The menu at Indo runs the gamut from nigiri to whole fish preparations. photo by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Indo in Botanical Heights

Chef Nick Bognar, the force behind Nippon Tei and Ramen Tei, is taking his culinary creativity to the Botanical Heights neighborhood. His latest, Indo, debuts for dinner service on Friday, June 28, at 1641 Tower Grove Ave.

Bognar, a semifinalist this year for the James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year, has become known for his sushi artistry at Nippon Tei, but Indo (the name is short for the Indochina area of Southeast Asia) is no Nippon Tei 2. As the name implies, Indo’s menu features influences from this area, along with Japan. Because he isn’t adhering to a specific cuisine, Bognar has the freedom to stretch his creative muscles.

The lunch menu features a tight selection of bowls, maki rolls and some hot and cold small plates that also appear on the dinner menu. The extensive dinner bill of fare offers everything from pork and chicken gyoza to fried madai, a whole aged snapper, to a koji-aged Joyce Farms ribeye. Many of the plates are shareable.

“We basically drop a party at your table,” Bognar said.

There’s also a rotating nigiri menu, and serious culinarians can take advantage of Indo’s coursed omakase menu served at the chef’s counter Thursday through Sunday during dinner hours. Indo is also embarking on an innovative fish-aging program.

The space, most recently home to Good Fortune, is decorated with a color palette of subtle blues, greens and grays, set off by details like basket-shaded light fixtures and the original exposed brick walls. Colorful murals in the restrooms inject some whimsy into the mix. The front of the restaurant seats 16, with an additional 30 seats in the main dining room. A private back patio lounge will soon open with drinks and snacks available.

Indo will be open for dinner service only Friday, June 28, through Sunday, June 30. Going forward, Indo will be open for lunch service from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Dinner service will be from 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday and 5 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Dinner reservations are available via Tock. Here’s a look at the latest addition to Botanical Heights.

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.