Since its opening in November, Cerulean has added color to Indy’s dining scene with modern Midwestern offerings.

But it has also been a vibrant addition to CityWay, the urban neighborhood going up at South and Delaware streets, southeast of the Circle. Cerulean’s sleek dining room is in the ground floor of the Alexander, a four-star hotel in the development.

There, chef and owner Caleb France and his crew strive to tell a story with their food, with whimsical and striking presentations on each plate. The restaurant’s sharable small dishes and entrees often star Indiana lamb, pork, beef, duck and bison.

Though the restaurant is France’s first in Indianapolis, he also has Cerulean and Cerulean Garden, which is open seasonally, both in Winona Lake near Warsaw. Here, France sounds off on his new Indy venture:

What’s the story behind the names of your restaurants?
Cerulean is my wife’s favorite color in the Crayola box! We always thought it would be a great name for a restaurant.

Cerulean owner and chef, Caleb France - Caption>Cerulean owner and chef, Caleb France”  />  <imgPhotographer> Kelley Jordan Heneveld</imgPhotographer>  <img decoding= Kelley Jordan Heneveld

What dishes are your most popular so far?
Definitely our corn macaroon “bite” with pork belly, smoked cheddar and arugula for $3. And people are going crazy about our sweet potato soup with vanilla bacon and a nutmeg-thyme cracker.

Will your menu change seasonally?
At minimum. Maybe more often.

What’s your take on drink offerings?
Our bar program focuses mainly on handcrafted cocktails. We work with small dis- tillers like Journeyman (Three Oaks, Michigan), Willett (Bardstown, Kentucky) and North Shore (Lake Bluff, Illinois), and every cocktail we serve has housemade ingredients in it, such as mint foam, jalapeño lime syrup and drinking vinegars for shrubs.

Sweet potato soup  - Caption>Sweet potato soup with vanilla bacon and nutmeg-thyme cracker.”  />  <imgPhotographer> Kelley Jordan Heneveld</imgPhotographer>  </p>
<p><strong>How did you land at the Alexander hotel? </strong><br />  When we decided to start looking around for a location in Indy, I envisioned us in a historic building or maybe on Mass. Ave. in a small, romantic space. [When we toured] CityWay project, my first thought was that it was  exactly the opposite of what we had in mind. But the more we learned about the focus on the arts, the up-and-coming area, the boutique feel – we realized it all meshed perfectly with our beliefs and the way we do business.  Winona Lake is really an arts community as well, so it felt like a good fit. We were the first CityWay business to open.</p>
<p><img decoding= Kelley Jordan Heneveld

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