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May 19, 2008 03:16 PM

French food in Indy

What happened to the french restaurants in Indy? Last week we were wanting it and found that both Chez Jean and Chanteclair were closed. We ended up going to Brugge again, which was cool, but I'm still left wandering what happened?

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  1. Were they closed for good or just closed for the evening? How terribly disappointing if the former. Have you tried Bijou in Lebanon? Wonderful classical french.

    1. The Glass Chimney is still serving French cuisine in Carmel. I haven't been there in years, but it was very good the several times I went.

      French food is becoming less popular, and thus less available, everywhere, not just in Indy. Part of the reason for its decline is that years ago, most of the very best restaurants used to be traditional French restaurants, but in recent years haute cuisine has expanded to encompass many different types of food. Many of the best restaurants in most cities (including Indy) now tend to be contemporary American, often with global influences (not just French, but also Asian, Latin American, and other cuisines). For a bit more detailed analysis of this trend, this article about French restaurants in Chicago is illuminating (and I'm sure the reasons stated there apply equally to Indy):

      1. Wooo - I haven't heard or read anything lately about Chanteclair.
        Same for Chez Jean. The last time we were there (2002? Prior to record keeping in the Palm), it was looking a bit tired and run down, service was spotty and the food was just so so - we haven't been back since. The owners have opened a bakery/deli on the south side of Indy, on SR 135, it's open for lunch - the ham sandwiches are really good as are the pastries.

        Bijou in Lebanon is so much better. I second mpgarber's rec!

        1. I may have to try Bijou. I was secretly hoping that they were remodeling Chez Jean as it needed updating. I saw cars there the other day, so they must be doing something. Also, I've noticed the trend to Contemporary American fare, and we were looking for French last Saturday, due to being tired of eating CA. (My brother is on a French immersion streak for some reason.) I'm thinking about going to Bistro 501 in Lafayette when I'm up that way next week. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: porkanista

            Chez Jean has a little 'motel' attached to it - I wonder if those were the cars you saw...

            I thought of this place in Carmel last night. I have not been there though.

            Where ever you go - let us know how it went!