Chef Ryan Nelson devastated local foodies when word got out that he was leaving his post at Oceanaire’s downtown Indianapolis location. That is, until he announced he was opening a restaurant of his own. The result is Late Harvest Kitchen, an upscale northside eatery focused on high-quality, seasonal cuisine. The location was formerly a Smith and Hawken garden store, but diners will never know it. Although the outdoor patio survives, high ceilings, accent lighting and softly masculine wood-and-stone decor now define the interior.
The menu features small and large plates and changes frequently. One house specialty is Brandade ($10), a scrumptious dip made from pureed cod. The LHK Salad ($8) with unexpected shavings of licorice-flavored fennel, and a thinly sliced beef carpaccio ($12) are also worth ordering. Large plates include perfectly cooked New York strip steak ($32), pork schnitzel ($20) and house-made noodles topped with seasonal veggies like farm-fresh asparagus and foraged morel mushrooms ($24).
Save room for dessert. The chocolate mousse, served in a sky-high milkshake glass, is rich and silky, and the sticky toffee pudding is nothing short of decadent (both $8). Portions are more than generous enough to share, although you may not want to.