I've been spending a lot of time out in Indianapolis since I put on a new dealer there late last year. Not long ago, I had a special showing of the Focal Alto Be loudspeakers at Ovation Ultimate in Castleton one evening. After the event, I took the store manager, Duke, and the salesman, James, out for dinner. Duke was trying to figure out a place to go and he said, "Oh, I know! Deeter's!"
Duke explained that Deeter's was the "casual" part of the famous Glass Chimney restaurant in nearby Carmel. I'd eaten at the Glass Chimney one time about 15 years ago and it was very good. Deeter's is attached to the Glass Chimney and is named after the owner, Dieter Puska. Puska opened The Glass Chimney in 1976. It has long been known as "the" place for exquisite food in the great Indianapolis area. He moved to the present location in Carmel (see map) in 1979. He had the space in the building to open Deeter's, which he viewed as a more casual alternative to the upscale restaurant. He called it "Deeter's" because he didn't want people to think it was pronounced "Diet-ers" and customers may think the place was a health food restaurant.
However, Duke was telling me that Deiter Puska was retiring and he couldn't find a buyer worthy to buy the restaurants. He was planning on closing the doors to both restaurants in a few days after we visited. Duke said, "I want to go to Deeter's one last time."
Well, fair enough. I like these guys and we decided to go all out for the evening.
Most of the waitresses at Deeter's have been here for a number of years and it would be sad to see them all get laid off after Dieter retired. We had one especially spunky older waitress who was fun to talk with.
She gave us our menus and told us of some specials they had for appetizers and dinner specials that evening. We ended up getting some before dinner drinks and I ordered a bottle of chardonnay wine.
We were kind of hung up on a number of the appetizer, so we each decided to order something different from the appetizers specials that evening and try a little bit of everything. I ordered the Oyster martini, Duke got the Prince Edward Island clams and James got the Spinach and Cheese raviolis. They all sounded great.
A number of the same food items that are on the menu at The Glass Chimney are on the menu at Deeter's. Deeter's is definitely more of a casual "pub-like" atmosphere compared to the staid and elegant restaurant next door. Comparing the two, I felt more comfortable in Deeter's than when I ate at The Glass Chimney years ago.
When our appetizers came, we ordered up our main entree. Duke was telling me the Veal Schnitzel was absolutely the best. But I'd had jaegerschnitzel - veal schnitzel - the night before at The Rathskeller. But Duke was adamant that Deeter's was the best. So I took Duke's advice and went with the Veal Schnitzel with a side of red cabbage. Duke got the exact same thing. James went with the pasta special that evening which was beef and prociutto tortellini in a white sauce. That sounded good, too. James and Duke got the house salads and I got a cup of the lobster bisque.
The appetizers were very good. The PEI clams were steamed perfectly. I really liked the oyster martini, a large martini glass filled with shucked oysters and a spicy seafood sauce. And the spinach and cheese ravioli was very good, as well. It was almost too much food to have before the main entree showed up.
After the lobster bisque and salads, our food came out. I have to tell you, my eyes must have gotten huge looking at the two large veal cutlets covered in breading they had on my plate. There was no way I was going to be able to eat both pieces, let alone one.
However, I have to say that if Duke thought Deeter's veal schnitzel was the best, I would have to beg to differ. The veal schnitzel at the Rathskeller walked all over the fare at Deeter's. There was some taste to the schnitzel that was, well, it tasted burnt. I didn't want to complain to Duke as he appeared to be devouring his veal schnitzel. Still, I was able to finish one, but that was it. Duke could only finish one of his cutlets of veal schnitzel, as well. He said, "I'm going to take this other one home to my wife. She's going to love this."
I offered to give him my other cutlet and he jumped at the chance. I wouldn't have eaten it even if I had a fridge to put it in. Frankly, it wasn't that good.
James' tortellini was "wonderful". It did look very good. I was sort of sorry I didn't go for something like that instead. Oh well...
We were talking with the waitress about the two restaurants closing in a few days and she said, "Oh, we're not closing. Dieter sold the restaurant to some people. Everything is moving forward."
Dieter sold the restaurant to Corbin and James Roudebush, two real estate developers in Carmel, and Corbin's wife, Judith. They plan to keep everything the same. And it appears that with the exception of the retiring Dieter Puska, everyone else is staying on board.
Since Deeter's is staying in business, I'll have to give it another try sometime down the line. You don't stay in business for nearly 30 years by having bad food. But I'll probably stay away from the veal schnitzel.
(Update - I haven't been back to Deeter's or Glass Chimney for awhile and I understand that Deeter's is now closed. The Glass Chimney is still open, but I guess that Deeter's has closed.)