For Valentine's Day I took my sweetheart out to dinner Saturday night. We decided to try someplace new so we made reservations at Eddie Merlot's, a higher end steakhouse on the north side of Indy. Indianapolis Monthly raved about their Bananas Foster and since I haven't had that dessert since the last time I was in NO, that was enough to make me want to go. We arrived on time for our reservation, but were told there was about a 20 minute wait for our table. We didn't really mind because the architecture of the place was fascinating with a large barrel ceiling and walls done with various woods and stone. We mingled around the bar and looked at the interesting details of the restuarant until our table was ready. They gave us a nice big booth in the corner, there was a party of about 10 celebrating next to us, but the we were able to talk without shouting over the noise which was nice.
They have enormous shrimp cocktails that are served in a fog of dry ice which is impressive but I knew if I got one I wouldn't have room for dessert so I declined. I decided on the peppercorn encrusted filet minion and Lisa tried the shrimp stuffed wth crab and blue cheese. The filet came brown inside instead of pink (I ordered it medium rare), but service was so painfully slow, I gratefully ate my piece of meat rather than ask for another one. Lisa declared that her shrimp were delicious. The were very big, like small lobsters instead of shrimp. Four of them covered a full size dinner plate. Everything is ala carte so we ordered a couple of field greens salads and split an order of fried potatoes to go with our meal. The salads were very small but tasty. The fries were nothing special.
With the main course over it was time for dessert. I can only say that I was disappointed. They wheeled out the preparations for making for the Bananas Foster, the liquer, the rum, the bananas ,etc. The waitress puts the ingredients in the pan, flames it, and serves it immediately over the ice cream. The bananas didn't have time absorb the flavors, to turn brown or to even get warm. None of the ingredients had a chance to mix. It was cold pices of banana with rum and sugar and banana liquer on them. I promised Lisa we'd make it to the French Quarter some day and I'd get her a real Bananas Foster.
Overall, I'd say the restuarant is physically beautiful, the service (this time) was unbelievablly slow, the food varied from great to just ok. Dinner, 2 drinks, and tip set me back $120. Not sure if I will try again, they did enough things right I probably will. But the next big night out, I'm insisting we go to St. Elmo.