Terry Kirts

Community bites

Health-conscious diners waiting for their reason to celebrate don't have to wait any longer. March 1 marks the date when the new smoking ordinance in Indianapolis goes into effect. This means that any restaurant serving customers under the age of 18 must be totally smoke-free. No longer will diners have to suffer poorly ventilated restaurants and eateries where non-smoking divisions fail to keep smoke from drifting over. Outdoor patios are exempt from the ban. While many restaurants have already converted to smoke-free facilities, a number of long-standing institutions, including several high-profile steakhouses downtown, have had to make the decision over whether to anger smoking patrons or banish families from dining.

The fate of Hoosier wineries hoping to continue direct shipping to in-state customers is again in the hands of the courts, after Senate President Pro Tempore Robert D. Garton, R-Columbus, kept a compromise bill that would have allowed shipping from advancing last week. Stepping aside from the mess of a lawsuit that nine wineries have brought against the state, Garton is letting the courts decide again. A current court order allows wineries to ship to customers until March 1, but after that, things are uncertain.

An authentic Luck of the Irish St. Patrick's Dinner with the Winemaker will be held at Chateau Thomas Winery on Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. Dr. Charles Thomas will host an evening consisting of authentic Irish fare paired with Chateau Thomas wines. The five-course "Flight" dinner will be gourmet and it will titillate your palate with a variety of flavors both in wine and food. Seating will be limited and reservations are required. For more information about the menu or for additional information about the winery and other events being held in 2006 log onto www.chateauthomas.com or call 317-837-WINE. Chateau Thomas Winery is located off I-70 west and S.R. 267 at Exit 66 and is open every day for wine sales and complimentary tastings.

Restaurant notes

The former Something Different site, which has been dormant since last summer, will be the new home of Adobo Grill in mid-April. The Chicago-based eatery serves up contemporary Mexican cuisine prepared by Chef Freddy Sanchez. Known for its margaritas, tableside guacamole and signature entrees, Adobo Grill has served Windy City patrons at two Chicago locations since 2000. "Mexican cuisine and upscale, casual dining are not mutually exclusive concepts," said Paul LoDuca of the daVINCI Group, which operates Adobo Grill. "We are bringing a fresh, new idea for a great dining experience that is centered on the qualities that matter most - great food in a great atmosphere." Boasting entrees such as "Poc Chuc" (grilled achiote marinated pounded pork chop with black beans, pickled purple onions, chiltomate salsa and sliced avocado), wood roasted tilapia and "Monte Alban" (cilantro-marinated grilled skirt steak), Adobo Grill's entree prices will range from $15—$19.

Have a favorite restaurant, a favorite dish or a favorite waiter/waitress you'd like to rave about? Send your reader's recommendation to Terry Kirts at tkirts@nuvo.net and we'll make sure to let Indianapolis diners know about the great things happening around the Indy food scene every week. - TK

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