Our 2022 Super Bowl Deserted Restaurant Getaway

Filet Mignon!

For Anne, a bit of Filet Mignon.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

Each year our family has indulged in our own special Super Bowl tradition: while the rest of the world is watching football and swapping snacks and beers with best friends and chatting about The Sports, we have dinner at a fancy restaurant. Between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., anyplace without a large-screen TV is usually empty and totally ours for the taking…

We haven’t revisited that tradition here on MCC the past two years, partly for the obvious reasons and partly because we’ve been keeping it modest. This year our Super Bowl Sunday dinner made a comeback with style and possibly a smidgen of “TREAT YO’SELF” level indulgence.

For this year’s outing we drove not far away to Zionsville, a small town northwest of Indy that’s one of those rare idyllic bastions of carefully cultivated little shops, craftspeople, artisans, independent restaurants, and beauteous walking paths surrounded by foliage and well-kept, narrow streets. It’s a half-hour from our house, but for some reason we’re not there all the time. We’re easily distracted and too willingly busied, I think. I’ve written in these pages of past excursions to other restaurants such as Auberge, The Loft at Traders Point Creamery, Auberge (encore!), Cobblestone, and Rosie’s Place. We don’t quite enjoy a lifestyle that would let us collect them all like Pokemon within a short time frame, but if they could all just do us a favor and stay in business another 10-20 years, I’m tempted to make a long-term project of trying every single one of their establishments. We’ve found hardly a blemish in our Zionsville experiences so far.

For this occasion we tried a place called Noah Grant’s Grill House and Oyster Bar. Named after the son of owner Shari Jenkins (a Zionsville native), since 2008 Noah Grant’s has specialized in steak-and-seafood with an East Coast emphasis. Since November 2017 they’ve been in the Carter Building, a 2005 brick structure that formerly housed a toy museum and ice cream parlor.


Sample decor. That blue rectangle in the middle was the TV in the bar, naturally turned to the Big Game but thankfully outside our zone.

Sunday night in Zionsville was exactly as charming and totally deserted as we’d hoped. Far as we could tell, there were no sports bars in the vicinity and consequently very few fellow diners out or about. We parked a block away, walked through all sixteen wintry degrees, and strolled in through the bar entrance by mistake instead of the restaurant entrance. They were forgiving and friendly for the entirety of our visit. The voluminous menu was daunting at first, but we rolled with it, arguably to a fault.

tempura lobster bites!

For starters, tempura lobster bites with lime aioli and sweet chili garlic sauce. With my son’s help these were gone in seconds.

oysters Rockefeller!

Anne thought oysters Rockefeller might complement her wee steak. She hadn’t expected them to outweigh it 2-to-1. Not that we’re complaining.

roasted beets and butternut squash!

Also on Anne’s side of the table: roasted beets and butternut squash with goat cheese and balsamic reduction. I helped her a little with these.

Blue Point Roll!

Meanwhile for me, Blue Point oyster rolls with asparagus, cream cheese, jalapeno and cilantro inside; then topped with crab mix, tuna, avocado, chipotle honey, and unagi sauce. Anne tried half of one and confirmed she still doesn’t like sushi. More for me, then.

Wild Ahi Tuna!

For my main dish, three parallel slices of Wild Ahi Tuna, lightly seared with wasabi potato puree, grilled asparagus under and perpendicular to the ahi, strawberry/jicama slaw and a soy-ginger glaze. Admittedly the strawberries were a weird addition.

Noah's butter cake!

For dessert we split a ramekin-sized portion of Noah’s butter cake, warm and gooey and perfectly fitting what little room we’d left for it.

Alas, eventually we had to stop eating and leave. We took consolation in the leftovers that we brought home like a wayward child that we just wanted to love on all night. Those leftovers are gone, but the memories remain. If only we could return weekly or so, but that’s not our lifestyle or income level. Monday night supper was a far humbler round of tacos.

Also per tradition, we spent the rest of the night waiting for new movie trailers to drop during the Super Bowl and then appear online moments later, thus allowing us to bypass the sports-based delivery system. We had hoped for more than what they ultimately gave us, but that jaw-dropping new short film for Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness should tide us over for weeks.

Conversely and perversely, I understand the trailers were wildly outnumbered by the ads for cryptocurrency companies, consortia, cartels, and/or underground Ponzi fight clubs, each of them promising a six thousand percent return on our investment as long as we never actually touch our accounts or ask them to write us a check, though they totally promise their services are so super awesome that our first trillion-dollar imaginary payday will be hand-delivered to us by the still-living Ed McMahon of Earth-2, who they’ll pay to have warped over to our universe so he can congratulate us on behalf of Publishers Memeing House, where they promise People Really Win. And that’s when we can start dining like this daily to our heart’s content until the schemes crash all around us.

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