Southern Indiana restaurateurs seem not deterred a bit by the prospect of the start of bridge tolling, perhaps confident of the growing dining sophistication of Hoosiers, and not dependent on those persnickety guys to the south. In any event, several new – or at least newish – restaurants have opened across the river from Louisville.
- Naila’s Caribbean Cuisine has been open in Clarksville 1370 Veterans Pkwy., since last fall, tucked into a strip mall behind the Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que there. The menu boasts colorful and flavorful dishes that reflect the strong influence of Indian immigrant cuisine in the Caribbean islands.
Dishes offered include stew beef or pork with lentils, curry chicken or goat, jerk chicken served with rice and plantains, and a dish called “doubles” featuring hand-made flatbread filled with curried chick peas. Some days a fried whole fish is a special menu choice. Several curries rotate, and there are side dishes of dal (spiced lentils) and aloo (chickpeas and potatoes.
- Over in Jeffersonville, Parlour, a pizza restaurant at 131 W. Chestnut St. is a hop and a skip from the Big Four Bridge, in a Victorian house that once was a bed and breakfast. The restaurant is to feature an upstairs bar and lounge with a private party room and a downstairs seating area. Pizzas will be baked in a coal-fired oven. The restaurant also has a patio that in the warmer months will become a beer garden.
- Also in Jeffersonville, Café at Big Four Station, 223 Pearl St., is in a renovated historic house at the foot of the Big Four. Owner Carol Stembro envisions a place where Big Four Bridge pedestrians and cyclists can pop in for salads, yogurts, popsicles, coffee and other healthful refreshments.