You probably know the drill: In order to drum up business during the doldrums of January, a bunch of downtown restaurants offer value-priced, three-course menus (often in the $30-35 range). It's Devour Downtown - an initiative of the Indianapolis Downtown Restaurant and Hospitality Association - and it runs through Feb. 2 this year. Head to their website for a complete list of participants (including locals and chains).
We're focusing on one Devour Downtown participant this week: Junonia Fish Market, whose chef Kathy Jones is opening up a pop-up restaurant during the initiative, offering a three-course meal from her digs at the Indianapolis City Market. Jones, also executive chef at Iozzo's Garden of Italy, opened Junonia last year. We asked her a few questions about her venture.
NUVO: Why set up a pop-up restaurant when you already have the resources of a permanent restaurant to work with?
Kathy Jones: I think that a Pop Up restaurant has a very cool feel and intimacy about it. As a chef, I believe that I can interact with all my guest. Junonia Fish Market is my restaurant and not a part of Iozzo's. It is a completely different feel and vibe. It's nice to be able to step outside of the restaurant's comfort zone and push the creativity a little.
NUVO: What might we expect as the fish of the day on the menu - or in other words, what are your top offerings these days at the fish market these days that would be good candidates for the menu?
Jones: The fish of the day will be some different fish for people to try, as well as some of the usual fish in our case. Hawaiian Butterfish, Pargo Snapper, Black Sea Bass, Florida Hamachi and more. Great Diver Scallops.
NUVO: How's the fish market doing in its first few months? Any good stories thus far?
Jones: The market is doing well. I think that people really want to learn about the fish and understand how to prepare it. It's cool to talk with everyone about the fish, the sustainability of the product, where it comes from, etc. Even though we are a land locked state, we can have a great product that is handled properly and is fresh.
Junonia Fish Market's pop-up restaurant hours of operations are: Jan. 22-25 and Jan. 29-Feb. 1, 4:30-9 p.m. The three-course menu runs $30. Reservations are required to 252-3243.