“Palomino is one of my favorite restaurants in town,” said my new friend Jess. We were riding past during a downtown excursion on one of our first “friend dates” after I had recently moved to Indianapolis. “Well, we’ll have to go, then!” I replied. That was 7 years ago. And I’ve still been meaning to go! I always check out the menu during Devour Downtown or make plans for their popular Happy Hour, but for a million different reasons, Jess and I have never made it out to Palomino together (yet!), so you can imagine my excitement when the restaurant reached out to me and invited me for a visit. I’d been longing for a date night since Husband’s medical school rotation schedule has been so erratic and decided this would be the perfect opportunity to FINALLY try Palomino.
Palomino is a small chain (only one in Indiana!) and hosts a “rustic European” menu. Located downtown at Circle Centre, they have a convenient location for convention visitors, pre-theater drinks, post-shopping dessert, and general downtown fine dining. While the menu pricing is similar to many other quality downtown restaurants, they offer many budget-friendly specials, such as a 3-course dinner for $25 on Sunday nights and $5 wine flights on Mondays. They also provide special menus, such as Colts Brunch before games and an Executive Lunch for business types.
As is typical when trying a new restaurant, Husband and I usually try to order pretty much one of everything and our Palomino dinner was no exception. We started our dinner with an order of caramelized cauliflower (SO GOOD!) and crispy “Caprese,” which was accompanied by house bread and a tomato-based dipping sauce. I’ve heard good things about the soup, so I tried the Portobello mushroom soup and Husband ordered the soup of the day (chicken and rice, I believe). My soup was thick and warm and cozy and everything soup is supposed to be. For our entrees, I ordered the 7oz filet mignon, which was accompanied by roasted potatoes with truffle oil and mushrooms, along with a side of Cabernet-Demi glaze. Husband tried the seasonal paella with extra prawns and scallops. If this wasn’t already loads of delicious food, we both sampled the fudgy chocolate tiramisu (even though the orange ricotta doughnuts were awfully tempting). The list of craft cocktails and martinis all sounded so delicious, but I got distracted by sparking prosecco and ended up drinking that all evening. (I’m coming back for you, cocktails!)
Let’s talk about the experience: You can make reservations! Yay! (I’m getting a little tired of the whole “no reservations” trend) Food came out quickly and we received friendly service the entire evening, complete with a check-in from the manager. Based on a general look around the room, I’m guessing Palomino caters a little more to people my parent’s age, but I did spot one or two millennials at the bar. Sticking with the millennial theme, I would love to know if my steak was grass-fed or came from a local farm. Because it was a Saturday night, the restaurant was hustling and bustling with a little more noise than I prefer for a classy dinner, but I can’t fault them for being busy and popular!
Conclusion? I’m so happy I finally got to visit Palomino, a long-time Indianapolis dinner destination. Dinner was delicious and Husband and I both left with big smiles and happy bellies. I was excited to learn more about their specials and seasonal menu and I definitely want to check out those wine fights. I may even bring Jess.
This post was written in partnership with Palomino. All opinions are my own.