Southern Indiana Living

MAR-APR 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Mar/Apr 2018 • 34 Henderson said he credits much of the restaurant's recent success to the em- ployees already in place when he arrived. "I have a team of really talented line- cooks who execute at a really high level, so I walked into a gorgeous team and a gorgeous restaurant," he said. Wadsworth said many of the staff members are artists or musicians of some kind, and their artwork is displayed and sold at Portage House. Southern Indiana Living photogra- pher Michelle Hockman and this writer were recently able to check out the Portage House and sample the menu. Wadsworth was the waiter for the evening and Hen- derson provided a variety of foods. Hush puppies with Broadbent country ham and black pepper pimento cheese were served first. Next came the Korean fried broccoli with sesame seeds and green onions, fol- lowed by the house pickle plate featuring pickled green beans, pickled eggs, and bread and buĴer pickles, among others. The two main entrées were the whole roasted trout with an arugula sal- ad, and the Indiana chicken thighs with rice grits, Brussels sprouts and pepper vinegar. Pudding with shaved chocolate was offered for dessert. Each dish was equally delicious, and the unique thing about this restaurant is that it encourages you to step outside your comfort zone. The broccoli and pick- led eggs were quickly devoured. Henderson's favorite menu item is the double cheeseburger, which is made with ground chuck from Hensley Home- grown Farms. "We do it diner-style, so potato bun, house-made special sauce, two thin chuck paĴies, American cheese and shaved raw onions," Henderson said. "It is the best diner-style burger; grease dripping down your fingers." Henderson said they are also noted for their fresh oysters, raw or chargrilled with herb or chipotle buĴer. "My goal is for you to come when the weather is hot, sit on the patio, drink beer, watch the river and eat oysters," he said. Allison Hartley, Seth Stock, Gina La- master and Lukas Olson also recently en- joyed drinks and food at Portage House. They had the steak and potatoes, catfish, chicken thighs and Korean broc- coli as well as several drinks including a Suffering Brave, a Blackberry Pimms Cup, an Apple Brandy Old Fashioned and a round of Lone Stars. "I grew up in Louisville and didn't come to Southern Indiana much, but more and more places like this that open make me want to," Hartley said. "It's a really good view — I'll come back just for that." Henderson said he would love for more people to come over from Louisville, especially with the walking bridge being so close. He suggests people park in Lou- isville, walk over and skip the tolls, get hungry and come to Portage House. "Let us feed you, have a Bloody Mary, you know, walk back over," he said. "We want to be some place convivial and congenial. Sit here, listen to tunes, (have) good food, good craft-made cocktails…" Convivial and congenial is definitely the vibe you get at Portage House. Every- thing from the decorations to the plat- ing and the music welcomes you into a unique experience right on the river. Outside of cities such as Indianapo- lis or Louisville, it can be difficult to find Everything from the decorations to the plating and the music welcomes you into a unique experience right on the river.

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