Restaurant Reviews --> Michael's SouthShore
Dining options have always been somewhat limited in the Geist area, but we think there is a new option that is well worth talking about. Although Michael's Southshore has been open since September of 2010, it was the beautiful outdoor seating that attracted us to it this spring. And, after 3 visits, we felt compelled to tell our readers about this excellent northeast side dining option. While the attractive dining room and well separated bar looks appealing, we can never get by a nice, alfresco seating opportunity, and Michael's is a great option. Nicely landscaped, with a large gas fire pit, and a large stand of pine trees masking the traffic on Oaklandon Road, it makes for very pleasant dining.
Our first visit was for lunch, so we were able to sample of number of items from the extensive menu. We began with Michael's smoked chicken corn chowder, since every review we had read raved about it. And they were right. It was a flavorful blending of corn, potatoes, pulled smoked chicken and bacon, and, of course, a cream base. No one ingredient dominated the soup, but with all the flavors coming through. Highly recommended. Linda's choice of the house roasted turkey BLT on rustic bread, with avocado and lemon pepper aioli was the real thing, no lunch meat here. My Cuban pannini consisted of traditional roast pork, ham and swiss cheese, dressed with mustard, mayonnaise and dill pickles. It may not have been Ybor City in Tampa, but it was darn good. They were both served with delicious truffle fries. And, did we mention that we probably could have split either sandwich and still been full.
The wine list offers over 50 options,many available by the glass, and is more than fairly priced at or a little below twice retail. On our first visit, we chose the J Winery Pinot Gris at $26...something of a value, since we sell it for $16. On our second visit for an early dinner, we tried the Conundrum white blend, which was quite a bargain by restaurant standards at only $34 (we sell it for $20). Our 3rd trip was for dinner on a Saturday night, where we had a bottle of the Franciscan Napa Cabernet...unfortunately not the sold out 2007, but still very good and at $45, priced just above twice retail.
Our two dinner experiences were also good, with the first more of an early evening graze where we shared two entrees, and Linda enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day. The BBQ chicken pizza she ordered featuring the same pulled chicken as the soup, along with carmelized shallots, roasted red bell peppers, mozzarella and shaved parmesean on a very thin crust. It was different than most BBQ chicken pizzas we've had in the past, but actually a nice change. I'm always a sucker for that Indiana tradition, the pork tenderloin...at least these days I eat them grilled, not fried. Michael's version presented on a wonderful brioche roll was an excellent example, again served with the wonderful truffle fries. All the sandwiches and pizzas on the menu are in the $9 to $12 range, the chowder is $4.95, and the appetizers are $7.75 to $8.95.
On our most recent Saturday night visit, we opted for Michael's fine dining experience by ordering from the dinner menu. Linda had one of the nightly specials, the pan seared walleye, served over a blue cheese risotto, and accompanied with a lemon, butter, caper beurre blanc sauce, and steamed sugar snap peas...a nicely done entree of fresh seasonal ingredients. My meal was a little more traditional...the 6 ounce grilled filet accompanied by boursin mashed potatoes and broccoli. The steak was presented medium rare, as ordered, and while it was very good, I found myself wishing I'd opted for something a little more interesting, like the diver sea scallops or the incredible slab of ribs we saw served to the next table. Of course, we were already on our way to being full after sharing their most popular appetizer, a very creative and absolute delicious Asian BBQ chicken nachos that consisted of a substantial pile of large, crisp, light freshly made wontons covered with pulled BBQ chicken and garnished with plenty of queso fresco (Mexican cheese) and diced scallions. Entrees range in price from $16.95 to $28.95.
And while Michael's Southshore isn't exactly lakeside, it still may be the one of the best dining options around the lake.
11705 Fox Road (Fox Rd. and Oaklandon Rd.)
Indianapolis, IN 46236
July 6, 2011