The mystery surrounding the year long redevelopment of the space once occupied by the Canterbury Hotel at 123 S. Illinois St. revealed itself December 4th. It is now home to a boutique Le Méridien Hotel and a local restaurant, Spoke & Steele. Both feature a mid-century modern flare with art work and objects focused on racing.

As to Le Méridien, it is completely revamped and calls little to memory of the traditional Canterbury Hotel. It features around 100 rooms, some of which have three different views of the city, that come standard with king-sized beds, Illy coffee, and walls and furniture focused on Indianapolis landscapes and racing. Suites are available, as is banquet space and a private room drenched in sophistication and named after Indiana-native Steve McQueen.

The Spoke & Steele dining space is open and inviting and the menu touts comfort foods with an adventurous twist. Noshes include Brussels sprouts with pancetta, creamy cheesy potatoes topped with none other than cornflakes and pommes frites served with an airy, almost whipped mayonnaise-style sauce lightly flavored with tomatoes similar to the Utah “Fry Sauce”. There’s a large charcuterie case, which includes local meats, and the restaurant’s goal over the first half of the year is to cure and serve its own meats. The restaurant pickles several items in-house, including cucumbers, scallions and radishes, which are outstanding. Entrees range from old favorites with a twist, like pork belly corndogs with homemade cherry mustard and apple ketchup, to standard favorites like an almost 2 inch tall Indiana pork chop and roast chicken.

While the restaurant may be situated in a boutique hotel chain, it plans to source some of its food locally and has already connected with Amelia’s (Indianapolis) for bread, Goose the Market (Indianapolis) for meats, and Jacobs and Brichford (Connersville) and Tulip Tree Creamery (Indianapolis) for its cheeses.

The cocktail menu at Spoke & Steele is extensive and will cater to a large variety of tastes. Gins, bourbons and champagne (“with heat”) craft cocktails stemming back to the days of Sloe Gin Fizz with egg white are available along with several local craft beer and wine choices.

The restaurant’s name focuses on Indianapolis as the center of Indiana—the spoke—and as a sign of respect to T.C. Steele, a beloved Indiana-born painter.

The restaurant’s full menu comes out Monday, December 22nd. It will have all day service and feature a master barista. It will also start sometime after the first of the year a craft cocktail of the month membership along with draft cocktails.

Spoke & Steele

123 Illinios Street

Indianapolis, IN

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