Restaurateurs Craig Baker and Derek Means of The Local Eatery & Pub in Westfield haven't been getting much sleep lately. With their new restaurant, Plow & Anchor, set to open at 43 E. Ninth Street, their Bent Rail Brewery still in the works — not to mention their participation in last week's Rev fundraiser at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway — they've been busy, to say the least.
And it doesn't stop when a shift ends. "I get off work, and I research restaurants till 3 in the morning," Baker said recently.
Plow & Anchor is located in the Ambassador building at Ninth and Pennsylvania streets just north of the Central Library. The sleek space will be a welcome dining addition to that part of downtown.
Executive chef John Adams, formerly of Bluebeard, guarantees an "awesome" menu. The restaurant will include a raw bar with four to six different kinds of oysters, an open prep area and a super-hot plancha grill station.
"Our menu will change daily and will be small enough that we can ensure that every dish will be awesome," Adams said. "Every dish will have to pass the 'is this really awesome?' test before it goes on the menu."
That menu will feature seafood and Indiana produce, although don't look for much more in the way of a theme. "It's global. This is Portland," he said, pointing to a dish on the menu. "This is New York."
But what to try? "I can say that of the ones we've been through and tested, the bay scallop crudo and the caviar dip will be two outstanding dishes coming from our raw bar menu," Baker said. "Our kitchen also will feature a plancha grill, which is basically an insanely hot Spanish flat-top grill. So any items that will come from that station, such as razor clams, a plancha burger and charred squid, will taste fantastic. We also have a bitchin' steak 'n eggs on the opening menu. Like I said, all of it will change but everything will always be awesome."
And don't forget the champagne. Look for plenty of bubbles on the wine list, Baker said.You'll even spot a chalkboard noting that "Every meal starts with bubbles," Baker said. "We need to celebrate more."
Baker and Means are also working on Bent Rail, the restaurant and brewery that's to open in the former Monon Fitness space at 5301 Winthrop Ave. It has taken time to get the ambitious concept going, partly due to the sheer size of the space.
"It's just big, and it needs a lot of work," Baker said. "We should open in July. That's the goal."
That is, the restaurant should open in July. "We'll open in phases. You'll actually watch the brewery being built," said Baker. "We should be brewing our own beer by September."