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I gotta’ have it

Indy restaurants, bars offer specialty items

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Posted: Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:56 am

Visitors in town for Super Bowl XLVI will get a chance to taste what we Hoosiers get to feast on. Indiana is known for its pork, but our restaurants serve avant garde dishes and cool drinks that can go head to head with any large city.

We do a lot of things well, but many restaurants stand out from the pack with signature food items and drinks. Here are a few downtown restaurants and bars that have menu items that you gotta' have.

St. Elmo Steak House

127. S. Illinois St.

St. Elmo Steak House has been a landmark in downtown Indianapolis since 1902, serving steak, seafood and chops to residents and visitors. Named after the patron saint of sailors, the restaurant has earned a national reputation for its exceptional food, drinks and service. As a traditional steak house, diners must order their favorite cut of meat. But before the entree, be sure to sample the restaurant's signature shrimp cocktail, which was ranked by The Travel Channel as the "world's hottest meal." Also this weekend, make sure to take advantage of their award-winning, 20,000-bottle wine cellar and eclectic cocktails inspired by the Super Bowl.

Indianapolis Colts Grille

110 W. Washington St.

Sports fans will absolutely love the Indianapolis Colts Grille. It is said to be the first restaurant connected to the Indianapolis Colts. This food-focused restaurant is more like an upscale sports bar offering creative and flavorful food. Sure, they offer wings, nachos and pork tenderloin sandwiches, however, Indianapolis Colts Grille provides awesome, creative food for hungry fans.

The TV show "Man vs. Food" needs to come to Indy to check out its "Ginormous BLT Double Grilled Cheese Ranch Burger," which is an all-beef half pound burger topped with ranch dressing and stuffed between two grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches. To wash down this or any burger, salad, sandwich or steak, they have approximately 40 draft beers, 32 wines and 32 specialty drinks, sangrias and martinis that pay homage to sports and the city. Try a specialty drink like the XLI, Lucas Oil or Soldiers and Sailors; the Hoosier martini; or the White River litre shot.

Chef Joseph's

at the Connoisseur Room

115 E. Ohio St.

Named after one of the most forward-thinking chefs in town, Chef Joseph's at the Connoisseur Room is a fairly new restaurant where Chef Joseph Heidenreich serves up an eclectic mix of world-fusion flavors, along side dishes with a down-home Indiana flair. Come in for lunch and get the Local Smoking Goose veal brat with onions, beer cheese and mustard, served with warm house made potato chips. For dinner, try the baked short rib pie with peas, mushrooms, roasted potato and demi glaze with a pastry crust. Grilled scallops served on a bed of polenta and green beans in a lobster sauce and the orange sesame duck wings are also served with chic ease.

Café Patachou

225 W. Washington St.

Café Patachou is the epitome of farm-to-table dining offering some of the freshest food in town. For example, they use antibiotic and hormone free, naturally fed and free to roam Indiana chicken and roast turkey fresh daily containing no added preservatives, coloring agents and chemicals. Bread is made from hand-milled flour, and is baked locally. Have a productive morning and afternoon with an award-winning gourmet breakfast and lunch with specialties unique to this "student union for adults." The chicken salad sandwich is quite popular, but the claim to fame is the namesake omelettes, particularly "The Omelette You Can't Refuse" made with Indiana bacon, cheddar, sour cream and potatoes. The good news is that if the downtown location is too busy, they have other locations around the city.

Shapiro's Delicatessen

808 S. Meridian St.

Since 1905, Shapiro's Delicatessen's motto has been, "Cook good, serve generously." Maybe that's why USA Today listed it as one of the Top 10 delis in the country. There are numerous original home cooked items to choose from. Make sure one of those items is the critically acclaimed corned beef sandwich. Follow up your lunch with a melt-in-your mouth dessert, breads, cookies and many other delights from the full-service bakery.

Ball and Biscuit

331 Massachusetts Ave.

Ball and Biscuit is arguably one of the coolest bars in town. True to its eclectic surroundings, the Biscuit has a vibe that is simultaneously vintage and modern, laid back and sophisticated. The rotating menu features craft beers, boutique wines and vintage cocktails, carefully paired with small plates of food. What makes it unique is while they serve contemporary drinks, they specialize in hand-crafted cocktails from 1860-1930, the Prohibition era such as the Sidecar and The Fauxhemian.

Kilroy's Bar ‘N' Grill

201 S. Meridian St.

What makes Kilroy's so awesome is that it is just steps away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center. This restaurant and bar is also a sports lover's delight because it has 47 flat screen TVs to watch the Big Game. While you're cheering for your favorite team, snack on the famous hand-rolled stuffed breadsticks. Since this is a bar, of course there are plenty of drinks. They especially take pride in their signature shooter, bombs and 20 flavors of Long Island's iced teas that come in 32 oz. pitchers. Cheers!

The Libertine Liquor Bar

38 E. Washington St.

The Libertine is one of Indy's newest, hot bars. It offers small plates and a wide range of specialty drinks. A few must-haves include: The Gun in the Glove Box, spiced rum and Cocchi vermouth; Way Worn Road, bourbon, lemon, thyme and black pepper syrup; and the Fernet Flip, Fernet Branca, hibiscus and ginger liquor, house-made grenadine with a fresh farm egg.


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