IBJOpinion

DINING: New Conrad eatery offers a taste of the good life

Tastings

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Dining - A&E

Have you ever felt hopelessly unhip? Undeniably out of touch? Welcome to my world.

Given my near-constant state of cluelessness, it wasn’t a big surprise to find myself wandering around Tastings (50 W. Washington St., 423-2400) on my first visit, trying to figure out where to start. If not for the friendly server who pointed me to a table and a menu, I might still be trying to figure it out.

The wine bar, which replaced the Vitesse lounge on the first floor of the Conrad Indianapolis, isn’t your run-of-the-mill hotel bar. For one thing, it’s well lit. There’s ample outdoor seating when the weather’s right. And patrons can help themselves to the booze.

Tastings’ schtick is self-serve machines that dispense two-ounce samples of more than 100 wines. Patrons load a pre-paid card at a cash register, grab a glass and try whatever strikes their fancy—after swiping their cards, of course. Prices range from $2.50 (for vintages that run $18 per bottle) to $50 (for $375-a-bottle liquid gold).

I’m not a wine drinker, but I brought a friend who was impressed by the selection and happy with the choices she made on the low end of the spectrum.

My focus was the food. We tried three dishes from the appetizer-dominated menu. Call it tapas or bistro plates or starters, but I know appetizers when I see them.

In my experience, such small plates typically are served as they are prepared, so they often don’t arrive all at once. And I’m OK with that, since it means I’m not faced with a tableful of food that’s going to get cold before I can eat it. Our food not only arrived simultaneously—completely overwhelming the tiny table—but it also was already lukewarm. We ate it all anyway.

Our most intriguing selection was the Chicken Brie and Grape flatbread pizza ($9), which featured the signature ingredients atop a pesto-covered crispy crust along with provolone and mozzerella cheese. The pesto was a bit overwhelming, but the flavors worked well together. If anything, I wanted more grapes.

The next-most successful dish was the Filet Rosemary Skewers ($12), a half-dozen good-sized chunks of tender beef paired with roasted cherry tomatoes served shish-kabob style with a sprig of rosemary as the skewer. The herb provided a nice accent for the well-seasoned meat, and the blue cheese sauce was a nice, tangy touch. If it had arrived hot, it would have been excellent.

Our final choice: the Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs ($6). I’ve had stellar versions of this dish elsewhere, so my expectations were high. I suppose I was bound to be disappointed. Not all that big to begin with, each fruit was cut in half, wrapped in the cured meat and roasted before being topped with blue cheese and walnuts. I found them difficult to handle and a tad too small to satisfy.

Despite the uneven experience, I’ll try Tastings again—when the weather turns and I can sit outside and have a server deliver my food and drink. I’m just that old-school.•

—Andrea Muirragui Davis

__________

Last in our series of visits to downtown newcomers and reopenings. Next week: a look back at the year in dining.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. By Mr. Lee's own admission, he basically ran pro-bono ads on the billboard. Paying advertisers didn't want ads on a controversial, ugly billboard that turned off customers. At least one of Mr. Lee's free advertisers dropped out early because they found that Mr. Lee's advertising was having negative impact. So Mr. Lee is disingenous to say the city now owes him for lost revenue. Mr. Lee quickly realized his monstrosity had a dim future and is trying to get the city to bail him out. And that's why the billboard came down so quickly.

  2. Merchants Square is back. The small strip center to the south of 116th is 100% leased, McAlister’s is doing well in the outlot building. The former O’Charleys is leased but is going through permitting with the State and the town of Carmel. Mac Grill is closing all of their Indy locations (not just Merchants) and this will allow for a new restaurant concept to backfill both of their locations. As for the north side of 116th a new dinner movie theater and brewery is under construction to fill most of the vacancy left by Hobby Lobby and Old Navy.

  3. Yes it does have an ethics commission which enforce the law which prohibits 12 specific items. google it

  4. Thanks for reading and replying. If you want to see the differentiation for research, speaking and consulting, check out the spreadsheet I linked to at the bottom of the post; it is broken out exactly that way. I can only include so much detail in a blog post before it becomes something other than a blog post.

  5. 1. There is no allegation of corruption, Marty, to imply otherwise if false. 2. Is the "State Rule" a law? I suspect not. 3. Is Mr. Woodruff obligated via an employment agreement (contractual obligation) to not work with the engineering firm? 4. In many states a right to earn a living will trump non-competes and other contractual obligations, does Mr. Woodruff's personal right to earn a living trump any contractual obligations that might or might not be out there. 5. Lawyers in state government routinely go work for law firms they were formally working with in their regulatory actions. You can see a steady stream to firms like B&D from state government. It would be interesting for IBJ to do a review of current lawyers and find out how their past decisions affected the law firms clients. Since there is a buffer between regulated company and the regulator working for a law firm technically is not in violation of ethics but you have to wonder if decisions were made in favor of certain firms and quid pro quo jobs resulted. Start with the DOI in this review. Very interesting.

ADVERTISEMENT