Friday fun: Exploring standout suburban restaurants

Few things are as fun for me as trying a new restaurant—or revisiting an old favorite.

But I never realized how Indianapolis-centric my choices were until this spring, when the Indy Star and Indy Monthly both compiled lists of gotta-go restaurants. I was pleasantly surprised to find I’ve been to most of them (thanks in large part to my IBJ dining review gig), but I’m only batting .500 on the four paltry entries in my own back yard.

Pizzology in Carmel made both Jolene Ketzenberger’s “Taste of Indy” list—the only restaurant on it that originated North of 96th Street—and Indianapolis Monthly’s “25 Best Restaurants” rundown.

I reviewed Chef Neal Brown’s pizzeria back in 2010, and celebrated my 40th birthday there. Hubby and I visited “25 Best” honoree Peterson’s in Fishers several years ago on our anniversary.

The other two suburban standouts–Plum’s Upper Room in Zionsville and The Local Eatery & Pub in Westfield—are still on our to-dine list.

Did I mention we live in Fishers? And we eat out. A lot.

Unfortunately, we’re far from alone.

“I can’t fathom the number of Fishers residents who leave on Friday nights” to dine out, said Town Manager Scott Fadness. “We’re woefully behind in our restaurant culture.”

So it’s no surprise that Fadness is aiming to land a “destination” restaurant in downtown Fishers, where construction of a $33 million mixed-use development is set to begin this summer.

But will it make a difference? Can the suburbs draw diners, or is a night out in the “big city” too magnetic to resist?

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