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DINING: It's goodbye SI, hello Mesh in Mass Ave makeover

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Dining - A&E

When we finished the meal that I would base this review on, my companion suggested I keep it short and sweet: Yum.

That’s a succinct summary of our trip to Mesh on Mass Avenue (725 Massachusetts Ave., 955-9600), Avon-based Cunningham Restaurant Group’s latest entry to the downtown dining scene. But as a word person, I feel compelled to elaborate.

Located in space that once housed the Scholars Inn Restaurant and Lounge, Mesh exudes a classy-yet-hip vibe: upscale without being pretentious, comfortable without being sloppy.

The service is stellar. The menu is creative. The food is, well, yummy.

 We visited for lunch, and I have to admit being a little confused by the so-called “small plates”—everything from a $9 Wild Mushroom Strudel to a $23 Filet Mignon. Are they appetizers? Meals? We asked our server for recommendations and ended up concentrating on the sandwich half of the menu.

The Slow Cooker ($12) featured melt-in-your-mouth tender braised short ribs, caramelized onion and a suitably subtle horseradish mayo on a crispy French roll. Delicious. I paid an extra $1 to substitute hand-cut fries for the standard sweet potato chips, and enjoyed the Parmesan-dusted potatoes and house-made sweet ketchup nearly as much as the sandwich. My only quibble: The fries could have been a little crispier.

My friend’s Cuban Chicken ($10) was just as good. The tasty take on the traditional Cuban sandwich substituted a juicy chicken breast for the standard—and often dry—roasted pork, marrying that with Gruyere cheese and the expected ham and Cuban bread. Instead of mustard and pickle, Mesh’s version features andouille mayonnaise and mango jalapeno relish, delivering the perfect combination of heat and sweet. She opted for the fresh sweet potato chips, which were as tasty as the fries and a bit healthier.
 

Dining Served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet, the Chocolate Marjolaine is worth saving room for. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

We both qualified for the clean plate club, so we split a dessert to celebrate. Our choice: Chocolate Marjolaine ($7), or “that chocolate thing,” as we called it after our server described an intoxicating fudge-meets-mousse concoction. Served atop an almond cream with a scoop of raspberry sorbet on the side, and chocolate syrup on top, it was heavenly. And it only got better when we realized that what looked like nuts sprinkled on top was actually toffee. Must. Have. More.

 So, yeah, yummy it was. We left more than satisfied—and with time left on my parking meter—thinking that if lunch was that good, we can’t wait to try dinner.•

—Andrea Muirragui Davis

__________

 Second in our month-long series of reviews of new, downtown-ish restaurants.
 

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  • Love Mesh
    I've been for dinner and lunch and I'm headed back for lunch this week. Everything my family and friends and I have tried has been great.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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