Often times, a restaurant will adopt the personality of it's chef. Indigo Kitchen, Lance Knowling's new Montclair outpost, exudes the cool charm and refinement Lance is known for.
From the jazz music in the background, to the exposed brick wall, to local scenes painted by Lance's mother, Indigo Kitchen is comfortably cool. Suitable for a stellar lunch, or for a hip and sexy evening out, Indigo seems to have everything going for it.
Lance Knowling, also chef/owner of Indigo Smoke, owns Indigo Kitchen with Leonard Murray. So how is Indigo Kitchen different from his other projects? According to Lance, "[t]his restaurant has a more diverse menu and blends classical techniques with southern and soul styles more so than the other restaurants. I still do the classical indigo dishes but everything has been updated. These dishes also have slightly more upscale presentations."
Hot From The Kettle enjoyed an extensive tasting at Indigo Kitchen. We began with a Mini Beet Salad topped with toasted pistachios, chevre biscuit croutons, and a tangy honey sherry vinaigrette.
Lance followed up with Corn and Crabmeat Soup as smooth and silky as 800 thread count sheets. Pale yellow, and filled with sweet lumps of crab meat, the soup wrapped my tongue in pure seduction.
Next, the fork tender BBQ Beef Brisket arrived accompanied by Skillet Potatoes served in a mini cast iron pan. How cute!
Well-executed simple things are so satisfying! Like the southern staple, Shrimp and Grits. So smooth, buttery and so comforting - I'd trade in my oatmeal any morning!
Lance's playfulness showed itself with the buttermilk fried chicken sliders served on mini biscuits. Again, something very simple, but created in a way that makes it fresh, appealing, and somehow - hip.
Although the Lump crab cake with corn fritter and parsley remoulade, was presented beautifully, they could benefit from a few more lumps of crab meat.
At Indigo Kitchen, the Kansas City BBQ ribs are smoked for four hours, yielding a very tender and juicy, lean meat. The fries are just as much fun to eat, and are made from big Idaho 60 count potatoes - the perfect medium for wiping up that remaining BBQ sauce.
Then, as very happy, very satisfied food bloggers, we finished off our meal with a warm red velvet cake and a decadent Vahlrona chocolate Devil's Food cake.
It's great to have you back, Lance!