just pop a hockey puck of this hearty oatmeal in the microwave, and viola! Healthy!

Two-Minute Warning: Last night, with every downtown bar filled with Pacers fans, we scooted over to Vitesse for some peace and quiet -- that and a healthy dose of snark since we knew what we were getting into. First, there was no wines-by-the-glass list. They were "doing inventory" and not able to tell us what they had (which is difficult when, you know, selling wine is what you, um, do.) Vitesse is supposed to be known for their massive by-the-glass list although it was only 43 at my last count. When we weren't impressed with a few names our waiter rattled off in the Cabernet department, we finally gave in and asked for the wine list by the bottle settling on a nice Benton Hill Pinot Noir. It arrived, he doffed the screw cap with a flourish (it really does take something out of the wine presentation), then proceeded to pour us both full glasses. As we commented that we hoped no taste was necessary (because neither my dining companion nor I are shy), he quickly covered the mistake by agreeing with our suggestion that screw caps reduce the risk of spoilage. Then there was the menu. Not only was the menu laughably typo-ridden ("crustini" anyone?) but what we ordered was not what we got. After we worked our way through the bagged mixed greens salad (complete with brown ends) that was billed as "frissee and arugula", we moved on to the pork belly and macaroni and cheese which was really a very non-fatty piece of center cut pork chop over a mac/cheese that turned into an oily mess in the bowl. The poor waiter -- a victim of poor training and worse management -- was stuck in the middle. When we said, really more his information than anything else, "you realize this isn't pork belly, right?" He said, somewhat sheepishly "I know." My only question was "then why in the hell didn't you tell us?" Geeze. They've got problems over there. But hey, without the Conrad who else would we complain about. That's part of the fun. We drank our wine in a couple of cushy leather chairs out of the hustle and bustle of the city enjoying the nice little pinot on a rainy night. More on the menu later.

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