Ever since the Indianapolis Monthly article naming Elements as Indianapolis’s best restaurant, I’ve wanted to go. It took four years, but I finally did.
The menu, which changes frequently, is very short and focuses on fresh flavors and allowing the ingredients to shine. I ordered a lightly dressed whitefish accented with miso and shiitake mushrooms. Carlton had the salmon with steak fries. Both were elegant and understated. The fish was cooked perfectly and the light accompaniments enhanced each bite. The fries were a bit overdone. For dessert, we had the vanilla bean ice cream with warm mission figs and the oatmeal cookies with espresso whipped cream. Dessert was even better than the main course but repeated the same theme: choose only the finest ingredients and simplify the accoutrements. I looked at the wine list and saw several great, mid-range wines and a few newcomers. I was glad to see that they didn’t simply have expensive wine for the sake of its expense.
The restaurant is well-maintained. The ladies’ room only held one, which could be an issue on a busier night. It was clean and equipped well.
Service by the hostess was very good. She was attentive and gracious. Our server could have been a little more gracious; I had the feeling we were not his favorite customers. We didn’t order appetizers or wine so maybe he knew we wouldn’t be spending a great deal (but I don’t know if my perception is true or not).
The atmosphere is great. The original artwork is gorgeous and lush with reds and browns. I liked that several different artists were used; it provided visual variety while keeping the tonal theme. Tables were separate enough for private conversations. We never had to compete with the music’s volume, either. The quiet atmosphere led us to feel more relaxed at the end of the meal.
Prices were as expected for this type of fare. I will definitely go back to experience Elements again.