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Feed Me/Drink Me

Indianapolis food, wine, and commentary. Gratuity not included.

Updated: 2018-03-08T10:05:48.365-05:00


Greg Hardesty's Latest


You guys don't need me for this -- looks like most of you have already found the blog covering Greg Hardesty's latest project, Recess.

The Jordan Family Blog


Mollie Eley has set up a new blog for everyone interested in tracking Gabe's progress. It's also a good place to register support and monitor any ways you can help.

Update: The family has set up a site so friends can track Gabe's progress:

Gabe Jordan -- Stable but Critical


All, lots of emails and phone calls today. Like all of you, I'm just heartbroken about Gabe Jordan, who many know from Goose, the Market. I don't have many more details but I know Chris Eley will let the entire Goose family know how things are going. I'm told Gabe is still critical but stable condition at Wishard. Mollie Eley will be coordinating meals for the family in the coming days.

Channel 6 had an update to the story tonight. Warning, the video is hard to watch as it features the audio from the 911 call.

A friend called me this afternoon and we talked about the hard year the Indianapolis culinary scene has had. Hold Gabe, Brook and their entire family in your prayers.

Mobilize for Patachou


(image) Hey, folks, here's something all of us as food lovers should be able to rally behind. Cafe Patachou will be moving shortly from their current location at 49th and Penn to the renovated Hamaker Pharmacy space on the corner -- just a few doors down. Owner Martha Hoover also plans to open Napolese, a pizzeria in the former Landrigan real estate space facing 49th. Apparently some residents in the neighborhood aren't so excited -- specifically about her request for a variance for outside seating. (There is, we've heard, some concern that the build out will be too much like Moe and Johnny's and turn the quiet corner into a beer-drinking Butler student hang out.)

We kind of think an expansion and addition for a decent local restaurant owner is a good thing. (And she's trying to do the right thing, considering, as Hoover notes, that many restaurants don't even bother to get a proper permit for outside seating,) If you support the expansion, too, please visit the Cafe Patchou website where Hoover has explained the situation in a letter to customers, neighbors, and supporters along provided the address, phone number and email of the city planner to contact. Please write or email to voice your support.

BLINDY Nominee 2009


Hey, kids, I've been prepping for BlogIndiana 2009 which in only its second year has turned into a pretty darn big deal! (Great work, Noah and Shawn!) I present tomorrow and will sit on a panel on Saturday with some pretty darn cool bloggers.

And wow, honor of honors, even with our sparse output this summer, Feed Me/Drink Me was nominated for a BLINDY Award as Best Arts and Entertainment blog. Now, as you know, the full scope of A&E is pretty far outside this blogs purview -- especially compared to Lou Harry's blog at the IBJ. But, as they say, it's an honor just to be nominated. (So, go vote for me, will ya'?) Other nominees include Lou Harry's A&E blog; the fabulous Gabrielle Poshaldo's fashion blog Haute in the Heartland; Nationalities Council, and Saturday Morning Central.

I have no idea how the nomination procedure worked, but will pass it on for the rest of you deserving folks for next year.

Hope to see many of you tomorrow.

Blog Indiana 2009


(image) Hey, kids, BlogIndiana 2009 is quickly approaching August 13-16 on campus at IUPUI.

A few folks have asked why I'm speaking when I clearly haven't been blogging all summer. Well, this blog is nearly 5 years old, and if blog years are like dog years, then I'm an elder -- and you'd let your grandmother speak, wouldn't you? The conference also focuses heavily on social media, something we've been working on quite a bit around here lately. Additionally, there are issues I'll cover that many bloggers might find of interest especially those who have started local review blogs or play in a more national space. Food blogs have come into their own in the past few years and while nationally there have been debates about ethics and codes of conduct, some simpler advice may help some of the new local crop along.

* Review policies and why you need one
* Blogs and main-stream media (an issue especially in the wine-blog world)
* Comments, moderation, managing your community
* Review blog ethics like not accepting free stuff in exchange for reviews (and certainly *not* blackmailing business owners like what recently happened to Crocs-owner George Smith.)

I'll also cover Creative Commons, legal photo usage, and answer all manner of questions (if I can) about practical guidelines for bloggers to protect you, your non-profit or company, and maintain the freedom to create a great blog.

We'll also have room to discuss longer-term blogging issues such as building your brand, bloggers block, finding a voice, thinking about why you're really doing it, and creating room for experimentation.

