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Friday, January 22, 2021

Hyde Park is for lovers

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Hyde Park

51 N. Illinois St.

hydeparkrestaurants.com

 

I’m a lover of all things yummy, decadent and luxurious. Unfortunately, my ducats haven’t kept up with my taste for the finer things. However, I am a journalist, and with great power comes great responsibility, the occasional concert ticket and, yes, I get to eat. A lot.

Last week, downtown Indy added yet another steakhouse. Before you start wondering, “Do we really need another one?” The answer is, probably not. Putting necessity aside, Hyde Park Prime Steakhouse is an amazing contribution to our town’s bustling food scene.

Hyde Park, located at 51 N. Illinois St. (next door to Giordano’s), is opulent, yet accessible. Upon arriving, my guest and I were escorted to our seats right away and given the five-star treatment. I’m talking napkins in laps, attentive and friendly wait staff … the whole nine yards.

Their menu is a pretty standard offering of what you’d expect from an upscale steakhouse: seafood appetizers, salads, steaks, chops and an assortment of gourmet accompaniments. 

To start, I took a look at the impressive cocktail menu and decided on the cable car, a favorite drink of mine on days I want something other than my usual vodka/water combination. It was potent enough to last my entire visit without losing any of its spiritedness.

We were given a tasting of several menu items: the jumbo shrimp cocktail, which came to the table “smoking” (a dramatic effect created by dry ice); the Caesar salad, which featured freshly made croutons of white bread tossed in butter and garlic; Steak a la Lobster, a filet mignon over bordelaise topped with lobster and bearnaise, asparagus, and sliced mushroom; the Longbone Ribeye, a 34-ounce Australian wagyu beef monstrosity befitting Fred Flintstone or a small army; roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in honey and bacon jam; potatoes gruyere gratin; and lobster mac and cheese. Everything was wonderful, but my favorites were the Steak a la Lobster, Brussels sprouts and lobster mac. My dinner guest had very few complaints, and we spent most of our time oohing and aahing at the portion sizes (huge!) and presentation of each dish. At the end of dinner, we indulged in the sweeter side of things with bananas foster (complete with flaming bourbon) and a six-layer carrot cake that I’m sure is the biggest dessert I’ve ever seen in my life. The bananas foster was my favorite. The fruit, sliced lengthwise and drizzled with caramel, lay atop a very fluffy vanilla/banana infused cake that literally melted at the taste. The carrot cake was excellent, as well, and had bits of nuts and currants throughout.

At the end of the meal, I had coffee served in an individual French press with warm cream. It was just the boost I needed to drag myself, stuffed and happy, away from the table for a tour of the facility.

 

The decor, with hints of red, black and earth tones, is posh enough to let you know where you are without being too stuffy. The iconic photos of sexy Hollywood movie stars are a cool element, as well. To get my Spike Lee on here, I’d only suggest that they put some color on the wall. Might I suggest a couple Denzel, Idris or Halle pics to round things out? The lighting is warm and inviting, and the music, a mixture of soul and Top 40 during my visit, adds to the relaxed ambience.

The space also features a beautiful mezzanine with classical paintings inlaid in the ceiling tiles, a fireplace, Smart TV and bookshelves that overlooks the main dining area. Below it, a VIP-style room with many of the same features boasts its own private entrance.

In all, my visit was fantastic, and I would definitely recommend this place to anyone — not only the rich and famous. Though many of the menu items are pricey (steaks range from mid $30s to nearly $60) Happy Hour, featuring bar plates starting at $5 and hand-crafted cocktails, is an affordable option Monday–Friday from 4:30–6 p.m.

 

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