New restaurants near me: Indianapolis restaurants to try – IndyStar


Make way for steakhouse, sushi and Italian dishes you should try or reacquaint yourself with.  Some finer dining experiences are new or returning to the Indianapolis area, while another is taking a bow.  
122 E. 22nd St., Indianapolis, 317-426-2045,
After about a month of soft service, the restaurant has its grand opening Dec. 1 in Fall Creek Place, where it brings an upscale Italian dining experience to an area that already has Baby’s, Tamika Catching’s Tea’s Me Café, MashCraft Brewing and Loco Mexican Restaurant & Cantina.
The restaurant is an extension of Broad Ripple’s Ambrosia, which Dan Cage took over from his father-in-law following his college basketball coaching career.
Bocca is less traditional though, with Executive Chef Ricky Martinez, who opened Delicia in the Meridian-Kessler area and then Havana Cigar Lounge in Fishers, heading the kitchen delivering modern Italian cuisine with an extensive wine list and cocktails. Zoe Hayes, formerly of Spoke & Steele and Tinker Street, oversees the bar program.
There are a couple of classics, including the carbonara with juicy pork jowl ($21), and crispy arancini stuffed with Fontina cheese is served atop marinara ($12).
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But Martinez offers up what he calls modern Italian — scallops are prepared with a lemon butter sauce, with a French influence; and a lamb shank is braised in a fashion similar to meats prepared in a Mexican tradition.
He switches out chicken stock for vegetable stock to make some dishes vegetarian.
For desserts, he prepares bombolini fried doughnuts with lemon custard ($12), and puts his own spins on tiramisu and cheesecake.
Right now, Bocca is a dinner-only spot seating about 60 Wednesday through Sunday in the space transformed from the closed Shoefly Public House.
But come spring, an outdoor patio will seat about 80 and Martinez is working on a brunch menu.
There’s also a speakeasy below the restaurant with seating for up to 40 people. 
51 N. Illinois St., Indianapolis, 317-536-0270,
There’s dining, there’s next level, and then there’s near-religious experience.
After shutting early in the pandemic, the downtown Indianapolis location reopened October 29 with the latter; returning with a $1 million renovation and menu items that Indianapolis diners are among the first to experience
They include over-the-top smoking presentations of drink cocktails (open a smoke-filled box to retrieve an old fashioned), shrimp cocktails with massive shrimp ($18), and a s’mores chocolate orb with hickory-smoked marshmallow and vanilla bean ice cream (revealed when melted chocolate is poured over the dessert) ($18) that’s heaven-sent.
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Also new on the menu is a bourbon-soaked, 70 day-aged ribeye finished in a bourbon butter to compete for attention with three Wagyu cuts and other prime steaks.
Melt-in-your-mouth apple cider-glazed thick-cut (think: filet) Duroc bacon ($17), tenderloin sliders, a cauliflower steak and a menu of sushi and sashimi (most at $11-$14) are among items added. 
And there’s now live entertainment — ranging from pianists to jazz trios to vocalists —  in the bar area, which also doubled in size, Wednesday through Saturday.
Leather booths across from the performers and high tops in the bar area are filled quickly. Upfront is a display where diners can watch sushi being prepared. 
Other cocktails with flair include the Heart of the Ocean, which turns purple upon pouring it over a diamond-shaped ice cube. 
For those looking for rare libations, there’s a floor-to-ceiling, double-sided wall of rare spirits.
There are also zero-proof cocktails made with non-alcoholic spirits.
5080 N. State Road 135, Bargersville,
Amid the thorns of chains out south, has landed the chef-inspired Our Table American Bistro.
Chef Joe Miller and his wife Ginger, who launched the dinner spot with her sister and brother-in-law, Laura and Ken Fikes. 
The Millers had dreamed about opening a restaurant since they were newlyweds.
The Ivy Tech culinary-trained Joe Miller worked for 20 years at Meridian Hills Country Club, where he was executive chef before leaving in 2019 to work on Our Bistro.
Then, COVID.
When it finally opened Nov. 23, supporters filled in for his scratch-made dishes, including pastas, steaks, burgers and walleye.
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Miller handmakes the Italian sausage used in his signature lasagna ($19.95) and flatbreads ($14.95). He stuffs olives with jalapeno and blue cheese to accompany the sliders bountiful with beef tenderloin ($24.95) that were hits when he served from a food truck while the restaurant was being built. 
Wine suggestions are listed alongside entrees.
Miller does a special each week. Our Table kicked off with a horseradish-crusted grouper, and team members greeted each guest with complimentary prosecco.
Pastry chef Tanya Smith, formerly of Circle City Sweets, prepares desserts  — an apple pie is served with a house-made brandy caramel sauce ($9) — and all of the breads in house. Plans are to eventually have a section at the host station to sell her breads, macarons and pastries.
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The restaurant, with its Napa Valley farmhouse aesthetic, features a dining area that feels like a study with a fireplace, books, artwork from some of the Millers’ five young children and private dining that has a demo kitchen for classes and wine dinners.
A large outdoor seating area, which also has a fireplace, will open in the spring.
For now, reservations are being taken by phone.
148 S. Illinois St., Indianapolis, 317- 972-4180,
If you haven’t experienced lobster, sushi and dumplings in the intimate dining spaces of this downtown restaurant, or just want to revisit, now’s the time.
The 23-year-old Mikado has its last weekend of service around Dec 18. 
General Manager Connie Lee, whose mother founded the restaurant, said she is still determining whether to serve the following Monday.
For now though, there’s plenty of sushi and sashimi ($4.95-$25), brought in fresh weekly.
850 Massachusetts Ave., Indianapolis,
What better place to meet a variety of people than a hotel bar?
One of Indianapolis’ newest, the apothecary-themed Sundry & Vice, opened in late October on the first floor of the Bottleworks Hotel. 
It offers draft beers, wine, and draft cocktails (most at $11) — all the better to have a drink in your hand within 30 seconds, said owner Stuart King.
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Contemporary house cocktails can be enjoyed at booths, on sofas or in nooks at the chandeliered space, the second location for the Cincinnati-based brand.
The music playlist ranges from hip-hop to indie rock and R&B, depending on the crowd and staff mood.
No bites here, but the bar welcomes customers to bring in their food from The Garage Food Hall nearby.
Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.


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