Conference organizers Noah Coffey and Shawn Plew have a heck of a three-day event planned with special sessions for non-profits, higher education, and a whole day on social media (with a food panel featuring Jeff Lefevere of, Heather Sokol of, Kirsten Eamon-Shine of MiddleWestMeals, Heather Willard of FoodHussy and Feed Me/Drink Me.

Hope to see you there!

Wine Bar Deja Vu @ The Conrad


(image) IM's The Dish reports today that the Conrad has leased the Vitesse space to new owners who plan to try the wine bar concept again -- this time called Tastings. Deja vu? When the Conrad opened Vitesse with the wine-by-the-glass concept, within weeks the list had been mined for all the good stuff by the bottle and very little of the extensive by-the-glass list was actually on offer.

Of course, this one will be different, says Indianapolis Monthly. Says the Dish: "Tastings makes use of an Enomatic wine-tasting system, which seals bottles with oxygen to preserve the remainder of the bottle." What? Hey, I'm just repeating what they said :-) Actually, the Enomatic system which many of you have seen sucks oxygen *out* of the bottle. (Note to Disher: Oxygen and wine are not generally friends.)

But the real tidbit? Wine by the bottle will be for sale at the retail price -- and, as is (we think) legal in Indiana, you should be able to take home any unfinished wine in a bottle (in any restaurant.) Several bars such as the Chatterbox have retail carry-out licenses, but this will be the first I know of locally to sell for consumption at the lower mark-up.

It's a concept that can work -- or at least one I've been a little in love with since the old Plumpjack in San Francsico took advantage of their retail store pricing and became one of the best restaurants in town. The future owners of this particular Tastings who are from Indianapolis contend there aren't any other bars like this one (except for the other Tastings, I'd wager.) Well, I might disagree, having just seen this concept in at least one other city. Ultimately, I hope they can deliver and the list is good. Wouldn't it be great to enjoy a $50 bottle of pinot that's *really* a $50 bottle of pinot?


**Not exactly sure how the business deal is working (the press release from the Conrad put no new light on it.) However, to make a correction, the future owners are local while the chain itself is based in St. Petersburg. The Conrad positions it as a "store" in the press release with food and outdoor seating but it's unclear if it will be a "store" with bottles out for purchase or if they're using "store" as the industry term for franchise location. Vitesse closes July 30 and Tastings should open in October.

** Mass Ave Wine Shoppe right here in River City pours wine by the glass and has food and seating options. Not sure if they allow you to purchase a bottle at retail price and consume it on-site. Will check.

**A huge shout-out to an attorney friend who spent a boatload of time yesterday searching and verifying Indiana's carry-out laws. The conclusion? It's not illegal to carry unfinished wine out of an establishment (and possibly proven legal, as well.) However, note that open container laws apply so check the requirements for more details. (More discussion and links attached to the FaceBook discussion of this post. Or email me for more info.)

