Yay! A Friday post that is actually happening on a Friday! My Friday nights have been a bit lame lately since I am a bit overwhelmed with school, but my days have fallen into a nice routine. Friday is the only weekday that I don’t spend 2.5 hours in the car, so I start out by trying to repair some of the damage to my body from the previous days and begin my morning with a trip to the gym and chiropractor. I return home to work on chores that have been neglected throughout the week (We literally ran out of bowls this week and we have a lot of bowls!). After chores, it’s homework time all afternoon, BUT I stay motivated because I know that I will soon be enjoying a delicious dinner with my sister. We’ve started a ritual of Friday night dinners for some reason and have been enjoying checking some hot spots off our list.
Conner’s Kitchen + Bar was our stop two weeks ago. It’s only been open for about a month and is in a surprising location: the Downtown Indianapolis Marriott. The restaurant is part of the hotel’s renovation project and strives to re-imagine what “hotel food” can taste like, which is a good thing because most of the hotel food in my life has been BAD! The restaurant serves three meals a day, all elevated takes on classic Midwestern comfort food.
Let’s talk about getting there first. Parking is a struggle for the uninitiated because the whole block is surrounded by parking garages. Go into the wrong one and you’re stuck with a $35 parking fee that is not validated by the restaurant. We definitely learned this the hard way, so we’re sticking to valet parking next time, which our host told us is complementary when dining at the restaurant. I’m a little nervous to take them up on it after our last parking debacle, but I do like valet parking…
Connor’s looks nice from the outside with patio seating and a modern fireplace. It looks nice from the inside too with leather seats, stylish art displays, and succulents at every table. I was a little disappointed with my greeting because I was never welcomed to the restaurant or asked if I had dined there before. Our server brought us water and then asked to take our order without ever introducing herself or telling us about any specials. Lame! I did ask her to please tell me more about the menu to help inform my decision-making process.
Sister and I ended up splitting Lump Crab Hushpuppies ($11) and Truffle Chips ($8) for our appetizers, but it was a hard choice because options like cheesy monkey bread and cornbread muffins were also on the menu. For my entrée, I went with Baked Mac and Cheese with cavatappi noodles, thick-cut bacon, english peas, and a parmesan crust ($16). Sister ordered a 1/2 rack of Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs ($16). I was almost too full for dessert, but when I saw Peanut Butter Pretzel Pie ($8) was an option, I had to give it a try. See what I mean? Comfort food! So many good choices on the menu!
Overall thoughts? The food was good, but not great. Everything went down smoothly, but nothing was particularly memorable or worth driving downtown for. I’m not going to argue if a friend wants to meet up there because there are many other dishes on the menu to try, but I’m also not going to rush back. I like that they take reservations and (maybe) have free valet parking. I also appreciated the modern vibe of the space, but the music was also a little loud and it was definitely not a place for an intimate conversation. In addition, I think service could improved to show more warmth and hospitality. Downtown Indy just has so many food options, so I think Connor’s needs to continue being innovative and outgoing in order to rise about the fierce competition.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Conner’s Kitchen + Bar
350 West Maryland Street
Indianapolis, IN 462225
Breakfast: 6:30 am – 11:00 am
Lunch: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Dinner: 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Brunch: Sat.-Sun. 7:00 am – 4:00 pm