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Nov 8, 2009 03:18 PM

Good Eats in Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN

I am going to be flying into and out of Indianapolis but I will be staying in Bloomington for about 4 nights. I was hoping to find a few great places to eat while I am here. I was looking for seafood, cupcakes, desserts, and brunch places. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or is there a place that just can't be missed in this area.

Thanks for the help.

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  1. Go to Restaurant Tallent and have the tasting menu (M-Th, only).
    One night, head to FARM and have the rabbit in mustard sauce.
    Moules Frites at either Tallent or Finch's.
    Any fish that Finch's happens to be roasting in their wood-burning oven.
    Braised rack of goat at Limestone Grille.
    Sushi and/or tempura at Mikado.
    Breakfast at Uptown.
    Brunch at FARM.
    Cupcakes from Blu Boy.
    Enjoy your stay.

    Restaurant Tallent
    208 N. Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN 47404

    14 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Pikawicca is spot on...

      Whatever you do, don't miss Restaurant Tallent!

      Restaurant Tallent
      208 N. Walnut Street, Bloomington, IN 47404

      1. re: Cookiefiend

        I was down in Bloomington from Indy last Wednesday and enjoyed another great meal at Finch's. The oven roasted trout and moules were both great dishes. I Definitely can't wait to go back to Tallent and Farm.

        Bloomington is such a great place for dining and you can easily spend the 4 days there, but if you are in Indianapolis for a meal I would suggest R Bistro or Siam
        Square. Or the tour at Goose the Market is a great deal if great cheese and charcuterie is what you crave. I'm hoping Recess will be opening soon!

        R Bistro
        888 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

        Siam Square
        936 Virginia Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46203

      2. re: pikawicca

        Farm is worth ignoring- really awful service and mediocre food.
        Tallent is awesome as is Finch's.

        Unfortunately, other than Finch's and Tallent there's no seafood worth eating in Bloomington.

        Uptown is basic, but solid.

        Note:These are all Bloomington places.

        For Indy I really dig Ocenaire for seafood- yah I know it's a chain, but they are a very small chain and the execute extremely well. Goose and R Bistro are both solid recs below as well.

        R Bistro
        888 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

        1. re: chetatkinsdiet

          We also have an Ocenaire where I live in Baltimore I will see about that.

          How about any good places for brunch? or cupcakes?

          1. re: chetatkinsdiet

            I don't think you've eaten at FARM recently. I would've agreed with you in the past, but they've ironed out the kinks. Service is good, and the food is consistently great. Give it another try.

            Limestone's scallops are wonderful, BTW.

            I don't understand your comment that Uptown is "basic." There are many things they do, especially at breakfast/brunch that are unique.

            1. re: pikawicca

              I know you're a Daniel Orr fan, but frankly the food and service isn't good- been there a number of times in the last year, not worth the money or the time. I'm not sure why you like his place so much- either you're getting service that myself and those I know aren't getting, or the yelp reviews and my experiences are all completely off.

              Uptown's food is basic, it's not bad, it's just very basic. They do what they do well and they never change the menu, which is totally fine.

              1. re: chetatkinsdiet

                Tallent IMHO is, by far, the best place in Bloomington. Uptown for any meal especially breakfast. They haven't changed the menu in years in part because they don't have to. I've been to Farm several times and the service been marginal - at best- every time. The food is very good but I don't have the patience or inclination to give them another chance in the near future. Limestone is very solid, too. Haven't been to Finch's in quite some time but its rep is excellent.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Frankly the service issue was about 6 months ago. However, since it was hardly the first time my wife and I decided to "take it off our list". And, because Tallent is so good we have a hard time not going there if we are dropping that kind of dough! That and Dave and Krissy are fine people and that isn't a shot at anyone at Farm b/c I don't know them.

                  1. re: HoosierFoodie

                    Dave and Krissy are good folks, as is Danieal Orr at FARM, Michael Cassady at Uptown, Tad DeLay at Limestone, David Fletcher at Blu Boy, and Jeff and Candace at Finch's. I appreciate their devotion to their craft, and their constant striving to perfect what they do, and I think that they all listen to and value constructive criticism. Chowhounds in Bloomington are very lucky, indeed.

                    1. re: pikawicca

                      Are there any farmer's markets still going around in Bloomington or Indy?

                      1. re: bmorecupcake

                        The Winter Farmer's Market in Downtown Indy debuts at the Chatham Center this Saturday. Def. worth checking out. Capriole Farms goat cheese, fresh past from Nicole Taylors, artisinal bread and patstries and a nice selection of produce, honey wines...etc.

                        1. re: bmorecupcake

                          The Bloomington Saturday market continues through November. Our winter market starts the last Saturday of January.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            Havn't been to Bloomington's Market yet, but will def. try and go soon. Any local gems you rec. to us that shouldn't be missed?

                            1. re: napolean

                              The Market is quite a bit smaller in November, but is still well-stocked with autumn produce. Be sure to buy a lovely free-range chicken from Schacht Farm. If Harvest Moon still has beautiful young ginger, snap some of that up, for sure. And you simply must get yourself a tamale from Feast Catering -- they are delicious.

                              Harvest Moon Cafe
                              5484 W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

          2. Any good coffee houses where I can sit down and get some work done?

            3 Replies
            1. re: bmorecupcake

              SOMA on Grant Street is just a few blocks west of campus. Interesting, hippie vibe. The Green Bean is a few more blocks west on 4th St., near Wonder Lab -- great baked goods.
              Stonecutters is on the east side of town on Covenanter Dr., just east of the Limestone Grille. Anyone of these places would be a good place to hang out and work, They all have great coffee. (My favorite cup of Joe is Stonecutters house-roasted Sumatran,)

              Green Bean
              410 W 4th St, Bloomington, IN 47404

              Limestone Grille
              2920 E Covenanter Dr, Bloomington, IN 47401

              1. re: pikawicca

                Thanks for all the help, it ended up being a great food trip.

                1. re: bmorecupcake

                  You're very welcome, but we'd like to know where you went and what you ate/drank.