Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

NOV-DEC 2018

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This, the third iteration of Tony's, the other two being in Cincinnati and Lexington, sets an already high bar even higher. Downtown Indianapolis is fortunate to be home to an unusually dense population of steakhouses, some of which, as we know, are classics. Tony's, from the moment it hit the ground in September, looked set to join the ranks of the elite with its outstanding menu and equally elevated service. "I learned about hospitality from my mother," says Tony Ricci, who was born and raised in Civitanova del Sannio in Italy and likes to do things the old-fashioned way. "Like most Italian families, we spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Mom made sure that every guest felt like part of the family. I'm proud to carry on her tradition of serving great food with genuine hospitality." With an extremely well-informed staff that is comfortable and conversant with the menu, Tony's delivers a level of service that is at once affable and precise. General manager Michael Morgan brings years of experience to bear on the front of house, where light wood tones and pale grays offer a contemporary ambience that is at odds with the traditional oak-paneled country club d├ęcor common to so many traditional establishments. e atmosphere is open and welcoming, as is the owner, who ensures that every guest receives a personal greeting. As dish number two, a perfectly seared ahi tuna tartare served in bite-sized chunks with a nicely judged kick of heat in the crust, arrives, we are again dazzled by the freshness and texture of the fish. It's the kind of dish that stays with you for weeks afterwards, and I mean that in a good way. Next up is yet another winner, and as good a reason as any to pay a return visit. e Rassati beef tartare is a star in a menu full of standout dishes, hand cut (as opposed to ground) from high-quality prime beef tenderloin. Served with a smear of Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, shallots and capers, as well as a raw egg yolk, this classic dish is further elevated by the sheer quality of its raw ingredients. The steak is almost ethereal in its tenderness and pristine beefy flavor; it reminds us what this popular but often poorly executed dish is really all about. 80 slmag.net

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