eating indie in indy

Courses Restaurant 2820 N. Meridian Street

I had the most singular luncheon experience today. Courses is a student staffed restaurant connected to the Culinary Program of Ivy Tech. From the preparation to the presentation, everything is done by the students. The building that the Culinary Program calls home was originally  Stouffer’s Inn. Built in 1966 it was operating as a hotel until 1980.

When Ivy Tech acquired it in 2010 the thing was redone to meet the needs of a growing College. I believe the Restaurant proper and its production kitchen are in what once was Stouffer’s Lounge and dining room. Some of that ambiance remains.

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They offer a Prix Fixe Menu which changes periodically. They also offer, beer and wine.

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Yes the price is $12. That is not a mis-print. Three miles North; Broad Ripple, or South: Downtown and a burger would cost you 10 bucks.

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Naturally I opted for the sausage and cheese plate. Their cheese offering was a medium hard Gruyer cheese and a semi soft brie. For the meats they provided a prosciutto, a type of dried sausage and a salumi. I thought the combination was well thought out and executed. By giving both spicy and sweet meats with differing textures of cheese your taste buds had a delightful workout. They also kept the pickled accents small. Enough to break up the richness of the meat and cheese but not enough to skew your mouth.

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For my entre, or featured part of my lunch I decided on the duck sandwich.

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I must say I was very pleased. The duck confit was excellent. Moist and unctuous,with a great flavor. The portion was massive as well and the addition of a slice of duck bacon was a most welcome Lagniappe. All in all it was one of the top 5 sandwiches I have had in the last couple of years. The bread, which they make as well, was a perfect partner to the duck. Speaking of bread. As soon as you are seated you are brought a basket of bread and a plate of butter. This particular service they offered a sourdough. To me the best possible bread with butter and sausage.

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Now what could possibly be the perfect ending to such a rich and luscious lunch? How about Chocolate pots de creme.

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Now when was the last time you saw something this decadent? The chocolate wasn’t completely smooth. Every now and then you would get a tiny chunk of chocolate. Chocolate so dense and thick your spoon stands up in it. Delicious.

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The restaurant is only open for lunch on Wednesday and Thursday with seating from 11:00 to 12:15 PM. And reservations are recommended. We first heard about it late last year but couldn’t get in. Unfortunately Pat had to go out-of-town this week so I had to go solo. They also serve dinner. So now I have to start going out in the evening. This is a hidden gem. Excellent food and a warm and wonderful staff. Very impressive joint. It is definitely worth the wait for a reservation.

Courses Restaurant on Urbanspoon

6 responses

  1. I hope you wore your Sunday clothes; that sounds like a linen napkin place. I just like to say Prix Fixe over and over. I would rather it say “Free free,” but $12 for all that food is nice. A duck sandwich, you say? Never had one. So unctuous is a good thing? I thought it was greasy or oily. Then again, I don’t know about confit. The chocolate dessert appears to have a drizzle of raspberry, my favorite combination. Did you play it safe and just have water?

    March 27, 2015 at 10:34 am

    • It was indeed a linen napkin kind of place; something I did not expect. Yes,to me unctuous is a good thing. A bit of delectable grease on your lips is good. And a bit of that is to be expected with confit. That desert was exceptional and that bit of berry had a slight hint of sourness which made the chocolate even more tasty. Of course I didn’t play it safe. They had draft beer. So I got a nice local IPA for 3 bucks. I was very impressed with the whole deal. It was so nice to see a bunch of people happy and excited in their work.

      March 27, 2015 at 10:47 am

  2. I love student-run kitchens. And I love supporting them even more. This place definitely sounds like a winner, Benson. I’d be curious to find out where many of them find employment thereafter–if maybe they’re funneled into a few restaurants around town or if they are siphoned out to some more exotic local–and whether or not they get to do any internships during their course of study.
    Duck confit is a weakness of mine, although I much prefer when somebody else makes it, as the only time of year when I do, it’s a part of a three day process of making cassoulet.
    And pots du creme? I think I just fainted. Finding a masterfully made desert like that is so worth the hunt.
    Glad you found this worthy spot. I hope you get to check out their evening offerings. I can only imagine.
    Cheers!

    March 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

  3. mags86

    Oh my – this sounds absolutely wonderful!!!

    March 30, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    • Oh it was most assuredly was. I can not say enough good things about those young folks

      March 30, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      • Jessica

        Hi there, I’m Jessica Jagger, the point person for the restaurant. We are SO happy that you had a wonderful experience. It’s patrons like you that engage our students and really help encourage them to remain passionate about the industry. Our students certainly do intern at local restaurants; we continue to work with local industry stakeholders to ensure our students are getting the education they need to florish in the “real world.” If you have any questions about the restaurant and/or student-ran bakery-cafe, please contact me at jjagger@ivytech.edu. Thanks again for the kind words! I will pass it on to our Classical Cuisine class who prepared your meal!

        April 1, 2015 at 8:34 pm

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