Thursday, October 28, 2004

Tiny Chicken, Seared Tuna 

Last night we enjoyed possibly the best restaurant meal we've had since moving to Indianapolis in 1997. We went to Elements, Downtown on Alabama just off Mass Ave. It's the fairly new offering from the guys of H2O Sushi. What impressed me about this place was the attention paid to ingredients that resulted in some flavors that were memorable and lively. We started off with a great Bordeaux-style wine, http://www.winesnw.com/hedgescellars.htm that was dry but low in tannins, with a remarkably fruity nose. Rolls were crisp-crusted and redolent of warmth and yeast. I had the lamb carpaccio- slivers of raw loin dusted with mint, capers, Parmesan and fried shallots. Its richness was incredible. Greg's salad of mixed lettuces rocked- it was dotted with generous chunks of creamy bleu cheese and topped with a sherry vinaigrette with a golden croustade. His entree was the Poisson, or tiny chicken. He called it the most delicate fried chicken ever- it was well-browned and juicy, on a bed of pureed parsnips and surrounded by a pool of truffle butter and pan reductions. My seared tuna hearkened back to the owners' first venue as it was sushi-grade perfection, velvety on the tongue. The twist was in its accompaniment- fingerling potatoes, red peppers, and thick cut applewood smoked bacon. The bacon flavored everything, off set with a red-wine vinegar reduction that offered a tart note to balance the smokiness. Our dessert was perhaps the best thing of all, however. We ordered pumpkin creme brulee. They could have easily pureed the pumpkin with the cream and eggs for a smooth texture, but then it would not have been so remarkable. Beneath a brittle sugar crust were small tender pieces of fresh roasted pumpkin and silky custard, and we were both amazed at how well the vegetable flavor and texture worked. Elements works so well because of their devotion to fresh ingredients and intelligent flavor and texture combinations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Happy Halloween. 

Seared Tuna and Tiny Chicken.
Ab will fill in.

Happy Halloween. I know many of you are all wrapped up in the tight Hoosier election and will Kerry pull the state out from under GWB, but let's stop and remember the Great Pumpkin.

Two writers who have given that Halloween rag an extra squeeze for me are James Witcomb Riley and Edgar Allen Poe.
Our Indiana writer has a grave on the highest hill in Indianapolis, a view many Hoosiers don't even know exists. Ed Poe is buried in Westminster Burying Ground in Baltimore, a classic churchyard. It is sweet.

We got to visit it a few days before the anniversary of his death on a gorgeous autumn day when we were in Bawlmer to see the Munedaug-Studebakers.

Here's a view.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Meeting Charles Mexico 

Earlier this year I posted about our discovery of the Wrens through their powerful album "The Meadowlands". When I read on Pitchfork Media that their lead singer Charles Bissell (sometimes facetiously known as Charles Mexico) would open for Mendoza Line in Bloomington on his solo tour, my jaw dropped- especially when I found out he's playing on a Friday.
Jeep, Kim, Jo and I drove down to Bear's Place on 3rd, and drank many beers as we watched the debates and waited for Charles to start. He was spotted in the audience stringing his guitar, so fortified by beer I bravely sauntered over and introduced myself. Turns out he's quite a nice gentleman, recently laid off from his NY day job, touring around solo and with the Wrens . He accompanied himself with some delay pedals and played with virtuosity and enthusiasm. He even played my favorite, "Ex-Girl Collection". After the show we talked some more and bought some discs and wished him well. People, I command you to listen to the Wrens- their music is a fresh interpretation of pop with indy spirit and intelligent songwriting.

Chris Reeves Dead 

A guy who inspired me as a child when he played Superman,
and a guy who inspired me as an adult when he was a superman.

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