There's nothing like rushing into an unfamiliar restaurant to get out of the bitter cold and being greeted with a warm ambience and savory scents wafting from the kitchen.
Aesop's Tables is situated among a handful of Indianapolis theaters such as The Murat, Theatre on the Square and Indy Fringe Theater, and is perfect for pre-theater dining. It is an unassuming nook tucked among bustling Mass Ave., but offers respite from the usual crowds along this popular corridor.
Sitting in the quaint dining room, I'm transported to a typical café in Barcelona. The black and white parquet floors, the wrought iron chairs and the black board menu create an air of European charm.
The menu isn't large, but it has typical Mediterranean dishes with a focus on Greek and Spanish food. Don't expect anything fancy or complicated. There won't be any dishes served with truffle sauce or carrot foam. but you can expect affordable dishes bursting with flavor.
For a fresh and not too filling starter, try the Middle Eastern Appetizer Plate for $8.25. Designed to share for 2-3 people with Hummus, Tabouli salad, Middle Eastern Cheese, and pita bread.
If you are on the hungrier side, the Greek Appetizer Plate will take the edge off with some typical Greek starters. Thr feta and sun dried tomato spread is served with olives, stuffed grape leaves and pita bread
For the main entrees, I recommend trying something you don't see very often in Spanish restaurants in the US. Arroz en Rania is a traditional dish from the Spanish islands. The shrimp and mussels are smothered in a mildly spicy sauce and served over rice. The dish is low in fat, but high in flavor.
The roasted lamb shank in wine sauce is another Spanish inspired delight. The tender lamb is
slow roasted and served with a light sauce of Spanish paprika, olive oil and the typical Spanish Tempranillo wine. The dish is served with grilled vegetable ravioli.
There are also several tempting vegetarian dishes that are flavorful enough to entice usual meat-lovers.
The Vegetarian Stuffed Courgette are tender zucchini halves stuffed with rice, nuts, currants, and onions and topped with Aesop’s house made tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.
All main entrees are served with a house salad and are all under $20 for a large serving of flavorful cuisine.
Equally delicious and prepared with as many flavorful spices as the main entrees, the sandwiches on the menu are another way to go if you aren't starving.
I had the traditional lamb and beef Gyros and did not leave hungry. For only $9.50, the dish comes with a house salad and is a large portion of spit-cooked lamb and beef served in soft pita bread with traditional Greek tzatziki yogurt and cucumber sauce, tomatoes, and onions.
The service is warm and efficient. We mentioned we were heading to a show, and they happily accommodated our request to be served quickly.
For 20 years, Aesop's Tables has been serving delicious Mediterranean food in a quaint and relaxed atmosphere, and I'm sure they will be around for another twenty. Salud!
600 E Massachusetts Ave.
Indianapolis, IN, 46204