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
For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamt of vacationing on the beautiful island of Capri just off the coast of Italy; the gorgeous beaches, the rugged landscape, and of course the Italian cuisine all scream vacation to me. I’m probably a few years (probably more like 20) from making this dream a reality, so in the meantime I can visit Capri right here in Indy and at least taste what it might be like in paradise. Capri Italian Restaurant (2602 Ruth Dr) has been wining and dining Northsiders since 1951 and it’s time for the rest of Indy to take notice.
The fact that Capri has been in business for almost 70 years speaks to the quality of the food and the staff. The restaurant is overflowing with charm and it truly has the feel of a time gone by…not in a stale way, but a fresh and exciting way. The outdoor patio is as beautiful as any you’ll find in Indy and the dimly lit dining room and bar area are cozy and cool.
When it comes to the food at Capri, everything is made fresh in-house daily. In my opinion, there is nothing more important than knowing that an Italian restaurant is making their own pasta! As you might imagine, the pasta dishes steal the show, but Capri also serves traditional Italian meat and seafood entrees to go along with their vast selection of antipasti and desserts. Is your mouth watering yet? If not, here is my list of “can’t miss” items from the menu that will surely push your taste buds over the edge.
- Gnocchi di Patate Sorrentina…Translation: Potato gnocchi served Sorrento-style. Gnocchi are little pasta dumplings that have a pillowy texture and a mild, yet delicate flavor. Sorrentina means that the pasta is baked in a tomato sauce and paired with fresh mozzarella and basil. Everything about this dish feels like old world Italy where the flavors literally jump off the plate. The homemade gnocchi are super tender and are brought to life by the richness of the tomato sauce and the creaminess of the mozzarella. All that’s left to be said is “Mangiamo” aka “Let’s eat!”
- Chocolate Tartufo…Tartufo is a fairly simplistic Italian ice cream dessert, but one that really packs a wallop in regards to taste. It begins with a Zabaione (egg yolks, sugar, and a sweet wine) cream center that is encapsulated by decadent chocolate gelato and caramelized hazelnuts. It is then dusted with cocoa powder and served with chocolate sauce. This little brown ball might not look like much…but looks can be deceiving. Word of advice, don’t plan on sharing.
- Stuffed Portobello Mushroom…The word Portobello literally translates to “Beautiful Door”, so why not open that door and stuff it full of all sorts of deliciousness. This oversized mushroom is a treat in and of itself, but it’s taken to the next level when stuffed with chicken, spinach, ricotta cheese and onions. It’s not like Capri just brushes a little filling on top and calls it “stuffed”. No, they pack their mushroom to the gills with this delectable mixture. The dish isn’t quite complete until it is drizzled with truffle oil and balsamic.
- Tortelloni alla Papalina…This is the dish that is good enough for the Pope (”alla Papalina” means “for the Pope”). It’s impossible to say the name of this dish without using a thick accent and then kissing the tips of your fingers like a true Italiano. Tortelloni is a stuffed pasta that is pretty much tortellini on steroids. The tortelloni in this dish are stuffed with buttery ricotta and then sautéed with olive oil, onions, pancetta, mushrooms and cream…giving it a smoky, earthy taste profile. A dish this rich might just send you to confession.