Foodie Spotlight: LouVino brings seasonal plates and quality wine to Mass Ave

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)

In my opinion, having dinner with friends is a very important part of society and culture. What better way to spend quality time with people in a busy, social media driven world than over a delicious meal? LouVino is a restaurant and wine bar that specializes in small plates (shareable, not tiny) and is the perfect spot for such an occasion -- the more, the merrier. The Louisville-based restaurant opened their first Indiana store in Fishers back in late 2016 and their newest location is located downtown at 530 Massachusetts Ave.

Photo by @davepluimer

The Mass Ave location opened earlier this year, and it is every bit as beautiful as the Fishers store. The happening bar area overlooking the bustling sidewalks is truly the place to be: bright and lively and great place to hang out with friends. The dining area is a little more quiet and relaxed, with cozy tables sandwiched between the beautiful staircase and a giant mirror-covered wall. They even have an upstairs dining area that is perfect for private events.

Photo by @davepluimer

The menu at LouVino changes every couple of months in order to keep up with seasonal trends and items. This also means that everything that comes from the kitchen is super fresh and tasty. The food is Southern-inspired and has been carefully crafted with the extensive wine selection in mind. The fall menu is rolling out and let me say that it is pretty exciting. With that, here are my “can’t miss” choices from the new menu. Disclaimer: This is a seasonal “can’t miss” list, so make your plans accordingly.

Red Beet Gnocchi: Is it just me, or does food taste better when it’s really pretty? Case in point, red beet gnocchi versus pretty much another other gnocchi out there. The gnocchi in this dish aren’t just another pretty face either, they are pillowy soft and full of flavor. These delicious dumplins are served with herb oil and garnished with goat cheese, fried sage, and pistachio. Mouthwateringly delicious!

Photo by @davepluimer

Seared Foie Gras: I’m fully aware that duck liver is a bit of a turn off for most people, but don’t turn up your nose if you’ve never tried it. I can personally guarantee that the taste is exquisite if you can get past the fact you’re eating liver. The texture of the foie gras is buttery smooth with a soft, smoky flavor. It is paired perfectly with upside down caramelized onion cake, berry jam, and finished with shaved hazelnut. Be adventurous!

Photo by @davepluimer

Citrus Soy Glazed Lamb Ribs: That is a mouthful to say and a mouthful (of joy) to eat. Lamb ribs definitely have a distinct flavor that is much different than beef or pork ribs. They are a bit gamey (in a good way) which gives them a nice, rich flavor; whereas the citrus soy glaze adds a salty sweet component to the heartiness of the meat. Scallions and crushed peanuts are piled on top for a little added flavor and texture. Now the only decision left is half or full rack…I think you know my choice.

Photo by @davepluimer

Roasted Cauliflower: We started this list with a vegetarian dish, so let’s finish strong and end with one. This is a whole head of cauliflower that’s about the size of a mini-basketball. Translation: you are gonna want to bring your appetite for this one. The cauliflower is roasted to a golden brown and not at all mushy in texture. I could eat plain cauliflower all day, but when it’s served with tzatziki, halloumi, tomato, pickled onion, and fried dill, we’re talking next level.

Photo by @davepluimer

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