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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Bistro de Paris opens in Carmel

Novelty_HillCarmel's newest restaurant, Bistro de Paris, did a soft opening with a limited menu on Valentine's Day and will open with a full menu tonight.

I went to a preview party last night (indognito, of course) and had the opportunity to sniff around a little and sample some of the Bistro's specialties. Everything was good, and I especially liked the conch spring rolls and the fabulous, single-serving cheesecake (it's big enough to split, but after the first forkful you wouldn't want to). I'll have to make a return trip to sample the entrées, which range in price from $22 to $35. There's something for everyone from vegetarians to carnivores, including chicken, lamb, veal, beef, bison, pork and an array of seafood dishes.

An intriguing lunch menu offers quiches, crèpes (the seafood with lobster Champagne sauce sounds good!), a grilled chicken sandwich, ham and brie and a filet with blue cheese bearnaise, with prices ranging from $9 to $22. The brunch menu is equally intriguing and varied, featuring egg dishes, pancakes, French toast and five different Benedicts (again, a vegetarian option is offered).

Then there's the wine list, which is broad and in some areas fairly deep. As one might expect from a place named Bistro de Paris, there's a good representation of French wines from a variety of regions, from Languedoc to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The rest of the world is represented as well, as are a number of varietals that don't often make it onto restaurant lists. (I was pleased to see they had a Muscadet, an Albariño and a Grenache among their offerings.) The markup is reasonable — just a scootch over twice retail. Their house Merlot is the very drinkable Sebastiani Sonoma, which we followed up with Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon at $10 a glass.

The restaurant itself is contemporary, and intimate without being crowded. It's quiet enough that having a conversation in normal tones is no problem, and the well-chosen music stays in the background while providing atmosphere. A glass wall between the bar and the dining area maintains the continuity of the space while insulating diners from the chatter of the bar patrons.

Bistro de Paris' Web site isn't quite done yet, but when it is you'll be able to visit it at In the meantime, you'll just have to call them at (317) 844-7270 or take your chances and drop in at 15 West Main.

Photo: Manager Heidi, Restaurateur Michael and Chef Kathy beam for the camera at the Bistro de Paris preview party.
J. Silverheels Gray, 7:36 AM


I agree! This restaurant will be one of the best withing the surrounding Indianapolis area. They still have a little to go, but their food is unlike any other.

Try it for yourself!
Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:56 PM  

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