Where I've been and what I've been doing


Hey, all -- thanks for your patience while I've taken a nice, long summer blogging break. After 4.5 years of FM/DM, I'm due, right? I mean, who wants to keep doing the same thing after it gets old, right? Besides, you didn't really miss me, did you? Most of you know the news from the past few weeks:* Greg Hardesty is shooting for a Sept 1 open date for his new place at 49th and College* Cafe Nora closed* Eli and Nicole sold H2O Sushi* Ambrosia announces a 2nd location downtown in the old J.Gumbo's spaceAdditionally:*Nicole Taylor's pasta shop is open and pretty awesome*IMA very quietly stopped allowing Friday night movie patrons to bring their own beer or wine (but you can buy it on site, natch)* The farmer's market season is in full swing. (Why can't we have better markets? Cheese, cured meats, olives, rotisserie chicken with potatoes covered in drippings?)* I cured and dried my first bresaola. Next up: Saucisson sec.* Did I mention the two weeks tasting wine and laying by a pool in Bandol? I'm now a certified Mouvedre-head.So, why the break? I'll be honest, with FM/DM, things were getting a little nutty. My inbox was regularly full of PR requests, press releases, review requests, and demands for links. Frankly, I dislike how many restaurant owners and wine people were pressuring my friends and colleagues to get me into your restaurant to cover your new menu or wine dinner. Add to that a general dissatisfaction with fine dining here in Indianapolis and the last few months would have been a piss-and-moan factory around here anyway. The disappointing food scene, the poor quality that diners in Indy demand, and all the new food blogs celebrating how great everything is, ugh.Lots of people are talking about food here but few have anything useful to say. Everyone has a food blog, column or newspaper section. And while people love to read about food and restaurants, too many blogs are poorly written ego-fests with glowing "reviews" of crap I wouldn't feed a dog. (And yes, I'm well aware that FM/DM has at every turn been one of those things :-) But come on, people, can't we do better?! Can't you offer some analysis? Some useful information? Why doesn't anyone work to have something original to say? Not every restaurant is great and we should be telling people about it. No one but customers -- that's us -- is going to hold these owners, chefs, and managers accountable. No one is going to demand that they be better. And until "just good enough" is no longer the norm, it won't change. (Come on store owners, don't you realize that every high end eater in this city orders from Artisinal or Murray's for every dinner party? Doesn't that bother you? Do you *think* there might be a market if you were expand your cheese selections beyond the boring and bring in better quality and different stuff? Every time I go to a dinner or party and something is truly original and different, I found it came by mail from outside Indy.)Mix my rant well with a general boredom about food in our fair city, a frustration of the limited selection and quality, and a fascination wtih microblogging tools like Facebook and Twitter (@feedmedrinkme) where I've been posting quite often, and the result is a long blog silence from me.What's next? Well, I'm still a blogger and the fabulous Noah Coffey and Shawn Plew once again have asked me to share some expertise at the BlogIndiana 2009 conference. More on that in another post. I'm still a big eater -- although, frankly, there are so few restaurants I even want to go to anymore, I don't go out nearly as much. I'm lucky to have a large circle of friends who tend to cook, eat in, and share incredible wines. I'm working with an incredible team to lead one of Indy's excellent fine dining societies (Viva la Chaine!) with incredible events. Take heart, I'm even more of a food snob than ever. Best of all, I'm working on a cool new ch[...]

Spicy Updates -- Thanks for pitching in!


(image) I knew our readers would step up to help -- and this spice drive has been truly impressive. Thanks all for helping with the pantry at Second Helpings! There are still a few more items up for grabs and we're planning on seeing you tomorrow night for the Meet and Greet. Snacks, wine, and a look at Second Helpings' home are all on tap.

Thursday, May 21
5:15-6:30 p.m.
Second Helpings -- Eugene and Marilyn Glick Center
1121 Southeastern Ave(off Keystone)


Here's the updated list of what's been donated so far! Excellent work!

Cheryl: 1 Black Pepper
Steve and Twyla: 1 Rosemary, 1 Rubbed Sage
Maggie: 1 Tarragon
Andy: 1 Garlic or Chili
Nikki: 1 Black Pepper
Andrea/Circle City Socialites: 1 Crushed Red Pepper (of course the roller derby gals pick "Crushed" Red Pepper!)
Vicki: working with vendors
Kirsten: 2 Cumin
Renee: 1 Lavender, 1 Clove and 1 nutmeg
Shawn: $10
Chuck Matsumoto: $20
Cheryl Pleak-Copeland: 1 Oregono, 1 Basil
Erin Day: 1 Garlic, 1 Parsley

Three Latest and Best -- Making My Way Back Edition


(image) Cheeses at Euphoria: Whether snacking or tackling a full menu, you must save room for a cheese course at Euphoria. German, Italian, French and US cheeses, there's Brillat-Savarin you'll need a spoon to eat, Port Salut, and Boucheron (a personal favorite, the gooier the better), and don't forget the Humboldt Fog, the 5-year aged Gouda, and the Robiola Bosina.

Mary Beth Poe Catering: OK, so, I'm a little in love with the sweet cheese tarts with candied nuts all nestled in the phyllo cups. Also, the shrimp wrapped in bacon. Plus, you guys make great mint julips. That is all.

A Little Scotch Egg Love: Yes, yes, I know, start up the "you only go to the same places engines", but who can't resist giving the guys a MacNiven's a little Scotch Egg love. Honestly. They're just awesome. (I recently read a review where someone dinged the Scotch Eggs because they're *fried*. Excuse me?)

