Inspired by the culinary traditions of Thailand, China, Japan, India, and other Asian nations, Asian Grill's extensive evening offerings are made from scratch, ensuring that your flavor journey to the Far East won't necessitate hot air balloon theft. Chef Hout Heng conjures starters such as crab wontons, filled with a creamy blend of cheese, green onion, and real crab meat ($5.95), and lightly seasoned calamari with a spicy sambal aioli ($6.50). Entrees such as the curry beef plant succulent chunks of beef in a yellow curry sauce concocted from peanuts, lemongrass, palm sugar, and coconut milk ($14), whereas the wasabi chicken marries two planks of panko-breaded poultry under a romantic drizzle of spicy wasabi sauce ($13). Asian Grill also offers midday fare in the form of lunch plates, wraps, noodle dishes, and rice bowls. Tofu can also be substituted for meat in most dishes.
Matteo DiRosa grew up in Sarleno, Italy. In 1999, he moved to Indianapolis, where his two brothers had already started restaurants of their own. To get his foot in the door of the restaurant industry, Matteo worked as a waiter under his brother, Arturo. During that time, he met Emily Herner, who also worked at Arturo's restaurant. Romance between the two bloomed like a freshly planted spaghetti tree, but so did a business partnership—in 2003, Matteo and Emily decided they wanted to forge their own legacy, and Matteo's Ristorante Italiano was born.
With its high ceilings, pumpkin-colored walls, and thick, forest-green columns, Matteo's Ristorante Italiano exudes elegance and charm. Matching music, such as the smooth voice and beatboxing savvy of Dean Martin, trickles from the speakers, and artwork and awards dangle from the walls. Amid the restaurant's inviting ambiance, diners gather around tables piled with authentic Italian dishes, such as pollo amore and linguine puttanesca.
Inside Pam's Tea Shoppe, a glass case brims with jars of more than 60 kinds of tea. New tea accessories, including handcrafted mugs and mesh infusers, fill shelves next to a table set with vintage teapots, cups, and saucers. The shop's knowledgeable owner is often on hand to help clients pick leaves or to plan onsite tea parties complete with tiny barbells for strengthening lifted pinkies.
The dedicated staffers at Uptown Café lovingly craft baked goods, sandwiches, and other café creations. Breakfast staples such as blueberry muffins ($2) hold together flimsy morning appetites, and a wide selection of omelettes ($6–$7.50) provide a hearty breakfast prepared to each patron's carnivorous or herbivorous likings. Exercise incisors on a lunchtime comestible, such as the homemade chicken salad ($8), or steal the chef's favorite toasted-cheese sandwich from the kitchen's hidden vault of munchables ($5–$7). Tall stacks of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies ($1 each) and decadent cranberry-orange scones ($2) finish meals by clearing off tables and subtly placing unobtrusive surveys beneath the check. Housed inside a chic 19th-century storefront, Uptown Café invites eaters to sip coffee and stay awhile or build a towering chair fort and stay forever.
Pizza Pie Hole’s tantalizing variety of savory pizzas, subs, strombolis, and appetizers dangle from the cheese-covered branches of the menu. Hand-tossed, fresh-made dough provides the wheaty base of pepperoni-laden pyramids and cheese-piled ziggurats of flavor. Pie hole favorites like the chicken bacon ranch come in small ($13.99), medium ($19.99), or large ($24.99), much like chicken bacon ranches themselves, while the Chicago style deep-dish pizza ($18.99) packs up to three toppings into 14 inches of taste bud tickling flavor. To eschew the traditionally-cornerless form while retaining the topping-toting function of pizza pies, have a quadrilateral large Sicilian deep-dish ($16.99). Those adverse to flattened foods can take gastronomic solace in the big Pie Hole subs, with 6” ($4.99-5.99) or 12” ($8.99-10.99) varieties, as well as a list of sauce covered, garlic infused, and finger friendly appetizers.
The ovens at Mancino's Pizza & Grinders work overtime. They burn each day, turning out batches of the Lyell family's signature breadsticks, hot meat-and-cheese-covered grinders on freshly baked bread, and, of course, specialty or build-your-own pizzas. The ovens' interiors breathe thermal life into concoctions whose histories stretch far back in time. Their grinders were born—according to Mancino's menu—on the East Coast during World War I, when Italian immigrants served hearty sandwiches to shipyard workers who were grinding off rivets for warships. Near the ovens, cooks cover spaghetti and lasagna in handcrafted marinara sauce using an old family recipe known only to Grandma Lyell and her hairdresser. In addition to hardworking ovens, the restaurant's new location boasts four large-screen TVs and an ice-cream bar to cool down well-heated palates.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade "take ‘n’ bake" pizzas created using dough, cheeses, meats, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day (prices listed below are average; actual prices vary by location). After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's personable pizza fashioners will build the pizza in-store and then package it for customers to bake at home in the oven. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their pie to a more specific taste, culling from the four sauces, three crusts, and more than 20 toppings available. Watch as Papa Murphy’s pizza professionals corral the ingredients of a signature pizza such as the cowboy ($14.99 for the 16” family size), complete with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives. Or request a Chicago-style stuffed pizza ($16.99 for the family size), packed with onions, mozzarella, four kinds of meat, and one of the most efficient public-transit systems in America. Thin-crust fans can opt for an herb chicken Mediterranean deLITE ($11.99 for a large), smothered with feta cheese, olive oil, and spinach. And veggievores can avail themselves of Papa Murphy’s gourmet vegetarian option ($15.99 for the family size), which comes saturated with a creamy garlic sauce. Side your pizza with an order of cheesy bread ($3.99) or a two-liter soda ($2.09).