Fogo De Chao is a Brazilian-influenced steak house and meat lovers’ paradise with a national pedigree. Located in a triangular-shaped building in downtown Indianapolis, the facility is easily spotted thanks to a large, street-side stained glass window at its front corner. Inside, the meat-based aroma is undeniable, thanks to the availability of various renditions of sirloin, rib eye, ribs, lamb, chicken and pork. However, guests at Fogo De Chao can also fill themselves at the restaurant’s gourmet salad and sides bar where more than 30 items can be found, including various vegetables, imported cheeses, artisan breads and cured meats. But it’s the delivered-to-your-table meat offerings, served on skewers, which are by far the most popular dining option. A two-sided flip card, alternatively red and green, is used by visitors to signal whether or not they’re ready for more meat.
The historical brick building that houses Janko's Little Zagreb, once a reputed 1940s brothel, now beckons in a much more respectable clientele with its cheerful red awning and brightly lit dining room. Large cushy booths enclose red-checkered tables, while IU football and basketball posters speckle the walls. Tables have a clear view of two open grills, which sizzle with menu items including thick, succulent USDA Choice steaks, seafood, and more. An extensive wine list and locally made beer from Upland Brewing Company wash down entrees as IU fans dish out endless Hoosier puns, such as “Hoosier daddy?” and “Hoosier favorite Disney princess?”
Chefs air all of their culinary secrets at Fujiyama Steak House of Japan, where they expertly slice filet mignon, flip pieces of shrimp into the air, and grill mounds of rice at hibachi tables as diners watch. Guests can also marvel as sushi masters stuff the freshest fried shrimp, avocado, cucumber, and crab inside the dynamite roll before deep-frying the entire cylinder to a crispy golden brown. They create this same crunch in other maki specialties by incorporating tempura-battered shrimp and chicken.
A herd of plastic cattle mark the entranceway to Bynum's Steakhouse, an establishment hailed as Indianapolis' best steakhouse by USA Today and 10Best. Aged for 21 days, all of Bynum's certified Angus steaks—from the juicy porterhouses to the 32-ounce, bone-in prime ribs—arrive in generous 1.5- to 2-inch cuts. Equally generous are the sides that accompany the tender cuts of meat: crocks of Bynum's onion soup and salads smothered in house-made dressings are served with each and every steak, along with bread and a choice of a baked potato, steak fries, rice, or veggies.
Aside from steaks, the Bynum's culinary team crafts everything from peppercorn-encrusted salmon to mushrooms sautéed in garlic and vermouth. They're also known for their gigantic Madagascar lobster tails, topped traditionally with hot drawn butter or untraditionally with a drizzle of hot fudge. Speaking of, around five or six desserts draw meals to a sweet close; Gayot claims that "few can pass up the seasonal cobbler or creamy cheesecake", the latter of which is available in flavors like caramel apple, fudge brownie, and Belgian chocolate. And, to complement each course, bartenders supply a variety of wines, craft beers, and top-shelf liquors, including American Harvest Organic Vodka.
Quietly nestled in the heart of the Meridian/Kessler area, a few minutes north of downtown Indianapolis, is a restaurant that combines a fine-dining atmosphere with a casual neighborhood feel. The Meridian Restaurant & Bar blends into its surrounding residential landscape perfectly, thanks to a slightly faded olive green exterior and modest external signage. The structure, a one-time private residence with parking on its south and west sides, also allows for patio dining near an outdoor fireplace, from spring through fall. With mostly wooden floors, periodic stone wall accents and candle-style lighting, the interior of the Meridian has a cozy cabin feel to it. Soups, salads and select entrées are served during lunch hours. In the evening, an expanded menu allows for a variety of possibilities including sea scallops, seafood risotto, chicken schnitzel, pork chops, short ribs and New York strip.
An elegant feel complemented by a low-key, subtly classic décor marks Morton’s The Steakhouse as a prime player in the steak restaurant scene in Indianapolis. With its rich, mahogany-heavy interior, this dinnertime restaurant can be found in the heart of what’s locally known as the downtown Indianapolis Wholesale District. Menu options include a variety of poultry and seafood dishes, but Morton’s is mostly known for its filet mignon, rib eye variations, pork and lamb chops. The upscale site is also frequently used for business meetings and special gatherings, thanks to a pair of private dining rooms that can be utilized during breakfast, lunch or dinner hours by special request. The bar features a smaller Bites menu, from which patrons can order modestly-priced items like iceberg wedge bites, mini crab cake BLT’s or petite filet mignon sandwiches.