Tucked away behind Lucas Oil Stadium is Tavern on South, an inviting restaurant with an upscale, innovative menu and a gorgeous bar. Chef Allen Schideler, formerly of Broad Ripple Steakhouse, displays his talent for combining flavors and a flair for artistic plating. Tavern on South has only been open for about a month, and I visited during the very hectic Devour Downtown. I always expect a new restaurant to take some time to settle in, and while Tavern does have some room for improvement, the depth of experience of Owner Steve Geisler shows. Service was running smoothly and there were more hits than misses on the menu.
When I saw the filet mignon meatloaf on the menu I was instantly intrigued by the idea of using one of the finest cuts of beef in a meatloaf. It was even better than I imagined. The flavor of the filet really stood out among the chunks of fresh vegetables and the slightly smoky, sweet tomato sauce. This is truly a wonderful dish and I can’t wait to have it again. Other hits include the Tavern Salad with its granny smith apple vinaigrette and the broiled sea bass with a bloody mary corn and crab sauce. Next time I will try the Indiana “Shagged” Ahi appetizer.
The big miss of the evening was dessert. Something went terribly wrong here. Its just incongruous to have such well-prepared entrees and a completely sub par last course. The apple strudel was a tough, over-worked pastry with a mushy apple filling that was almost completely lacking in flavor. The crème brulee, while flavored appropriately, was runny. The crème in crème brulee is actually a custard that is prepared the day before and sets up in a refrigerator overnight. This was not a proper custard. It’s possible that it did not contain enough egg yolk. However, I think it is more likely that they ran out of the dish and made the decision to make more and serve it without the proper setting time. For now, I’m going to blame the disastrous desserts on the restaurant’s newness and the demands of Devour Downtown. I look forward to going back to Tavern on South, ordering dessert, and eating it too.
Overall, I give Tavern on South a rating of 2.25. I think this restaurant has the potential to become a 3, and I look forward to reviewing it again later this year.
Price = $$$
Deliciousness = 2 (good to very good)
Ambiance = 3 (a feast for the eyes)
Service = 2 (friendly and efficient)
Bang for Your Buck = 2 (overall experience justifies the price)
Overall Dining Experience = 2.25
Click here for an explanation of my rating system.
Here’s what others are saying about Tavern on South:
Review by Traci Cumbay, IndyStar Correspondent
Review by W. Alexander, blogger, Indiana Insider
Review by Erin in Indy, blogger, Indianapolis Restaurant Scene