I have looked forward to this place opening for a while. It is the restaurant part of 12.05 Distillery. The distillery opened several months back;the second one in Indianapolis. The whole facility, distillery,dining room and kitchen is in an old bank building,built-in 1924. The exterior features the original terra-cotta exterior and uses an abundance of old wood in the interior. The name is a dedication to the date when Prohibition ended. December fifth. I think they are trying to capture a 1930’s vibe and the menu reflects that.
The chef did his due diligence in making some dishes reflective of the era. They offer a Mock Turtle soup as well as a Cream Mongole.
I opted for a cup of a cup of Mongole to start. This is a crazy combo of split pea, creamy tomato and various root vegetables. It was very earthy and flavorful. It would be great winter time fare for $4 per cup and $8 for a bowl.
The only critique I could make is the soup,as good as it was cries for some cracker. A bit of a crunch to balance the creaminess.
For my main dish I was really torn. They offer a Hot Brown, a Monte Christo and a smoked beef Manhattan. Well I decided on the raw Beef “sandwich” for $13. It was a half pound mound of chopped steak on a thick slice of a rye type bread, topped with a raw egg, pickled onion and a neon relish.
I thought it was a very elegant and tasty bite for lunch, but then I have a thing for tartare and Kibbeh Nayyeh and the like so I jumped at the chance. I think there are only 2 joints in Indy that offer this particular dish. Once again I must pick a nit. I don’t know if serving it on a thick slice of bread is the way to go. I slid the meat off of the bread and ate it with pieces of the bread I tore off. Luckily Pat didn’t eat all of his bread so I had enough to finish. Also I always though naan was a thin flat bread. Hey I may be wrong. In either event I admire the person that put it on the menu.
Pat, true to form, ordered the smoked pork sandwich, for $9.
So;this is Repeal. A nice little joint with a few minor details to iron out. We had two menus. One said Brioche bun the other said Cholla bun. I guess Cholla is the new name for Challah. Oy Vey. Still I think it is a great new joint. I want to go back and try the Mock Turtle soup and the Pimento Cheese. And while I am there I might as well have a cocktail.
One thing Indy does as well as any city is re cycle its restaurant property. This building on 54th street started out as a Long John Silver’s. Then it became Just Judy’s, a long time tavern that relocated about one year ago. Now it’s become JT’s, not just a Tavern but a Grill, with an E. The place has gone through quite a make over. New paint, new furnishings, the whole bit. The lunch menu is pretty much what you would expect for a tavern.
I ordered something I rarely order. A grilled chicken sandwich. It was okay, nothing spectacular. Which is one reason I don’t make a habit of ordering grilled breasts that often. This particular piece of chicken was a half breast, about 4 ounces in weight and easily dwarfed by the all too generic bun. They offer a wide selection of sides to pick from. One is a cup of soup for an extra $1.49. Their SOD was split pea with ham, one of my favorites. And it was excellent. Thick and loaded with ham cubes. I could have eaten a big ol’ bowl.
After lunch I discovered that they have a really nice smoker out back, and a nice stack of logs. Covered by a metal roof. So maybe we mis ordered. They did offer a pork bbq sandwich, but at the time of ordering I didn’t know about their smoker. Also after lunch when we were at the bar having our obligatory Pale Ale the Manager/ Server/ Bartender was pouring out a measure of bourbon for their BBQ sauce. Which could be a good sign for future eaters. I really can’t say anything bad about the joint I just didn’t see anything really special. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not there.http://www.jtsgrille.com/