Saturday, August 31

Best Chefs of America List 2013 Includes Indianapolis Chefs

Best Chefs America has named the inaugural Best Chefs of America List as determined by their peers, interviews and a software application. Just as we all want to be tended to by the doctor other doctors use, we want to dine where the chefs congregate...

Analysts conducted more than 5,000 confidential telephone interviews with chefs who were nominated by other chefs, culinary professionals and food enthusiasts across the country. The interviews consisted of a series of proprietary questions, and software was used to aggregate the data. Chefs earning the highest scores among their peers in their region were included in the guide. The process dictated that only chefs who received the requisite number of mentions by fellow chefs made it into the book, whether interviewed or not. The results were compiled into a 386-page coffee table book, with chef listings broken down both geographically and alphabetically.

Best Chefs of America List ~ Indianapolis
653 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

653 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

1912 Broad Ripple Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

38 E Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

1001 Broad Ripple Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

922 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46202

4907 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46205

4923 N College Ave #25
Indianapolis, IN 46205

888 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46204

888 Massachusetts Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46204

47 S Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

8605 River Crossing
Indianapolis, IN 46240

1464 W 86th St
Indianapolis, IN 46260

5694 N Meridian St
Indianapolis, IN 46208

621 Fort Wayne Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46204

936 Virginia Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46203

1301 W 38th St
Indianapolis, IN 46208

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s fine-living Adviser on WISH CH. 8's Indy Style. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Monday, August 19

Devour Downtown Summerfest 2013 Aug. 19-Sept. 1 Reviews, recommendations & tips

Palomino's Tiramisu
Devour Downtown Summerfest 2013 has started and the usual restaurants are opening their doors for everyone to get a taste of their menus from August 19-September 1. Some will create special menus just for the event, while others simply offer their usual food items at a reduced price.

What's New?
BINGO cards can be downloaded here (there is more than one choice so be certain to look through all for the one you could most likely fill). You will print it out and attempt to get across, up and down, or diagonal boxes marked off by the restaurants when you dine there. When you do get a BINGO you are eligible for a random drawing for gift cards at downtown restaurants. I definitely like the new addition making this a game as well as the chance to check out different restaurants.

Continuing are the various price ranges, 2-for-1, and special menu options, such as gluten-free and vegetarian. I checked out all the menus and below ~ marked in purple ~ are the restaurants I believe have the best value. Let's call it the Gotta Go Great Value List...

Tip ~
When looking for who is truly giving a great discount, check out their DD menu and compare the items to their regular menu's prices. Just add the items up and you will see whether you are getting a so-so deal or one worth the drive.

I have put an asterisk next to any restaurants I have dined at during normal times and would recommend based on that visit. And, remember, red items are my recommendations for best value.

Participating Restaurants

120 West Bar & Grill

1913 Restaurant

Adobo Grill

*BARcelona Tapas

*Bazbeaux

B's Po Boy

Bu Da Lounge

*Buca di Beppo

California Pizza Kitchen 
Dinner Menu (Coming Soon) 

Canterbury Kitchen & Bar

The Capital Grille

*Cerulean 

Champions

*Chef Joseph's 

Circle City Bar & Grille 

Colts Grille 

*Columbia Club

*Creation Cafe 

Dunaway's

*Eagle's Nest 


End of the Line Public House 

*Fogo de Chao Churrascaria 

Forty Five Degrees 

Greek Islands

*Harry & Izzy's 

High Velocity

Iaria's 

*Iozzo's 

*Libertine 

Lorenzo's Ristorante 

Maxine's Chicken and Waffles

*McCormick & Schmick's

Mesh 

*Milano Inn

Morton's

Napolese Pizzeria

Oceanaire

Osteria Pronto

*Palomino

Pearl Street Pizzeria

Plat 99

Rathskeller

*R bistro

*Ruth's Chris Steak House
(Read previous review here)

*Sahm's Tavern

Scotty's Brewhouse

*Severin Bar 
@ The Omni Severin Hotel

*Shula's 

Skyline Club

Slippery Noodle Inn

Smokehouse on Shelby

*St. Elmo

Tavern on South

*Weber Grill

*Winner's Circle

For more details, visit DevourDowntown.org
Chef Joseph's Crab Louie

Images: E.J.Musgrave

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style (CBS). Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Devour Downtown Summerfest 2013 Signature Cocktail Winners & Recipes

Morning Glory by Palomino
The Signature Drink Competition 2013 Summerfest has been shaken, stirred and judged for the Devour Downtown event. Bartenders and mixologists muddled, garnished and poured their own secret recipes for the judging panel. I was honored to be invited to once again be one of the judges for this fun competition. The competition was held at The Conrad, Indianapolis.

Three category winners and one Best of Show were named.

Indianapolis' biannual event continues its tradition of offering menus at a reduced cost from downtown-area restaurants. The eating fest, which takes place each winter and summer, has become a mecca for foodies ~ many who attempt to hit each eatery. The 2013 Summerfest runs from Aug. 19 -Supt. 1, and includes almost 50 eateries in the downtown area.

