By Jolene Ketzenberger
Restaurateurs Craig Baker and Derek Means of The Local Eatery & Pub in Westfield haven’t been getting much sleep lately. With their new restaurant, Plow & Anchor, set to open May 12 at 43 E. Ninth Street, their Bent Rail Brewery still in the works and with their participation in Friday’s Rev event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, they’ve been busy — to say the least.
And it doesn’t stop when a shift ends. “I get off work, and I research restaurants till 3 in the morning,” Baker said recently.
The two were working Sunday evening — along with family members and executive chef John Adams — to get their new restaurant, located downtown in the Ambassador building at Ninth and Penn, ready for a reception Sunday evening — even though the only thing they could make in the kitchen was coffee.
But once they do open, Adams guarantees an “awesome” menu. The restaurant will include a raw bar with four to six different kinds of oysters, an open prep area and a super-hot plancha grill station.
“Our menu will change daily and will be small enough that we can ensure that every dish will be awesome,” Adams said. “Every dish will have to pass the ‘is this really awesome?’ test before it goes on the menu.”
That menu will feature seafood and Indiana produce, although don’t look for much more in the way of a theme. “It’s global,” Baker said. “This is Portland. This is New York.”
But what to try when Plow & Anchor opens?
“I can say that of the ones we’ve been through and tested, the bay scallop crudo and the caviar dip will be two outstanding dishes coming from our raw bar menu,” said Adams. “Our kitchen also will feature a plancha grill, which is basically an insanely hot Spanish flat-top grill. So any items that will come from that station, such as razor clams, a plancha burger and charred squid, will taste fantastic. We also have a bitchin’ steak ‘n eggs on the opening menu. Like I said, all of it will change but everything will always be awesome.”
And don’t forget the champagne. Look for plenty of bubbles on the wine list, Baker said. You’ll even spot a chalkboard noting that “Every meal starts with bubbles,” Baker said “We need to celebrate more.”
But what about Bent Rail, the restaurant and brewery that’s to open in the former Monon Fitness space at 5301 Winthrop Ave.? Look for it to open in phases, Baker said.
“It’s just big, and it needs a lot of work,” he said. “We should open in July. That’s the goal.”
That is, the restaurant should open in July. “We’ll open in phases. You’ll actually watch the brewery being built,” said Baker. “We should be brewing our own beer by September.”