If you find yourself in Indianapolis looking for a place to kick back and toast something or someone, you could eat at a different Indianapolis steakhouse every night of the week and still leave a few for your next visit.
St. Elmo Steak House
Just about any celebrity who has visited Indianapolis in the last century most likely has dined at St. Elmo Steak House. Founded in 1902 and still settled in its original location, the landmark is synonymous with Indianapolis and its heavy hitters. Folks from around the world have made it a point to carve into their beef and take a stab at the restaurant's only appetizer, the World Famous Shrimp Cocktail. It's smothered in fiery cocktail sauce that is made with fresh horseradish ground daily. The restaurant also has the largest retail wine cellar in Indiana (with a collection fluctuating around 18,000). And, the tiger oak bar was first used in the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and serves up martinis and single malts.
Locally owned and known for excellent service, Peterson's provides upscale dining with consistently mouthwatering steaks and seafood. Offerings from the ocean are flown in daily but local produce and products are on the plate when in season. The menu changes with the seasons, the wine list is extensive and exceptional, desserts are integral to complete your matchless meal and we haven't even discussed the appetizers and side dishes. Foie gras, wagyu carpaccio, lobster bisque...the menu goes on and there is nothing subpar on it.
Piano jazz forms the backdrop of cool in the dark wood refuge of Sullivan's. The martinis are shaken, not stirred; steaks are aged a minimum of 28 days; the international wine list has been honored by Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence;" desserts are made fresh daily and you can enjoy a cigar after dinner. The sweet potato casserole and bananas foster come highly recommended.
Mo's...A Place for Steaks
One of the most elegant restaurant spaces in all of Indy, Mo's A Place for Steaks in downtown Indianapolis rises to the heights of its lofty ceiling. Local entrepreneur Jeremiah Hamman recently bought out the corporate ownership, making this place a heroic new independent, even though the expert service here has always had a cheery local flavor. The giant bone-in ribeye and the pianist who shakes things up will lift your spirits.
Once you are down the stairs and into the cozy, dimly lit cave of Morton's you might as well be in Manhattan or at the flagship location in Chicago--and that's a good thing. The same presentation and hefty offerings, the same monster wine list, the same giant asparagus. You simply can't go wrong.
Fogo de Chao
One of the newer additions to the downtown dining scene is Fogo de Chao, a sprawling and festive Brazilian steakhouse that offers as much entertainment as food: a variety of roasted meats, delivered off the ends of long skewers by ever-parading gauchos. Start or stop the flow by flipping over your red-and-green-sided chip.
Ruth's Chris Steak House
The Ruth's Chris Steak House chain executes the whole experience: the decadent appetizers, the wedge salad, the expertly done steaks as well as any of its brethren, with the bonus of its signature filet served in sizzling butter. The always-lively downtown Indianapolis location also has a skilled and courtly pianist playing at the bar.
The Capital Grille
Inside The Capital Grille, enormous oil paintings of Indiana luminaries (the jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, the great Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne) grace the dark-wood walls, adding local color to this high-end chain's location in the Conrad Indianapolis hotel. Start off with the tasty, spicy calamari but don't fill up. Everything from martinis to meat comes large here.
The local Shula's Steak House is ensconced, and somewhat hidden, in the Westin hotel, but you won’t mind taking a little time to find it. The former NFL coach's place is just right for a little football watching in chilly weather, and it's a cool retreat in the summer.
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
Simply seasoned steaks and organic wines make the cut at Fleming's. This Indy restaurant seeks to give diners a stylish and memorable experience without being too stuffy and overpriced. A knowledgeable wait staff will help you select items for your perfect meal and the Fleming's 100 features 100 wines to be ordered by the glass ranging from boutique wines to well-known labels.
Though known for steamy slabs of meat, you won't be disappointed with the poultry and seafood available at Eddie Merlot's. You can also feel good about the addition of an organic herb garden just outside the restaurant whose harvest makes its way to your table. It doesn't get any fresher!