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Date Night! Oakley’s Bistro

Posted Nov 21 2012 5:09am

I’ve reviewed this restaurant on the blog before… so I’m sorry to be repetitive.  But Kyle and I adore Oakley’s Bistro and go there every time we have even a semi-excuse for going out to a nice dinner.

Oakley’s is a small restaurant tucked away into a strip mall of sorts.  You would never expect that an award-winning chef works back in the kitchen.

Here is some info from their website:

Achieving such recognition as being named “one of the hottest restaurants from coast to coast” by Bon Appétit, receiving the American Culinary Federation’s National Achievement of Excellence Award, and “Restaurant of the Year” and “Superstar” from the Indianapolis Monthly Magazine, OAKLEYS bistro reflects its owner’s passion for food and sharing it with others.  But Chef Oakley’s sharing goes beyond the traditional, evidenced by the Restaurant & Hospitality Association’s Neighborhood Award to “honor restaurant operators who go above and beyond supporting their communities.” The Association specifically recognized that not only does Oakleys bistro contribute a portion of its sales of products to Second Helpings, Indianapolis’ only food rescue, job training and hunger relief program, but also Chef Oakley opens his kitchen for training and hiring  those who demonstrate a true passion for food and who understand the demands placed on a first class kitchen team.

The restaurant has also been a finalist for the James Beard award multiple times.  So you can see why Kyle and I love it so much!  The menu changes seasonally and the items are always creative, fresh, and delicious!  Last night was no different.

We decided to go to Oakley’s because they have a free wine tasting every Tuesday.  Since Kyle doesn’t live in Indianapolis, we never get to go to things during the week.  But we’re flying to Florida this morning and so Kyle came up last night!  Perfect excuse to go out to dinner.

We tasted 2 different wines to start, a cabernet sauvignon (which was our favorite) and a white which I didn’t care for too much.

Our first dish was 2 oyster sliders.   They were on the menu for $3.75 each, so we thought we would both try one.  A perfectly fried, crispy oyster came out on a little slider roll with spicy thai aioli underneath, fugi apples slices, and  picked red cabbage.  Wow.  Each bite was perfect and the apple slices really made it.  That crisp sweetness with the spicy aioli and the savory oyster- perfection!

Next was time for the main meal.  Kyle chose the spice rubbed pork tenderloin which was served with sweet potato grits, apple tapenade, toasted hazelnuts, roasted turnips, and a cider mustard glaze.

I was feeling very indecisive so I ordered the fall roasted vegetables with thyme, maple, and garlic.  Then I decided on the fall harvest salad which came with red and yellow beets, crunchy endive, small pieces of pumpkin, arugula pesto, brioche croutons, and a bit of peppered goat cheese cream on the bottom of the plate.  I practically licked it clean.  The endive was so fresh and crunchy, with the sweet beets and the spicy arugula- so good!

Obviously I wanted dessert.  I am normally not a cheesecake person, but this dish sounded too good to pass up and I’m so glad we didn’t.  We ordered ‘cheesecake in a jar’ which came out as a small jar filled with vanilla cheesecake.  On top was a pumpkin puree and cardamon creme fraiche.  Along side that jar of heaven was brown butter ice cream, so called ‘pumpkin dust’ and caramel sauce.  I told the waiter I was taking out my new fiance and so he added the candle to help us celebrate… I would have preferred free food ;-)

Once again, Oakley’s did not disappoint.  If you’re ever in Indianapolis I would highly recommend it.


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