Last week in this column, I wrote about Cerulean, the joyfully creative new culinary addition to downtown that comes to Indy via an unlikely route through Winona Lake. I’d have no trouble declaring it the best new restaurant in the area except for one thing: Late Harvest Kitchen also opened in 2012.
Late Harvest Kitchen is the outstanding-in-different-ways north-side eatery where, in the hands of chef/owner Ryan Nelson, cod and cream transform into addicting Brandade, where Potatoes Minneapolis is perfectly at home, and where Sticky Toffee Pudding would make Willy Wonka drool.
Mix lunch at Cerulean with dinner at Late Harvest and all you need to complete a perfect dining day is breakfast … and now we have Eggshell Bistro at Carmel City Center.
But that would leave out Bluebeard, the oasis on the Cultural Trail between downtown and Fountain Square. And Punch Burger, the line-’em-up-for-lunch newbie that proves customers have no beef with new sandwich shops if the quality is high. (No comment on the influx of Jack in the Box.)
Those five stand-outs weren’t the only local additions to the menu, though. While there are too many to be exhaustive here, newcomer highlights this year included sandwich purveyor Fermenti Artisan perking up City Market, Lino’s Coffee doing the same for Speedway and B’s Po-Boy adding New Orleans flavor to Fountain Square.
Some newcomers are as important for where they are as what they serve. Ralston’s turned the sadly empty Agio space into a vibrant hangout. Sabbatical spruced up the people-watching options in Broad Ripple. The food court at the Fashion Mall got a much-needed, transformational makeover, opening the doors to some new-in-the-market options. And Latitude 39 reminded us that, yes, you can find new uses for an abandoned multiplex.•