Indianapolis is quickly becoming one of the hottest food cities in America. A destination for true foodies who are interested in everything from fine dining to food trucks. This column will put the spotlight on one of these local hot spots to help get the word out and share in the love of all things food.
Review by Dustin Heller (@eatindywatchindie on Instagram)
According to Google, synonyms for the word “elegance” include “style, grace, sophistication, luxury” and the list goes on. In my personal opinion, they might have forgotten one: Eddie Merlot’s. This week the spotlight is shining on the north side of Indy on a place that’s the epitome of elegant dining. Eddie Merlot’s Prime Aged Beef and Seafood is located at 3645 E. 96th St. and has been guaranteeing Indy an “Exceptional Experience” since 2001.
The interior of the restaurant is a work of art itself; from the vaulted ceilings and hourglass columns to the gorgeous lighting and vibrant color scheme. To put it bluntly, Eddie Merlot’s has class! Aside from the stunning dining area, they also have a great bar area perfect for an after work meet-up or a pre-dinner drink. Now that spring has sprung (well, sort of), the outdoor patio should be open for business soon enough.
With such a beautiful restaurant, would you expect anything less than the utmost quality when it comes to the food? Everything at Eddie Merlot’s is made from scratch right there in the kitchen, all while using the freshest and highest-quality ingredients available. The menu is extensive, but steak is king. All of their steaks are hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and steroid-free, and aged for a minimum of 21 days before being hand cut in-house. All of this translates to an exquisite dining experience, but how on earth are you to decide what to order from all of these amazing choices?
Let me help you out with my four “can’t miss” choices from Eddie Merlot’s.
Steak: I already know making a blanket statement like “Steak” doesn’t work around here. Trust me, I write the column. The reason I put “Steak” was because I couldn’t choose between two of the steaks on the menu and I only get four choices.
Is it cheating? Perhaps. (Editor’s note: It’s cheating)
The first “can’t miss” steak is the Tarpoly Creek Ranch Wagyu Ribeye. That name sure is a mouthful, but trust me, you’re gonna want more than a mouthful once you sink your teeth into this steak. Eddie Merlot’s is the only restaurant in America serving up this Wagyu from Tarpoly Creek. We’re talking about 16 ounces of the most flavorful steak you can put in your mouth. The Australian Marble Score on this beauty is 7/8 which doesn’t even have a USDA equivalent. Translation: treat yourself!
Not to be outdone is the Prime Bourbon Ribeye. This is a classic USDA Prime cut of ribeye that has been marinated in bourbon, brown sugar and spices. The quality of meat is exquisite and the flavor profile is off the charts. Ask for steak sauce with this one and you might just get asked to leave. I’m kidding; Eddie Merlot’s would never ask you to leave. I, however, might if I happen to witness it.
Bananas Foster: Don’t let the grandeur of the presentation fool you; this dessert tastes just as good as it looks. A brief history lesson: Bananas Foster originated at Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans and was named after the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission, Robert Foster. I’m sure neither Mr. Foster nor the restaurant had any idea that the dessert or name would become a fixture of American cuisine. Pretty awesome to have something like that named after you! Hmmm, wonder if I could talk Eddie Merlot’s into renaming their carrot cake? Carrot Cake Heller has a nice ring to it.
Himalayan Pink Salt Block Ahi Tuna: Not only does the salt block make for a beautiful presentation, it gives the Ahi a light salty taste along with some added nutritional benefits. The star of this show is the wild caught Ahi Tuna that is seared rare, just the way mother nature intended. It is then placed upon the natural serving platter (salt block) and served with gari ginger, unagi sauce, and wasabi cream. Let me just say that the Ahi with a dab of the wasabi cream and dipped in the unagi is a party in your mouth.
Blackened Sea Scallops: I am a lover of all things scallops. I love the way they look (always make for a gorgeous presentation), their delicate texture, but most of all their fresh, buttery flavor. Eddie Merlot’s pan sears their seasoned scallops, giving them a delectable outer crust without sacrificing any of the freshness. They are placed atop a crispy truffle potato cake and served with a bourbon jalapeno creamed corn that is out of this world. Even if scallops aren’t your thing, I’d recommend getting a side of this creamed corn–or if you’re feeling frisky, get an additional side of it with the scallops. You can never get too much of a good thing, right?