Two Minute Warning: The Capitol Grille at the Conrad has had a couple of tough weeks losing GM Greg Van Winkle and apparently some kitchen staff. Friday night was packed but with surprisingly slow service. We were already wondering if the meal could be saved when our steaks arrived -- all painfully overcooked. Back they went. Of course, the next round were very rare, but we were out of time (and patience) to send them back for a third try. (We now know where to get a good black-and-blue steak in Indy.) On the plus side, the company was excellent and we had incredible wines thanks to our dinner companions' wine locker (Chapellet, Van Strasser, and Tikal, oh yes). It was clearly a tough night for the kitchen (and accountants, I'd suspect) but in the competitive downtown steakhouse market, customers expect a premium restaurant to nail it every time. Our evening ended on a high note with Ryan, John, and a bottle of bubbly at the Oceanaire. (The Capitol Grille web site says "be wined, dined, and dazzled." Ouch.)

Congratulations, R Bistro!


Bon Anniversaire to the venerable RBistro celebrating 8 years in business on Thursday. Celebrating seasonal ingredients, local when possible, and an ever-changing (like clockwork each week), RBistro is one of our independent success stories. Kudos for Regaina delivering consistently great food and making her concept work.

Thanks and Keep 'Em Coming


Thanks for the RSVP's and commitments to spices we've received so far! As Kirsten and I update the list, keep considering what you'll donate, then call Ben and do it. Whether you donate or not, we look forward to seeing you at the Meet and Greet next week. As of 5/14 we have confirmation for the following spices:

Cheryl: 1 Black Pepper
Steve and Twyla: 1 Rosemary, 1 Rubbed Sage
Maggie: 1 Tarragon
Andy: 1 Garlic or Chili
Nikki: 1 Black Pepper
Andrea/Circle City Socialites: 1 Crushed Red Pepper (of course the roller derby gals pick "Crushed" Red Pepper!)
Vicki: working with vendors
Kirsten: 2 Cumin
Renee: 1 Lavender, 1 Clove and 1 nutmeg
Shawn: $10
Chuck Matsumoto: $20

Check out the full list and contact Second Helpings to help out! See you Thursday in person!

Thursday, May 21
Second Helpings
Snacks, wine, free

Service Arrangements for Joseph Allford


Services for Chef Joseph Allford will be held Saturday, May 16, 2009 at 4:30 p.m. at the Condo and Son Funeral Home in Wilkinson, with Rev. Jenny Charles officiating. Friends may call at the funeral home Saturday, May 16, 2009 from 2:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Interment will occur at a later date. (From the Star obit.)

One Less Incredible Indianapolis Chef -- Joseph Allford


As Arthur Black reported on his blog, Always Thirsty, I can confirm the death of Joseph Allford, pastry chef-extraordinaire, yesterday at his home. Joseph was the man behind the pastries, cakes, and chocolates at Peterson's for many years before leaving in March 2008. He had moved into the teaching at the Chef's Academy although his I hear his classes as Frasiers' were always crowd pleasers. He was young, vibrant, and made a mean chocolate cake. He'll be greatly missed. From The Chef's Academy:

While attending Indiana University, Chef Joseph began working part-time at the Encore Café. After two years at the Encore, it became clear that working in a professional kitchen would allow Joseph to explore his creative side as well as earn a living. After a class focusing on Reay Tannahill’s ‘The History of Food’, Joseph made the decision to continue his education at the New England Culinary Institute. Leaving the world of Psychology and Film Studies behind, he entered into the challenging world of professional cooking.

The two years spent in Vermont set the stage for Joseph to begin traveling and cooking internationally. After an internship at Indianapolis’ Something Different, Joseph moved to County Sligo, Ireland to work in the esteemed Cromleach Lodge. Working at one of the top Country Hotels in Ireland became the pivotal point in Joseph’s culinary career. Rising from a commis chef to the head chef de cuisine in a matter of two years, Joseph gained invaluable culinary experience. Spending time in patisseries and chocolate shops in Brussels, Cologne, London and Montreal opened the world of patisserie to Chef Joseph.

Upon returning to the United States, Joseph began working in several of Indianapolis’ top restaurants. The Kendall Inn gave Joseph the chance to have his first dessert menu. Tavola di Tosa allowed Joseph to perfect his technique in fine Italian and European pastries. Being asked to join the staff at Peterson’s Restaurant provided him with an opportunity to create dessert menus influenced by seasonality and regionalism. Indianapolis Monthly, Intake Magazine, Indianapolis Dine Magazine and the Indianapolis Star have recognized his award winning dessert menus.

