Iaria's is a fourth generation owned Italian restaurant located at 317 S. College Avenue. I think that the secret's in the sauce. We did a sampling of the menu beginning with Crostini with Caponata, a Sicilian Dish combining Fresh Eggplant, Celery, Capers, Tomatoes, and Calamata Olives, served with Toasted Italian Crostini Bread. Since they make their own ravioli, we had a taste of the meat, spinach and cheese. Then there was a garlic lover's Linguini with Clam Sauce, a traditional Lasagne and a sampling of their sausage and meatballs. I did not like their version of Tirmisu, otherwise the food was authentic and delicious.
Meridian on Meridian is a two story log structure erected in the 1880s at the prime location between Meridian Street and the Indiana Central Canal. Some of those original logs remain as a reminiscence of the history of this unique property that has served food and drink to Hoosiers and travelers alike for nearly a century.
We did a chef's sampling of the menu commencing with a Charcuterie plate that included their own duck proscuitto along with some goose liver pate. Appetizers of: Korean BBQ Beef- short ribs cooked with ginger and orange with slaw; Potato Gnocchi with oyster mushrooms, roasted tomato, greens, and sage; Oysters Rockefeller - chicken fried, creamed spinach, smoked bacon and Hollandaise sauce; Smoked Corn Puree - applewood smoked corn, chicken stock, red pepper, potato, bacon and a touch of cream; Cornmeal dusted Soft shell crabs that I just couldn't resist.
Special of the day was the Atlantic Skate Wing - removed from the cartilage, and sauteed, with roasted root vegetables and fingerling potatoes. For those who do not like "fish" this is the one to try...more toward the shellfish side of seafood.
Pan roasted chicken breast with parmesan bread pudding, escarole, and a tomato jam.
Then there were the sides of creamed kale, and a mac and cheese using 6 different cheeses.
Dessert was a butterscotch pudding that was served in an ice cream glass. Delicious, but too much for one person!
As for everything else, it was all good to my taste buds.
This is one of three restaurants owned by Rick Lux, this locale being a cuisine of fine dining and American fare.
I had later found out that you can purchase a pass to see six attractions at the White River State Park. It includes the Indiana State Museum, the IMAX theatre at the Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis Zoo, Victory Field - home to the Indianapolis Indians, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the NCAA Hall of Champions. Adult price is $42.
The only place I hadn't visited was Victory Field. I had to take in the NCAA Hall of Champions as I heard that there was a large exhibit devoted to women's sports. Women in Athletics Historic Timeline is on their main floor showcasing women dated back to the 1800's and the adversity they overcame. This place is just fab for anyone interested in just about any sport. There are loads of interactive exhibits that include allowing you to virtually shoot hoops and kick a soccer ball. Check out how it feel to ski, test your knowledge or do some research. The NCAA Hall of Champions is not just about Indiana and I believe that I saw a statue of a player wearing a New York Sharks jacket. Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art just about abuts the Indiana State Museum. It gave me a lesson or two on both the history and art of American Indians. There are three levels with both permanent and temporary exhibits and collections.
Not part of the package deal but still worth experiencing are the Rhythm Discovery Center, Indianapolis Children's Museum and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Rhythm Discovery Center is located just below the Arts Garden in downtown Indy. It's all about percussion instruments. Along with being able to test out a few, there are two rooms for you to play in. One has a set of drums and the other has an xylophone. Close the door and just go to it! The Arts Garden is a great indoor spot that bridges across giving you a great view of downtown Indy and local art as well.
I believe that the Indianapolis Children's Museum is one of the largest children's museum in the country. It sure seemed that way. The museum has enough floors and space to give a workout to just walking around.
If you love art then the Indianapolis Museum of Art has to be put on your itinerary. I personally, am not an "art" person. I visit by going into a room, looking around, glancing the art work and then move on to another room. But that's me.
It's not as if we went from the zoo to dinner. We took ride around a few of the areas. Indianapolis has a record for the number of monuments, although we didn't go to all. There was the Indiana Veterans Memorial Plaza and Monument Circle with the Soldier's and Sailor's Monument which I took a photo from two angles.
Loads of construction going on due to next year's locale for the 2012 Superbowl. Not too much of a deterrence though.
Saw a few cars representing the Indy 500 around, one near the Monument Circle and the other in the parking lot of Meridian restaurant.
Oh yeah, we went back to Long's Bakery a few more times.
Although they weren't sights, there were a few "sites" that I must mention. Had to take a break by going to a spa. Studio 2000 Spa, that is in downtown Indianapolis. This is an historic Art Deco salon and spa located on the second floor of the Circle Tower at the Monument Circle. The spa is "the show place of the Circle Tower Building designed in 1929 by the noted architectural firm of Rubish & Hunter. The salon operated as a men's barbershop from 1929 to 1989 under two successive owners. Then, Linda Williams and Mel Brandenburg acquired the space, updated and expanded the salon and reopened in December 1989 as Studio 2000." The original Art Deco interior of the barbershop now used as the "relaxation room" where our robed guests lounge between spa services.
So what was my indulgence? A package called The Cleopatra: Full Body Exfoliation, Redefine Nourish Body Wrap, Vichy shower, Anti-Oxidant Mask with Lip Blooming Treatment, Face & Foot Massage, 1/2 Hour Moisturizing Massage, Salon Shampoo and Style. It was a total of 3 hours with relaxation in between. I was ready for the rest of Indy.
Then there was the night that we went to see the musical Chicago at the Studio Theatre located at the Center for the Performing Arts. What a trek! We got the the Center but couldn't find the theatre. We went to the main theatre and thought it was odd that people were so dressed up. Special concert and wrong theatre. Had to go across but due to construction had to walk all the way around. Saw the name of the theatre (which was passed when parking) but there was no sign that said that Chicago was the performance.
The theatre is a not large and looks more like an indoor amphitheater. As for the show, it was good but not great as compared to Broadway. Not that anyone was off key or such and the two female leads gave the best performance.
We couldn't miss going to the Indianapolis Zoo. There are actually three attractions to take in beginning with the aquarium, the zoo and the gardens. It seems that the "in" thing to purchase are pieces of art done by animals. It's common to have them done by elephants. Here they have all kinds of species showing off their talent. Mine was done by meerkats.