For a prix fixe menu, guests can dine on specially selected three-course meals. Devour Downtown, originating in 2005, is hosted by the Indianapolis Downtown Restaurant & Lodging Association and sponsored by Republic National Distributing Company. For full list of restaurants and menus, visit DevourDowntown.org. Information is also available on Facebook or Twitter @DevourDowntown.

Accompanying the cuisine are the winners of the Signature Drinks competition. I am always pleased to be invited to be one of the judges of this distinguished competition. It brings out the best mixologists in Indianapolis for cash prizes and bragging rights.

The three categories' liquors, Bacardi Sauza and Grey Goose, are required as the main ingredient in the new recipe, created specifically for the Devour Downtown event.


Winners ~ 2013
Sauza
and
Best of Show
Drink: Morning Glory (See above for image)
Mixologist: Curtis McGaha
Restaurant/Bar: Palomino
Recipe: Ingredients-2 oz Sauza Reposado, 3/4 oz. lemon juice, 1 oz. Lillet White, orange peel, and Thyme garnish. Directions-Mix all ingredients in mixing tin and shake vigorously. Strain into old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with thyme.

Bacardi
Drink: Blackberry Mojini
Mixologist: Sara Yager
Recipe: Ingredients-Five fresh blackberries, 5 sage leaves, 1 TB mint bitters, 4 tsp sugar, 1 TB fresh lime juice, 1 lime wedge, 2 oz. Bacardi Superior rum, 2 oz Bacardi Oakhart Spiced rum. Directions-Prepare a simple syrup of muddled blackberries, sage leaves, sugar, lime juice, mint bitters and water. Cool, shake vigorously over ice, syrup, and rums. Pour into martini glass and garnish with blackberry, sage leaf and lime wedge.

Grey Goose
Drink: Crystal Peach Cosmo
Mixologist: Corie Metzler
Restaurant/Bar: Tavern on South
Recipe: Ingredients-1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka, 1 oz Luxardo Triple Sec, 1.5 oz White Craanberry Juice, .5 oz clarified lime juice, 2 white peach slices, orange peel slice for garnish. Directions-Muddle fresh white peaches, add remaining ingredients, shake, strain into martini glass and garnish.

Images: E.J.Musgrave
For sponsor information, visit Republic National Distributing Company

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, an in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Friday, August 9

Indiana Casinos Offer More than Gambling

Blue Chip
I am not surprised at how many people do not know about the amenities at casinos outside the gaming floor. It's almost a secret. I am not against gambling at all, I just don't do it often. So why do I go to casinos?

If you consider that people go to casinos and win money ~ they want someplace to spend it and they want to spend it now. Enter... an entire smorgasbord of options, including (but certainly not limited to) shopping, food, mixologists creating marvelous cocktails, spas, hotels, golf, cooking classes, and so much more... They truly are an adult playground.

Below is a complete and up-to-date (as of today) list of all the casinos in Indiana with links directly below. Read, click and go have fun ~ not gambling.

Well, okay, you can go ahead and gamble if you like. Certainly they have plenty of slot machines, poker, Black Jack and horses for placing money on, along with people who help you understand how to bet, play the games and where to cash in (my favorite part).

Indiana Casinos List 2013

Ameristar
Ameristar.com/eastchicago 



Belterra




Blue Chip

French Lick Resort & Spa 

Hollywood 

Hoosier Park & Casino 

Horseshoe SI

Horsehoe Hammond 

Indiana Grand & Downs 

Majestic Star I 

Majestic Star II

Rising Star

Tropicana Evansville

Elizabeth gives Indy Style viewers insider tips for Indiana casinos.
Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, persuasive copywriter, features
writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as your Personal Lifestyle Adviser on WISH TV 8 (CBS) Indy Style. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, and in magazines. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Savor the Southside 2013 Runs August 5-18

Savor the Southside restaurant weeks allows diners to take advantage of three-course value-priced
menus from Monday, Aug. 5 – Sunday, Aug. 18. Similar to the Devour Downtown restaurant week, during the two week Indianapolis event, guests will be able to experience culinary treats from more than 15 south side restaurants.




Participating Restaurants
*Click on name for their menu*






Review: Definitely get Will's favorite salad. If you get the house salad ask for the spicy dressing-it's got nice pizzazz. Their Bourbon Bread Pudding puts me in a difficult situation, as this might possibly beat out my No. 1 favorite for the last several years. It's that good.
Also, on Wednesdays they have 1/2 price bottles of wine, and considering their price point is already much lower than I find in other restaurants...it's a good thing. I got a marvelous Chianti for $12.50.
The upstairs overlooks the aquarium and dining room, seating 35. The banquet room is adorned elegantly and with those cool sconces from The Shining. Jack Vettriano prints adorn every wall.
I recommend checking it out during Savor and trying several share plates.
Pipers is one of those places you discover and become a regular. The decor is (somehow) elegant, urban-industrial and homey simultaneously. A non pretentious atmosphere where they will remember your name ~ and most likely your favorite cocktail. 



Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at www.GottaGo.us and www.FoodDigital.com and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on www.Gottago.us, www.BroadwayWorld.com, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.