The Slippery Noodle is Indiana's oldest bar in continuous operation, providing a massive menu of classic tavern fare. Jump-start a meal with a sample platter ($11.99) of four buffalo wings, three mozzarella sticks, and four chicken strips with marinara and ranch dipping sauces. Or dine in musical style with a blues burger ($9.49), a half-pound Black Angus beef patty crowned with sautéed onions, green peppers, mushrooms, bacon, and a choice of cheese. A hefty plate of Southern-style pork barbecue ($13.99) may trigger sudden regional-dialect shifts with tender mouthfuls of simmered pulled pork in a sweet, slightly smoky barbecue sauce. Wash it all down with a domestic draft beer for $4.50 or an imported bottle of Red Stripe for $5, taking care to clink bottle or cup with your dining companion, whether a friend, loved one, or Winston Churchill impersonator.
As a neighborhood pub with an esoteric yet well-explained name, The Ball and Biscuit pours craft beers, boutique wines, and vintage cocktails alongside delicately paired small plates for patrons in search of good conversation in a sophisticated atmosphere. The Fauxhemian cocktail ($11) raises furrowed eyebrows by stirring green and yellow Chartreuse with gin, sweet vermouth, and house-made grenadine bitters swirled into a tumbling glass already drunk on Vieux Carre absinthe, orange bitters, and Chateau Renni Cava. A supple glass of Brassfield pinot noir ($9) chats up a slightly citric brillat savarin cheese plate ($4) before discussing the rise and fall of professional wrestling with a pint of Sun King cream ale ($5) and a kimchi hotdog ($7).
The Libertine Liquor Bar is a narrow, softly-lit room in which deeply-shaded hardwood floors separate a series of small dining tables on one side and a long bar on the other. Modern yet calm, dim watering holes like this are hard to come by in Indianapolis, which has led locals to flock to this downtown haunt since it opened. With a cosmopolitan décor that combines cool browns and gray, the facility is appropriately known for its trendy liquors and specialty mixed drinks, but the Libertine is equally recognized as a casually-elegant spot for both contemporary and unusual American cuisine. On the rotating menu diners may find gin marinated olives, which are a popular starter, and many enjoy the facility’s monkfish that comes with ricotta gnuddi and pomodoro. Chicken and bacon meatballs are also a favorite for those looking to experiment.
Ornamental hookahs tower over tabletops at Hookah Nites, sending swirling clouds of aromatic smoke out over cushy velvet couches and armchairs. Bartenders bustle about behind the dimly lit bar, mixing up specialty cocktails, doling out pitchers, and dishing out platters of sizzling specialty pizzas. A massive projector screen beams down on the scene, glittering with glamorous images from music videos or commercials where a timid band geek earns the admiration of the popular cheerleader after buying a fancy mouthwash.
"Cooking: Possible" splits the spotlight between celebrity chef Robert Irvine, star of the Food Network's Dinner: Impossible and Restaurant: Impossible, and Jonathon Sawyer, sous chef for Michael Symon on Iron Chef America and owner of Greenhouse Tavern. During the show, the hash-slinging savants pepper engaging cooking demos with video segments from Irvine's popular television series. A large screen perched above the stage pours elaborate views of each dish into the audience, including detailed close-ups and a kiss cam for snuggling potatoes.
David Gray's soothing folk-rock sounds and heartfelt lyrics have serenaded fans for nearly 20 years, earning the artist accolades for his chart-topping hits in the U.S. and U.K. Gravelly voiced Gray mixes poetic introspection with the ethereal melodies of his virtuosic guitar to create songs that plumb soulful depths like existential octopi. On his successful Lost and Found tour, Gray will supercharge his signature acoustics with live-performance electricity, performing a bevy of songs, including numbers from his recent album Foundling. Spectators can sate aural appetites in the Middle East–inspired Murat Theatre, nestled beneath the spires and domes of the Old National Centre. Today's deal is for seating—assigned on a first-come, first-served basis—in the middle to back of the orchestra level, providing a front-on view of each note as it flutters away from the stage and into the embrace of a nearby eardrum.