Sophisticated Living Indianapolis

MAR-APR 2017

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Festiva is quickly finding its legs. Tinker Street fans will feel right at home in the same set-up of intimate dining room, social bar and heated enclosed patio (serapes draped over the chairs are a fun, thoughtful detail). George gets credit for the vibrant design and sunny, al fresco-feeling color schemes inside and out. Patterned blue/green concrete walls in the dining room give off a subtle pool party vibe. "In keeping with the name, we wanted the feeling of a celebration," Main said. "It's just a festive kind of place!" Don't expect to load up on any old run-of-the-mill chips and salsa after you've taken your seat. A mini cast-iron skillet of chicharrones greets guests with crunchy bites of puffed wheat and crispy garbanzos that hint at spice, lime and hot sauce. Addictive, adorable and a perfect complement to any of the three margaritas on offer — the house blend, a top-shelf option and a seasonal variation. (Festiva also serves beer, wine and sangria.) Local mixology master Jason Foust has built Festiva's beverage program, as one might expect, on the cornerstones of tequila and mezcal. "We wanted to hone in on classic Mexican cocktails and put our own twist on them," he said. "ere's so much rich tradition and heritage behind agave spirits, and so much to learn about them." The Margarita Estacional makes a lovely first impression, an easy- sipping floral potion of Camarena Blanco tequila, fresh blood orange juice, habanero and hibiscus. Among a shortlist of craft cocktails, Foust touts the "Urban Sombrero" — mezcal with cucumber, serrano, corn, lime and aromatic cilantro oil; and the "Champurrado," a smooth yet fiery combination of Patron Incendio, cinnamon, milk and chocolate liqueur. 88 slmag.net

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