Since 2004, Chef Joseph has been working at Peterson’s Restaurant, teaching culinary classes at Frasier’s Gourmet food shop and providing clients all over the United States with private catered events and wedding cakes. Chef Joseph taught at the Art Institute International Culinary School before joining The Chef’s Academy in 2008, using his talents to teach in the Pastry Arts program.

A Spicy Feed Me/Drink Me Meet and Greet!


(image) Hey, kids – I know it's been a long break but at little face-to-face get together is the perfect way to come back! Mark your calendars for next Thursday, May 21 as the fabulous Kirsten of Middle West Meals and I team up with Second Helpings to host a community get-together.

Here's the deal: In order for their culinary students to learn, Second Helpings -- the city's premier food rescue and retraining program -- needs to stock the pantry. Kirsten and I think filling this need is right up the alley of most of our readers.

Which herb or spice will you add to the Second Helpings pantry?

$35 Donation: Black Pepper (need 2), Mint
$25 Donation: Cumin (need 4) (Kirsten – 2), Oregano, Crushed Red Peppers
$20 Donation: Garlic tubs (need 2), Thyme leaves (need 4), Ground Chili (need 6), Tarragon
$14 Donation: Cloves (Renee), Rosemary, Cajun Seasoning, Nutmeg (Renee)
$10 Donation: Marjoram, Basil, Parsley or Dill
$8 Donation: Rubbed Sage, Coriander, Savory, Cinnamon, Chives, Fennel or Lavender (Renee)

Want to sponsor a spice? Contact Ben Shine via email at ben at or 317-632-2664, ext. 29, and reserve your spice of choice. (Plus, email me and I'll note your pledge, too!) Then join us on May 21, you'll get a chance to see Second Helpings in action, celebrate our effort, or just plain meet some fellow bloggers, food writers, chefs and food lovers in person!

There will be snacks (courtesy of Class 54 of the Second Helpings Culinary Job Training program, as well as the Best Chocolate in Town and Cabot Creamery) wine, and a chance to take a look around.

What to choose? I chose some of my favorites to cook with – Cloves, Nutmeg and Fennel. Hope to see you there!

5:15-6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 21
Eugene and Marilyn Glick Center
1121 Southeastern Ave(off Keystone)


April in Paris Dinner, Sunday, April 26


If you've attended in the past, you know Ivy Tech's Culinary Program's annual April in Paris dinner is nearly as huge an event for the students -- who plan, prepare and serve the seven-course meal -- as it is for guests. (The event serves as a fundraiser for the Hospitality Administration program funding scholarships and study abroad.) Tickets and more info available online.

April in Paris
5:00-8:00 p.m., Sunday, April 26
The Fountains Banquet Facility (Carmel)
$125 per person

Weekend Events Open Thread!


(image) First, let me give a hearty welcome to our new readers/subscribers who found us throughrecent write-ups in and the IndyStar. I typically cover a bit more local restaurant news, cooking, and my own eating adventures than I have lately, this week has been a flurry of events. Late April is one of the most busy food times of the year!

I haven't heard much about last weekend's Chef's Alliance dinner at The Oceanaire but will try to get some news in soon. While last year, all of the same events landed on the same weekend, this year they're a bit better spread out over three. This weekend includes Midwest Wine Experience (tonight), the Biergarten opening at Das Rat (the Rathskellar), the Slow Food event at RBistro and Ivy Tech's April in Paris both on Sunday. The local Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevine is in France on their group trip and the spring craziness ends with the Chaine des Rotisseurs Rites of Spring Elevation and Induction at Meridian next weekend, on May 3. (That's after two days of Derby Parties, of course!) (Huge kudos and a giant thanks to Chef Dan Dunville for accepting a challenge and creating not only a terrific menu for us but rallying his staff at such short notice. I believe it will one of our best events ever.)

Dont' forget one event in the non-food related column: tonight and tomorrow the annual Stutz Open Studio nights -- always a great way to enjoy art and run in to lots of people you know.

So, how about it? Any reports on fine dining events so far this spring?

A Little Bird...Tweeted, Twittered, Tweeked...


(image) Image via Wikipedia

Sounds like plans are moving forward for an eventual food co-op grocery store for members. Don't know where they are on support, but they've planned stops on their spring member drive at popular festivals and events. They're also planning a May member meeting. Updates on their blog, Indy Food Coop.