The biggest business deals often come together over a great dinner. But with all the amazing options—new and old—in Indianapolis, choosing just the right spot might seem daunting. Do you go for the best food? For the trendy new place? Or how about simply a spot where you can hear a conversation?
We asked several business leaders and executives where they go when they want to impress a client or close a deal. Here are seven of their suggestions and why they like them.
231 S. College Ave.
Milano Margherita Pizza: light garlic oil, tomato, basil and mozzarella cheese, $20.99
Italian Sausage Cannelloni: baked pasta stuffed with Italian sausage and cheese topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella, $14.99
Vicky: lightly breaded chicken or veal stuffed with provolone and prosciutto sauteed with mushrooms in a white wine demi-glace sauce, $17.99, $23.99
“The Milano Inn is vastly underrated as a business-dinner destination. It has an engaging staff, great food choices, convenient parking, and is owned by a terrific family. Quiet, yet not boring, it offers a comfortable setting for any business discussion.” —Robert Vane, Veteran Strategies Inc. principal
14 E. Washington St.
Alligator Bites: breaded and deep-fried, mango-habanero dipping sauce, $12.95
Hot Chicken: spicy fried chicken, Nashville style, $19.95
Creamy Shrimp Creole and Grits: jumbo shrimp, peppers, onions, garlic, Creole spices, cream-based sauce, stone-ground grits, $23.95
“The key to a good meeting is making sure everyone feels comfortable enough to share ideas, and the Prohibition-era vibe and authentic recipes create a down-home atmosphere with Southern charm. It’s also a great opportunity to share the story of Gary Brackett and his transition from the gridiron to successful restaurateur.” —Michael Huber, Visit Indy CEO
339 S. Delaware St.
Cured Hamachi: green piri piri, crispy tortilla, pickled peach, guajillo, shallot, $14
Lobster: orecchiette, corn, miso, lemon, chervil, $19, $26
Duck Breast: carrot, harissa, pistachio, plum, eggplant, $29
“The food is creative, constantly changing, and always great. The wine list is reasonably priced. Parking is not a problem with the attentive valet service out front. Tables are sufficiently spaced and ambient noise is sufficiently low that you can have real conversations. And reservations can be easily made on Open Table and adjusted up until the last minute.” —David Johnson, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership and BioCrossroads president and CEO
Tinker Street Restaurant & Wine Bar
402 E. 16th St.
Indiana Decker Melon: prosciutto, parmesan, basil, arrope, $12
Wild Coho Salmon: haricots verts, potatoes, blueberry barbecue, $22
Chicken: tabbouleh, cucumber, yogurt, dill, mint, lemon, tomato, $17
“The owners are often there offering warm, low-key hospitality, supporting the servers and sharing what’s new on the wine list. For a small restaurant, the outdoor seating is extensive and very pleasant, including a table for guests waiting to be seated. The food is excellent. The ambiance is quiet. A lovely experience all around.” —Kathy Davis, Davis Design Group president
The Capital Grille
40 W. Washington St.
Cold Shellfish Platter: chilled lobster, shrimp cocktail and oysters on the half shell, $50
Bone-In Kona: crusted dry-aged N.Y. strip with shallot butter, $47
Chilean Sea Bass: mushroom soy broth, sherry accents and oyster mushrooms, $43
“It’s within walking distance of my office and every dining experience I’ve enjoyed there mirrors the attentive and quality service that we at Borshoff seek to provide our clients.” —Linda Jackson, Borshoff vice president
47 S. Pennsylvania St.
Lamb Lollipops: potato puree and mustard tarragon cream, $15
Dry-Aged KC Strip, $66
Chilean Sea Bass: shaved Brussels sprouts, spinach, red cabbage, tomato and lemon-caper sauce, $38
“Prime 47 is a combination of old-world steakhouse with a modern urban feel. It offers superior quality entrees with outstanding service. The atmosphere and experience tell your client or customer that you value the relationship.” —Brian Burton, Indiana Manufacturers Association president
Louie’s Wine Dive
345 Massachusetts Ave.
BLT Deviled Eggs: bacon, arugula, tomatoes, $6
Coconut Street Noodle: house-made spaghetti, kohlrabi slaw, black sesame, coconut-lime and Sriracha broth, daikon sprouts, $14, with shrimp, $19
Tandoori Atlantic Salmon: cilantro mint chutney, roasted red pepper quinoa, cucumber salad, $18
“Louie’s Wine Dive is perfect. They do not take themselves too seriously—it is a laid-back vibe with an approachable staff. But they take their craft—their food and drink—seriously. And I love that combo.” —Max Yoder, Lesson.ly CEO•