Thursday, June 23, 2011

Five Best Things in May

The five best things that happened to Indy's Gastro Gnome in the month of May (in no particular order.)

Well, the five best food and wine related things that happened to the gnome in the month of May. The best thing that happens to the gnome is always the S.O., but she isn't a food or a wine.

1. Dinner at Mesh
I wrote this up earlier because this was such an outstanding meal: Wild Mushroom Strudel, Sea Bass, Graeter's Ice Cream, Miner Family "Simpson Vineyard" Viognier. We returned to Mesh in June before Avenue Q at the Phoenix and we almost had the same dinners. We switched the appetizer and the dessert, just because, but we both had the same entrées and wine.

2. Lunch at Tulip Noir
Stopped in at Tulip Noir by myself after an appointment in their neighborhood, planning to have a late breakfast, and I was disappointed to discover that they had already moved on to lunch. Making the best of things, I ordered what sounded like the best dish on the menu: an Open Faced Fish Sandwich. You could have shot me on the spot it was so good. The fish was Baramundi, also known as Asian Seabass, and it was served over a crispy risotto cake and some miscellaneous vegetables. It was so good I made a point of taking the S.O. there for lunch just so she could have this dish. It's on their spring menu and they may have moved on to summer, but if they have anything like this you have to try it. A bit pricey but the best lunch dish in town.

3. Bananas Foster at Eddie Merlots
We were invited to the after party for the premier of Dumbstruck, the ventriloquist movie at Keystone Landmark Cinema. The party was just dessert and drinks at Eddie Merlots, and of course a chance to mingle with the luminaries who attended the premier. They were making individual Bananas Foster from scratch, and while I had to wait for some ladies who cut in front of me to get mine, it reminded me of going to Chanticleer and having the waiter make dessert at table side.

4. Dinner at H2O Sushi
Maybe the best restaurant in town. Certainly in contention with Recess, Oakley's and R Bistro. We had the Green Edamame, the Grilled Shrimp Tacos, the Crazy "Ho" roll, the Spider Roll (soft shell crab), a bottle of B.R. Cohn Merlot, and the Oatmeal Cookies for dessert. We did a very similar menu with some friends in June which may well be one of the five best things in June.

5. Broad Ripple Art Fair Preview Party
The Indianapolis Art Center's biggest fund raiser each year is the Broad Ripple Art Fair. I never get to go because I am one of the volunteer captains and work the entire fair. The S.O. generally goes without me, but she was going to be out of town this year. However, the Art Center added a Preview Party the night before the fair and we both could go to that! Only some artists booths were open - the areas where the artists could not drive up to their booth to unload - but there were drinks and food and anyone buying a ticket to the preview party got a ticket to the whole fair. We had a great time. The big foodie hit of the night was the Mashed-tini Bar - mashed potatoes, gravy and whatever you wanted to add on in a martini shaped glass! Fun.
The Mashed-tini Bar

The Best of the Best

Best Service: Liz at H2O Sushi

Best Wine: 2003 Chateau Pommard, a red Burgundy we brought home in our luggage from France in 2007

Best Meal: Mesh dinner (above)

Best Dish: Open Face Barraundi Sandwich at Tulip Noir (above)

Best Value: Pizza and a bottle of Super Tuscan wine at MacKenzie River Pizza Co.


  1. WHat kinds of things did they have for you to add to the mashed potatoes? I'm intrigued :)

  2. The expected: cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, and more. Check out the picture on the Indianapolis Art Center's Facebook page under "Preview Party May 20, 2011." There is a good picture of the mashed-tini bar.