25 Woodrow Ave, Indianapolis, IN | Directions 4620439.763312 -86.239682
I have been waiting to visit the new Scholars Inn in Indianapolis for some time and Valentines Day seemed the perfect excuse. The food was excellently prepared and the dishes thoughtfully conceived but the service lacked polish and the seating was dreadful.
Because the food was so good the service had much to live up to and it appears the bar was set too high. The table provided was at the end of an empty row of three tables on the isle near the kitchen. When I asked to be reseated, I was told by the waitress that my 8:00PM reservation was not enough to allow me a better table. While I believe the waitress was mistaken (the couple who eventually did sit down in the other table would not have known a bad seat from a good one) I was still stuck by the inappropriateness of the rejection. The service did improve slightly but I had to repeatedly ask for silverware and my coffee came ten minutes before the desert.
If that seems like nit picking it is because the food was good enough to deserve flawless service. The Valentine?s Day menu was a slightly altered and limited version of the daily menu with a few notable surprises.
The American caviar parfait could confuse with it?s simplicity but it is clear the chef used a deft hand in assembling the components. The balance of the dish relied on a potato fritter and sauce to tie the creme fraiche, caviar and smoked salmon together. My wife?s lamb and chutney pastry was a study in how to balance spicy, sweet and savory components to produce a wonderful overall effect.
These courses were indicative of the overall meal to come. It is difficult to write enough good things about the food presented. All of the dishes were well conceived and executed. An understanding of the fine nuances of the cuisine was apparent in each. I only wish I had not ordered the filet which was too simple a preparation for this menu.
The Scholars Inn, Indianapolis provides excellent food but the service need some work.
Good foot, but... – I went to "SI" last night for dinner, which was very tasty. However, we were seated next to the noisy kitchen. The place was empty and for some reason we were stuck there!! The Sicilian flatbread appetizer was good, but not $12 good. I ordered the roasted chicken and my husband had the pasta. Both were quite tasty.
But again, the whole time, all we heard was the kitchen staff joking around and talking. I had my leftovers to go and to my dismay, they didn't box the whole meal! I had tons of mashed potatoes, chicken and a creamy sauce. When I went to reheat it, I only had a piece of chicken!
I suggest a door to the kitchen and more thought when boxing up the $20 meal.
overpriced simple plates – Honestly I don't care how much I spend, but if I am going to spend a fair amount it's because I'm hoping to have my palate satisfied.
Not so much......
Service was not bad not great, but the food was boring. Anyone could make this stuff. Toooooo much oil and butter or salt.
When I was young and couldn't cook I would pour hot sauce on everything. I feel like they live by the same theory
Wonderful Brunch – We chose this restaurant for Mother's Day Brunch during Graduation Weekend. My in-laws from GA and CA were visiting, and they still are talking about it! We all loved the decor, the staff, and the food. It was fabulous. My husband is a bit of a food snob, and even he was pleased :-) I would HIGHLY recommend this restaurant to any of my family, friends, or acquaintances.
Ok dinner, bad service – The spicy mussels appetizer was good. The celery root and pear soup was just OK. The waitress had the personality of a pile of rocks, and had to return to the kitchen in order to tell us about the specials. The pasta was dry. The salmon was nothing special, but fine. I asked for a box to put my leftovers in, and the waitress only gave me back half my leftovers. I guess she was hungry.
Overall the dinner was OK, but the service below average.
Excellent sandwiches! – I think that they bake their own breads. The atmosphere is great and so is the food! Highly recomended
Brunch Has a few Kinks – So I had a less than stellar experience at brunch last Sunday, which happens to good restaurants sometimes. The good news is that the owners and cooks at SI are committed to making it really great - I received an unsolicited call from the owner the following day. I can't ask for more than that and am eager to try it again.
Above Average Food, but Menu Tries too Hard – My wife and I enjoyed her birthday dinner here a week ago. While the hostess was friendly and helpful, I was disappointed that her special occasion was not acknowledged by staff (like Ruth's Chris and Fleming's do) after I had indicated her birthday when making our reservations online at OpenTable_com. Our server was attentive, although the meal was paced a bit slowly. The appetizer, a crab and shrimp fondue was delicious, but came with too little bread and too much of a fried cracker for dipping. A real disappointment and surprise, given the Scholar's Inn heritage as a great bakery. We also were surprised that delicious bread was stingily "upon request", where a small portion was served, and then replenished as needed, rather than provided in a generous supply left at our table to consume as we pleased. Both of our entrees were good, but had way too many flavors and textures thrown together, indicating a "more is more" approach by the chef. My eggplant tower, literally at 5" tall, had three accompanying sauces or vegetables in the sauce, breading on the eggplant, melted cheese between the eggplant "patties" and more. Each was good by itself, but together it was an unfortunate goulash where too many good things made up one underwhelming entree. Based on other reviews, we looked forward to our dessert, the Blondie, and weren't disappointed. Though the dessert menu sounds somewhat uninspired, the manner in which ours was prepared was unique and delicious--a great end to our meal. Dessert was accompanied by decaf coffee no better than that found at any average restaurant in town, also below our expectations for the Scholar's Inn reputation. However, our bottle of Gundlach Bunschu merlot, at 50% on Mondays, was wonderful, and the "take the bottle home" policy of Scholar's allowed us to continue enjoying it the following evening as well. All in all, very good appetizer and dessert, but entrees that tried much too hard. Future visits will be for dessert or breads only.
Great weekend brunch – I must agree with previous posts about the dinner that is only slightly above average. The weekend brunch, however, is phenominal. Indy has some great breakfast places (e.g. Hoaglin and Patachou) and this restaurant ranks among the best. I'm a big fan of the Scholar's Scrambles and breakfast champagne cocktails.
Don't forget about Thursday night half-price martinis!
After-dinner desserts and drinks is a great idea at Scholar's--they have table-side Bananas Foster!
5 stars in all catergories... – My wife and I went their for her birthday. I am always in reach of new places that are romantic and quiet. There is a very interesting contrast between the outside appearance of the building and the inside. It is not what you would expect, although in a very good way! Our meals, wine (recommended by our waitress) and dessert rated among the best the meals that I have eaten. As a part of my job I travel to many different metropolitan areas and the Scholars Inn rates with the best..
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