Wednesday, February 3

Devour Downtown Winterfest 2010

Devour Downtown 2010 continues through February 6 at 43 restaurants in, where else, downtown Indy. For those not in the know, DD gives special prices for lunch and dinner menus. It’s a “Hi, how are you; try us out” system which works well for all involved. You get a great deal on a place you might not try otherwise and they get a chance to show what makes them special.

One of the 43 eateries, The Severin Bar & Grille, inside the Omni Severin Hotel, 40 Jackson Street, embraces the slow down (because who has time to completely stop these days?) and smell the roses attitude, offering an upscale eatery with a twist. That twist comes in the form of Joseph “Twist” Adamo, the executive chef who has arrived in Indy and created the custom menu with his own brand of cuisine.

Sharing his years of experience in the Palm Beach scene and adding a dash of London life, the six-foot-plus chef presented me with their entire Devour Downtown menu for a review.

So, what do you get for $30? Three courses with a choice between two items in each category of appetizer, entrée and dessert. The first course offers Hudson Valley Duck Empanada and Ahi Tuna Nicoise. The empanada, stuffed with wild mushrooms, sits atop spicy Sofrito sauce, and the Nicoise salad is laid out picture-perfect in a deconstructed fashion.

The second course came in the form of Grilled Beef Churrasco, tender slices of steak accompanied by braised Swiss chard and Pico de Gallo. This dish could easily be considered the Severin Signature dish, worthy of the drive from the ‘burbs. The alternate choice, My Seafood Paella, was served in a quantity for two. Mussels, Clams, Mahi Mahi, shrimp, haystack calamari, chorizo and saffron arborio rice combined in a delicate balance of juicy, seafood heaven. Can one spot have two signature entrée dishes? It may be possible with the Severin.

My favorite course, desserts, came as a difficult choice. Warm Flourless Chocolate Cake is served from-the-oven warm with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce because as Chef Adamo puts it, “I’m just a warm chocolate cake kind of guy.”

To be fair he adds a nice little twist to the Three Layer Carrot Cake by encasing it with white chocolate and surrounding it with assorted berry jus. A signature dessert which should easily please every chocolate lover and every carrot cake lover, which covers, um, pretty much everyone. Maybe it should be called the Chocolate Carrot Twist Cake.

In an era where Chefs are culinary rock stars, Adamo is a combination of Eddie Van Halen cuddlyness and Steve Perry coolness, on a much taller frame.

Bottom Line: The Severin offers the perfect spot for an after-work gathering place for martinis, smooth jazz and unique food. And, of course, the ultimate cool Chef "Twist" Adamo; what more could you want?
For a complete list of participating restaurants and menus, visit www.devourdowntown.org. For information on Severin, visit www.omnihotels.com.

If you have a restaurant, performance or unique event you would like reviewed, e-mail Elizabeth@gottago.us. Me, I will be right here, Faithfully.

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