#IndianapolisIN – Several months ago I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the interior of a space on Virginia Avenue in the heart of Fletcher Place in Indianapolis. At that time the building, a former auto repair shop, had recently been acquired by local culinary talents Jonathan and Ashley Brooks. On that particularly cold day I got the grand tour from their adorable son Roman and was able to catch them for a quick photo. I knew then that the location combined with what I already knew about the Brooks’ talent and vision for that space would change my view on first meal entirely.
Fast forward a few months and the pair are serving raving diners in pop-up brunches at Recess, where Jonathan served as Chef de Cuisine, and I patiently waited for them to open. I also coveted the food I saw lovingly shared on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook by their well-fed admirers.
Milktooth had emerged as the city’s premiere early morning hot spot and they had not even opened their doors yet.
In early October, opening day had arrived and word got around fast that this was one hot ticket and people were excited. Excited that Milktooth has joined the many other exhilarating dining spots in the state and a movement to elevate the dining scene in Indiana.
Note: I am not a restaurant reviewer. I make no secret of that. But I felt that my experience watching Milktooth grow, open and share their time and space with the masses was something you would want to know about. I hope that through reading this you decide to bust out of suburbia like I did and try something new. You won’t regret it.
Finally, last Friday I was able to get in there and try Milktooth in Fletcher Place out! First, let me point out that Fletcher Place and the Fountain Square area boast so many fantastic hot spots (that I am not going to mention in fear that I will forget someone) that you need to make a day of it. At the very least you need to plan a night out. From hard cider to cocktails, Asian street food to some of the best tacos I have ever had- this is a destination dining area.
The 55+ seat dining room was bustling with diners and I immediately recognized familiar faces as well as a few off duty chefs of note. We were taken to our seat which, coincidentally, had a birds-eye view of the whole place. Next time, I am going to ask for a seat at the counter where I can sit and watch their talented staff work.
I was struck by the comfortable place settings, fresh flowers in antique milk bottles, and plates that reminded me of my husband’s grandmother’s kitchen in Southern Virginia. There is a sense of home and warmth, and everywhere you look the decorative touches are accidentally on purpose.
I loved it.
Whether you are a coffee drinker or you prefer a morning libation there will be something there for you. When you walk in try to take in the coffee bar area and watch them work. I had a latte (since I was working on cup #3 of the day) and as I expected it came out a treat for the eyes. The barista offers pour over, drip, cold brew and espresso. I would like to weigh in on a cocktail or two but I didn’t have one. Update to come!
Here is my take on dining. I want a clean space that offers food I cannot or do not want to make myself that keeps me thinking and craving until my next visit. I look for value on the plate. Something interesting and above all- a pleasure to my palate. I can cook and frankly- my family gets tired of eating out. We get tired of the breakfast hot spots that offer an array of 2 pancakes, 2 eggs, 2 strips of bacon- rinse and repeat every day. There is a time and a place for that and I realize that for many- that is all the more you will ever want.
But if you are looking for more- then read on.
My selections that morning were steak tartare, lightly seasoned and perfectly scoopable with house made discs of potato and joined by the most perfect little orb of egg yolk.
Next we moved onto the item that I was most excited to try- The sweet tea fried chicken with fresh biscuit, sausage gravy and a sunny side up egg. That chicken. That biscuit! I could eat it every day.
My breakfast guest had the Dutch baby pancake topped with city ham, muntanyola cheese, green grapes, tatsoi (an Asian variety of greens). I swiped a bite of that and am adding it to my list of what I may order next time.
I noticed that their menu had items I could order for my kids, a lush pastry menu (you must get a bacon and kale scone. Do it) and a bevy of sides (known as adjacents) but what I ordered was more than enough for me.
At the end of the day you need to eat what you like, where you want and without hesitation. Just bring that one, perfect bite to your mouth and enjoy it. Once you are done take a moment to appreciate the hard work that brought you that spectacular bite and leave it at that. That’s what I did and I will be back.
Most likely after I am done writing this….
(Due to the rain that day I have no exterior photo’s.I will add more to this post in the future)
When You Go:
534 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis
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7am – 9am Counter service coffee and pastry
9am – 3pm full service brunch
No reservations. Parties of 8 or more, please call ahead~ 317-986-5131