Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by CBS4Indy.com contributor Dustin Heller
As America’s “Father of Modern Horticulture”, Liberty Hyde Bailey, once stated: “A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them.” Our journey through this great food city of ours finds us this week at The Garden Table, an eatery which exemplifies the essence of this great quote. With locations in two of the hottest spots in town (Broad Ripple and Mass Ave), The Garden Table is a force to be reckoned with on the Indy food scene. They are a local eatery and fresh juicery serving up the best that our local farmers and dry goods purveyors have to offer.
The Garden Table opened its first location in Broad Ripple (908 E. Westfield Blvd) back in 2015 and quickly became a hot spot for the ever-growing brunch crowd. The garden toast with mashed avocado has become a thing of legend around these parts. It wasn’t until January of this year, that they decided to open a second location on the ultra-trendy Mass Ave (342 Massachusetts Ave) in downtown Indy. If that wasn’t enough, the Mass Ave location is serving up a dinner menu that is a foodie’s dream.
Since I’ll be touching on the dinner options in my “can’t miss” list, let me tell you about the Mass Ave location. The best way for me to describe the interior is a breath of fresh air; from the oversized windows overlooking the busy sidewalk to the full-sized bar centered around the beautiful décor. The lighting is vibrant and inviting with gorgeous lanterns surrounding the bar and massive globe lights hanging from the ceiling. Trust me, this is a place that you’re going to want to frequent often.
Let’s now get into the real meat and potatoes of this column…the food. I feel like the phrase farm-to-table gets overused in today’s food circles, but I love the phrase when it’s relevant, and it is without question relevant when talking about The Garden Table. They use locally grown and harvested natural ingredients in all of their dishes; and with an ever-changing menu, you can be guaranteed freshness with every visit. As interesting and delicious as the dinner entrees are, I couldn’t get past how big the portions were. I have a big appetite, but there is no chance I’m going home hungry with these heaping helpings. Dinner is front and center at The Garden Table, and here are my four “can’t miss” items from the current menu.
- Andouille Poblano Pasta…Homemade pasta is my jam, and the pappardelle in this dish is as good as any you’ll find anywhere. The fun doesn’t stop at the pasta, they toss it with andouille sausage, shrimp, asparagus, bell pepper, Brussel, Zucchini, squash, parmesan, and their delicious cream sauce. Talk about bang for your buck! If you’re in the market for a dish that looks pretty and tastes delicious (who wouldn’t be?), look no further. Who’s down with APP, yeah, you know me!
- Duck Confit Tortilla…I know I mentioned the portions earlier, but there may have just been two ducks harmed in the making of this dish. This is exactly what I’m hoping for every time I order tacos in a restaurant…but rarely get. The duck confit is piled high onto their house made tortilla and topped with all sorts of goodness. The crown jewel of that goodness is the huitlacoche, aka corn smut. The name might not be appetizing, but tasting is believing.
- Pesto Couscous…Any dish that has pesto right there in the name, I’m all in! Get a load of this…perfectly cooked salmon filet with corn, roasted spaghetti squash, braised collard greens, asparagus, and crunchy garbanzo beans all served with light, fluffy couscous. Couscous? Yesyes!
- Mediterranean Salad…I’m dipping back into the couscous bucket here, but this salad is legit. The mains on the menu are more suited to my appetite, but this salad is too good to ignore. It’s mixed greens with tabbouleh (Google it), couscous, feta, roasted tomato, Kalamata olives, and topped off with house made greek dressing. Add the smoked salmon if you want to crank it all the way to an 11 (Spinal Tap reference for the younger readers).
The dinner options at The Garden Table are exquisite culinary creations that will tickle the fancy of the true foodies out there. If you haven’t been to The Garden Table for dinner yet, you need to right that wrong asap, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still have brunch there too. Why not just make a day of it and do both!
Tell Dustin your thoughts about The Garden Table. You can follow him on Instagram @eatindywatchindie.
Check out more restaurants featured in our Foodie Spotlight section.