My Coquille St. Jacque

When I find interesting food shops or restaurants I think it’s probably of interest to all my wino friends. If you’re a foodie, there is a good chance you like wine. If you’re an oenophile, there’s an even better chance you love good food.

The near-downtown area called Fountain Square in Indianapolis has been an up-and-coming region for too long. I remember back around the turn of the century (does that make me sound old?), hearing that Fountain Square was the next big thing. Unfortunately, the infrastructure and overall appearance of the area was a mess.

The bar is open to the dining area – note the old typewriters above the booze

Indy’s cultural trail – a walking trail through the city highlighting culture and diversity – finally found its way south of downtown and now Fountain Square is hopping.

A short walking tour Saturday afternoon was delightful capped off with a fabulous dinner at Bluebeard.

A friend and I walked a great antique shop, eclectic home decorating business, tasted mead at the New Day Meadery.

I had visited Pure Eatery on a couple of occasions and we decided to stop in for a drink. We each had a nice glass of Malbec and then decided to split an appetizer. We settled on the pita BBQ chicken pizza and it was fabulous. I suggested we simply order another and forget dinner, but that would have been wrong. Turns out, that would have been very wrong.

I’m one who is always curious and cautious about the greatest, hip, new places. Bluebeard has been getting largely very positive press and reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.

We started by sharing the grilled bread appetizer with a small tray of herbed butter, roasted garlic and olive oil and a anchovy spread.

I had scallops (flown in fresh) or “Coquille St. Jacque” – scallops, chanterelle mushrooms, grape tomatoes, leeks, gruyere, and Pea Shoots. It was a medium plate for $18.

My dinner companion had the frog legs in white wine and garlic, parmesan and butter for $15. I thought the scallops were some of the best I’ve ever had, which is saying something sitting in landlocked Indy. My friend loved her frog legs but were a bit heavy with garlic for my taste.

That’s blueberrys between the yummy pudding and rosemary cookies.

We elected to share a dessert and it was really great. We had chocolate and valpolicella pudding with rosemary shortbread chocolate cookies and cocoa nibs. ($9)

With one cocktail and a quartino of Spain’s Ostatu blanc, the total bill was $95 before tip and well worth it for this gastronomical gymnastics meet in your mouth.

The restaurant has suffered some criticism for service in online reviews but we were very well taken care of during our Saturday night visit.

The accompanying bakery offers the kind of hard-crusted breads that are just hard to find in Indiana. I brought home a half loaf of multigrain for $3.50.

The restaurant is beautiful and quirky. It’s decorated with old books and older manual typewriters. They have a small, medium and large plate concept. The smalls are similar to other restaurants and ranged $11-$18. The medium plates are considered a single serving and were $15-$18 Saturday. The large (two portions) plates ran from $25-$35 the night we were there.

Bluebeard also features a very inventive cocktail lineup and one of the best wine lists I’ve seen in Indianapolis.

Send comment or questions to: hewitthoward@gmail.com

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