Tolon Brings Midwestern Flavor into the Middle of the City
Dec14

Tolon Brings Midwestern Flavor into the Middle of the City

December 2015 is setting up downtown Fort Wayne for a pretty tasty 2016. First, there was the news last week that the Fort Wayne City Council voted to create a downtown dining district – making it exponentially easier for downtown restaurants to offer full bar service. Then there was the news over the weekend that Joseph Decuis’ head chef Aaron Butts, sommelier Carmen McGee and sous chef Sean Richardson will be turning their pop-up craft mixology bar, The Golden, from a moonlighting hobby into a full-fledged bar and restaurant – set to open by mid-2016 in the new Ash Brokerage building. And now, the biggest flurry of activity is happening on the Columbia Street landing, where chef Matt Nolot and his wife Nicky are putting the finishing touches on Tolon, a farm-to-table fine dining restaurant set to open in mid-January 2016. If you, like me, have been hanging out downtown for at least a decade, you may remember when the tastiest food you could get on the Landing was a slice from Columbia Street or a grilled cheese from the street vendor parked outside Flashbacks. And while there’s still nothing like a toasty, melty, midnight snack after a night of dancing, Matt and Nicky plan to set the bar much higher by bringing the flavor profile of the heartland into the heart of the city. “We became very excited about the movement of revitalizing downtown,” the couple says. “ Ever since we visited a locally owned restaurant in New Orleans, we’ve had a desire to bring a unique dining experience to Fort Wayne – with a focus on how we were both raised; knowing where our food had come from. “ As the restaurant’s logo suggests, the couple’s farm-to-fork philosophy guides both Tolon’s bar and restaurant menus. “At Tolon, people can expect unique dishes that feature familiar ingredients along with craft cocktails that utilize local Indiana spirits,” says Matt. “Having grown up cooking in the Midwest, I plan to bring a modern updated view on what is considered traditional Midwestern cuisine.”   In elevating Midwestern cuisine, the couple hopes to elevate diners’ appreciation for Midwestern farmers. “We feel it is important that we focus on knowing where our food comes from and how it is grown,” the couple says. “With the surge in farmer’s markets, we felt it was the time to bring attention to eating locally grown foods, and we’re excited to showcase the best quality ingredients that are grown within a day’s drive of Fort Wayne.” For the Nolots, that means changing the menu four times a year to reflect what’s in season, and creating signature dishes that are packed with Midwestern umami,...

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Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125
Jan23

Soothe Your Palate at Hideout 125

One of my favorite things about Fort Wayne is that there are so many options for delicious local dining, and I have one more for you to add to your list (if you haven’t already): Hideout 125. It’s a relatively new upscale restaurant on the north side of Fort Wayne (in the Pine Valley Plaza) and it’s worth every penny. Hideout 125 is owned by Panos Bourounis (also the owner of Cosmos House of Pancakes) and Brian Shreffler. Feeling the need for another evening dining option on the north side of town, they found that the space in the Pine Valley Plaza perfectly fit the “speakeasy” feel that they wanted. Walking into Hideout 125, I instantly sensed its uniqueness. The “prohibition era” theme is unmistakable in the wall décor, even the style of the booths and tables; the restaurant definitely exudes a cool vibe. The music, the ambiance and the lighting make the restaurant inviting, I couldn’t wait to try the food (which by the way was amazing). Once I was seated, I ordered a cocktail called the Barista, an espresso martini that was the perfect blend of coffee and cocktail. Though a tad strong for my taste, it was a delicious treat after a long day at work. When I got to the menu, I was torn between ordering the crab cakes or the tuna (clearly I was in the mood for seafood), but ultimately decided to go with the small plate crab cake and a chopped salad. I was not disappointed. The crab cake was served atop an artichoke-potato soup and drizzled with remoulade (it’s a mayonnaise based sauce, I had to ask). The salad was larger than I expected, and perfectly chopped and dressed. Overall the meal and service was fantastic. Next time you are out in search of a new place to have dinner, try Hideout 125, it won’t disappoint. (If you want to try them on a weekend, consider making a...

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