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Lou Harry's A&E

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Arts & Entertainment, etc.

The best of the most of Dig IN 2015

August 30, 2015

First off, let's talk about beverages at Dig IN: A Taste of Indiana 2015.

Not the beer and wine offerings, but the water stations via Bottle Free Indy.

In a single, smart decision, Dig IN took single-use bottled water that has cryptically become a part of our throwaway culture out of the mix and replaced it with water-filling stations. It was a wonderful step clearly in line with the festival's pay-attention-to-what-you-consume ideals. Kudos to those behind the move and here's hoping other festivals follow. 

Now to the food. 

You'd have to be made of heartier stock than I to sample every one of the dishes being served up at Sunday's event by a who's who of local chefs and restaurants. I managed to try most, though, and didn't find a dud in the bunch. In fact, the quality was stunningly high. Here are my favorites among tent after tent of quality participants.

R2Go/R Bistro's Confit of Chicken Watermelon Soup + Salad with jicama, red onion, radish, cilantro and more. Note to self: Check if R2Go sells it by the gallon.

Northside Social and Kitchenette's Pancetta Mac & Cheese made with peppered bacon, shallots, sharp cheddar and goat cheese. Lots of restaurants now offer upgraded Mac & Cheese. This hearty dish makes a case for keeping it on the menu after the trend dies down. 

Shoefly Public House's kicky Peri Peri Roasted Sweet Corn. Imagine if the Indiana State Fair had its very own gourmet restaurant. Now take another messy, wonderful bite. 

The relatively (compared to many of the other dishes here) simple, flavorful Lamb Gyro from Recess. Downside: It was only served in the VIP tent. Upside: There were a lot of people who opted for VIP early admission. 

Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar's Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon Relish.  Yes, amid all of the meaty choices, I favored two dishes with watermelon as a key ingredient. Perhaps I was hot. Perhaps I'm clinging to summer. More likely, though, Tinker Street knows how to deliver subtle deliciousness. 

Did I miss one of your favorites? Chime in. 

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