Not a brunch post; not a Cincinnati post (but I swear those will come in time). I was in Indianapolis this past weekend to celebrate my friend Cristina’s birthday. She suggested that we check out any restaurant that was participating in Devour Downtown. For those not well-initiated in Indy restaurant events, Devour Downtown is a biannually occurring event where participating restaurants offers a prix fixe menu at a reduced rate (similar to Cincy’s restaurant week). We both were intrigued by the menu offerings at Cerulean and the food did not disappoint! After rushing from Cincinnati to be on time for our reservation, I discovered Cerulean is steps away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. When seated we were given Cerulean’s regular menu in addition to the Devour Downtown menu. I also had time to take in the sleek, modern decor while waiting for Cristina. When she finally arrived, we decided to start with one of their small bites off of the regular menu–the cauliflower frites.
The frites were light and had a very nice cauliflower taste; everything one would expect from a starter to a starter. Also pictured above (swimming in the green) is goat cheese butter. I normally detest goat cheese so I was hesitant to try it. However, the mantra of JOLO gave me the gastrointestinal fortitude to try it and I was glad I did. I could have eaten that goat cheese butter as is. After the frites, Cristina and I delved into the prix fixe menu, essentially ordering the same meal (great minds think alike). We started with the grits with Smoking Goose dry-cured ham, hollandaise, arugula, and sherry vinegar.
The dish reminded me of the familial comforts of avgolemeno soup, due to the grits and hollandaise. The ham added a nice salty bite to the creaminess of the dish. For our main course we had fried chicken with a deconstructed french toast cream, blackberry jam, maple gel, and a poached egg on top.
This play on chicken and waffles was good. The separate components worked well together to give every bite a nice, complex flavor. Cristina and I ended up getting separate desserts and splitting them. First, was the roasted white chocolate cream with chocolate malt shards, popcorn brittle, and cereal milk ice cream (a hint of Fruit Loops, methinks). Though it’s not pictured, the aforementioned dessert was very good with a nice sweet component and some good textures. Next, was the Thai basil sponge cake with basil gel accompanied by a strawberry and roasted jalapeño sorbet.
The cake had an earthy flavor to it–not necessarily what I look for in a dessert. But that sorbet…so, so good. I could easily eat a pint of it in one sitting. Both flavors of the sorbet were nicely balanced; the sweetness was up front with a smooth, spicy finish. Cristina may have a career as a food model if her day job doesn’t pan out. If I lived in Indianapolis I would be frequent this place as much as my time and wallet would allow.
See participating Devour Downtown restaurants here.
See Cerulean’s full dinner menu here.