Around Indy: Meridian Restaurant & Bar

Meridian has been one of those popular Indy restaurants that I’ve known about for a long time but hadn’t visited until my birthday this year. Located at the intersection of Meridian & Westfield Boulevard in a large mansion-type of space with a log cabin feel on the inside, Meridian Restaurant & Bar is a cozy spot for enjoying a nicer-than-average meal with family and friends.

When I visited right after the restaurant opened on a weeknight, the place was empty but I had a reservation just in case. The weather at the time was just somewhat warm, but too rainy to enjoy the patio seating which is always my preference when it’s available. Instead, we were able to get seated next by a window next to the fireplace, which was a fantastic spot.

The table ordered the Charcuterie Board, Spinach & Mushroom Ravioli and Smoked Corn Puree for starters. I’ve never met a charcuterie board I didn’t like, and this one was no different. The board includes house terrine, local salamis, a variety of cheese, pickles, mustard, jam, and a drop biscuit. I noticed that Meridian uses local businesses like Smoking Goose, Tulip Tree Creamery, and Turchetti’s Salumeria for their menu items, and it’s great to see the local business support!

Ravioli and Charcuterie

The Smoked Corn Puree was a soup that was just a little too sweet for my taste, though our server said it was one of the more popular items. It tasted like you’d expect pureed corn to taste and included red peppers, potatoes, and bacon in the mix. The ravioli was delicious as well, though I only had a bite of it. With the generous size of the appetizers, three appetizers for three people was a little more than I could handle!

Smoked Corn Puree

The main dishes ordered were the Wild Boar Bolognese, Chicken Tikka and Bucatini All’Amatriciana. The dish I specifically ordered was the bolognese which included wild boar, homemade pasta, lemon ricotta, parmesan cheese and a crostini on the side. I ordered this dish because I’d had a fantastic boar bolognese during a food tour in Denver and wanted a replica of that dish, but found that this one didn’t quite have the depth of flavor I was expecting though it was still a good main dish.

Wild Boar Bolognese

The Bucatini All’Amatriciana included guanciale, red onion, heirloom tomato conserva, basil bucatini, and pecorino romano cheese. This dish just tasted like you’d expect a basic red-sauce-based pasta dish to taste. Again, like the previous dish, this was good but didn’t “wow” me.

Bucatini All’Amatriciana

The Chicken Tikka included chicken, saffron jasmine rice, fennel, bok choy, apple and masala sauce. This dish was the one that ended up being my favorite! It had all of the flavor that I was missing in the other two main dishes and was reminiscent of a tikka masala, without the level of spiciness. The heat level would be the only thing I’d change with this dish — I would have liked the option for it to be spicier than it was, but I can understand them taking it down a lot to accommodate the fact that they’re in more of an upscale American restaurant setting.

Chicken Tikka

For dessert, we ordered the Signature Donuts and the Banana Chiffon Cake. Of the two, I preferred the cake, though I was so full by this point, it was tough to do more than try a few bites of each.

As a special treat, since it was my birthday, I was given a chocolate “surprise” dessert! I don’t exactly know what it was, some kind of chocolate mousse type of thing, but it was delicious! There were several other desserts on the menu that we didn’t get to try that also looked amazing and I can see coming back here just for some coffee and dessert sampling, if not for an entire meal.

Chocolate “surprise” birthday dessert

Pricing for all of the menu items was a little higher than expected, but not crazy given the ambiance and the quality of the service and food. I’ve heard that Meridian has great lunch prices, so if you’re on a budget, it would be in your best interest to visit for a workweek lunch vs. coming in for dinner.

I enjoyed this first visit to Meridian and would highly recommend it for celebrations and get-togethers. There’s also some private event space there that would the perfect spot for upcoming holiday parties!

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