I received my newest copy of Indianapolis Monthly in the mail this week and used it as inspiration to try a new restaurant. Every issue has a menu guide in the back of the magazine and they do a great job highlighting locally owned businesses. This month they featured the Penn and Palate, located on you guessed it, 16th and Penn. I found a parking spot in the back (you’ve been warned: parking is competitive) and was immediately greeted by the owner. After a warm welcome there was no way I couldn’t eat there. We chose a booth and took in the menu. It was quite the week, so I went with a glass of Malbec and it is the best deal on the wine menu. The beer menu was impressive – a lot of local offerings and three pumpkin selections, including Schlafly!
There were several items on the menu that I debated ordering, but I went with an entree and ordered the buttermilk roasted chicken. It came with a warm potato salad that had a dijon mustard sauce and corn (weird, but it worked)! The roasted broccoli had cheese on top, which is the best way to enjoy broccoli. The chicken was moist (due to the buttermilk) and had pesto drizzled on top. I also tried the open faced short rib sandwich that had a balsamic sauce and crispy onion strings. This sandwich was amazing! Really good toasted bread, melted havarti cheese, grilled sweet yellow onions, and the perfect balsamic drizzle. The arugula is really just there for presentation and to help you eat your greens. I replicated this (see recipe below) and I am pretty darn happy with my version!
The owner was very sweet and talked to us for awhile – she loved my pink coat and shoes and was so happy we came in. We discussed the foodie scene in Indy – Bluebeard, Milktooth, etc. I also commented that the menu made sense, which she thought was funny. I explained that I read a lot of menus and cookbooks for fun (nerd alert) and the menu at Penn and Palate was thoughtfully done. Homemade tomato jam, different cheese pairings, seasonal vegetables used throughout the dishes, and balsamic used in interesting ways. They own another restaurant in Irvington called Legends, which looks just as good. Overall, I loved it and will definitely go back. Prices were reasonable – our meals (plus two Malbecs) were $43. I am usually a cheap date, but the food was worth it!
They also made an effort to restore the building to its original 1920’s grandeur. The art deco floors are original and they added portraits of famous Indiana authors to go with the literary ‘Penn’ theme.
STOUT BRAISED SHORT RIBS
Recipe via Williams Sonoma and tweaked by me
- 4 lb. beef short ribs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced
- One stout (just pour the whole thing in)
Slow cooker method: Transfer the short ribs and vegetables to a slow cooker and add the stout. Cover and cook according to until the meat is very tender, about 6 hours.
For the open faced sandwich: toast two pieces of multigrain bread. Top with short ribs, fig balsamic, havarti cheese (I asked the deli man for three slices for $1.35), half of a small sautéed yellow onion, and arugula. Top again with another drizzle of the fig balsamic (available at the Olive Store). Enjoy!
Winston likes short ribs too
A little life wisdom