5215 N. College Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46220
With the intent of full disclosure: this was the first night of a soft opening. This meal happened within the first thirty minutes of the restaurant being open. I have argued (publicly) with chefs that I can review a place in the first month. First, because this is America. Second, because you turned on the “Open” sign and you want me to pay full price…the expectation is not that you are using my money to figure out what you are doing. Off my soapbox.
The interior of Delicia is woody chic. The seats are comfortable and you can get away with wearing jeans or a suit. Most importantly, it is nice enough that you have confidence that they know what they are doing and you should. Delicia is part of the Usual Suspects, Casba, Northside Social, Northside Kitchenette and Village Cigar Bar empire.
What I Ate: A ton of tasty Latin food. To be fair, the meal was comped, but we paid for our own drinks. I was pretty proud of that bill. At first glance, it looked to be the same total price as a meal.
Things started off with an amuse buche of Sancoch, which is a traditional soup that had familiar hints of tortilla soup. I thought it was a bit salty, but that’s how I like soup. I liked this touch and it left me thinking that we would have big flavors the rest of the night.
Queso Fundido Con Chorizo; $10.00. Big flavors again. This was served with tortillas which should be the way queso fundido should be. However, some people might expect chips. I really liked the tomatillo-poblano sauce and thought about how I would like that on a carnitas taco. My only issue is that the meat-to-cheese ratio favored meat and was a touch runny. The flavor and spiciness were dead on though.
Sopes De Pato; $8.00. Smoking Goose Duck brought this to another level. It is served with a tomato habanero sauce, cilantro lime cream and masa cups. I loved these. Loved them. They were a bit spicy, but the cream cooled that down a little bit. I will order these every time.
Cured Salmon Ceviche; $11.00. Salmon, avocado, jalepeno fired capers, lemon-mustard aioli. I would be tempted to call this a salmon salad instead of an acidic ceviche. I liked it, but I missed a contrast in consistency– soft salmon, soft capers, soft avocado. This makes sense, as the dish is served with crunchy chips, but that didn’t solve it for me. I liked the balance in flavors, but there was a little too much mayo for my liking. Good, but not on my must have list.
Harvest Salad; $12.00. This salad was roasted seasonal veggies, carrots, radish, figs and herbed goat cheese. Twelve dollars is a bit spicy for a salad that will probably proceed and entree, but it is probably among the favorite salads I’ve had. The Goat Cheese Mousse was insane. If Subway had this, I might even eat there. Seriously, get this.
Tapou; $21.00. My fiance tried the Tapou. Red snapper in coconut milk stew, white rice and seasonal veggies. This is one of the best twenty entrees in the city. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. The coconut stew reminded me on the consistency of a good curry. It was perfect. I will make sure that it is on the table every time that I go to Delicia.
Short Rib and Ancho Salsa; $17.00. I decided to go to a heavier meat because it was freezing outside and I was on my secondnd bourbon. The Short Rib with Ancho Salsa once again proved that the chef knows what he is doing. I liked that the yuca mash that was subtlety sweet. My only issue is that I didn’t love the Ancho Salsa. I was looking for it to be a little smokier, but it held some of the fruity notes of an ancho pepper. Otherwise, the beef was cooked perfectly and there was a lot to like.
Platinum Bake; $7.00. The Plantain Bake proved the kitchen still had some rabbits in its hat. Vanilla cookies, walnuts, goat cheese caramel, plantains, and ice cream. What is there not to like?
I would order this again. It tasted like something I would crave in the fall.
Churrros and chocolate. Boring right? Nope. The churros had a hint of nutmeg and the ancho-chocolate sauce was more tart than I thought it would be, but I liked it quite a bit. If you paired these with a cup of coffee, you would be happy. I paired it with a third bourbon and that worked as well.
Would I Buy It Again? Yes! Quite simply, this was one of the better meals (in Indy) that I have had in a while. It is unique and one of the few restaurants that can offer a good meal in the $16-$24 price point. The service was so good that I forgot that this was the first night of service. Our server, Chris, took great care of us.
I walked away thinking that this is a perfect place for a first date as it will be a good test. If your date doesn’t get it, then break up with her/him so she can go to Weber Grill or PF Changs with some sucka that doesn’t get it!
Delicia is the real deal. If it was this good on the first night, there is no telling what they are capable of in the future.