November 2019 Once again, Tony’s Steaks and Seafood of Indianapolis, Carmel Travel Company and Carmel Monthly are proud to have sponsored the third private dinner and wine-pairing event to benefit the Carmel Clay Public Library Foundation (CCPLF) last Tuesday. All three previous events in this quarterly series were sellouts and astounding successes for CCPLF. Owner Tony Ricci and his remarkable staff at Tony’s have been showcasing their best culinary skills and superb hospitality to the attendees, comprised of CCPLF board members and other supporters of CCPLF and the library in general. The proceeds of these specific tasting events are going to CCPL Foundation, which in turn will be used to support the Carmel Clay Public Library’s digest of expansive programs—2,200-plus free programs— for library members of all ages. The general manager at Tony’s of Indianapolis, Michael Morgan, is as much a showman as he is an impressive host. He and Corporate Chef de Cuisine Ryan Montgomery have been wowing the attendees of these events with the exquisite food and wine pairings but also with their overall presentation and knowledge of the courses’ and wines’ origins without overindulging on the pomp and pretention. “ Ryan and I have worked together off and on for close to 20 years now, so I know his style of cooking, and I know what ingredients he likes to use,” Morgan shared. “And he knows that if I want to showcase a certain wine, he'll incorporate it into one of those dishes just to ensure that the two are going to complement each other.” Every pairing at these events for CCPLF has been a perfect marriage between the wines and the courses, and nothing has been served in duplication. Each experience has truly been first class. The friendship and level of professionalism between Morgan and Montgomery is apparent in their private dinner presentations, and the pair play off each other rather brilliantly. Montgomery’s reputation for culinary excellence and talent in the kitchen is unrivaled in Central Indiana, in this publication’s opinion. The amount of effort and creativity that goes into the private dinners at Tony’s is extraordinary. When it comes to preparing for the private dinners, Montgomery shared, “I like to use simple ingredients, and I cook whimsically, so it's hard for me to be very symmetrical, but at the same time I'm both [whimsical and symmetrical], and that's pretty weird. These dinners do a lot for the culture in our kitchen, and I think that one of the things that consistently stand Tony’s apart from other restaurants is hosting these dinners that we have that kind of passion for.” Montgomery shared that the upcoming dinner for the CCPLF will have a German theme and will contain “explosive” and “flaming” surprises for the beverage pairings! “There's a lot of German heritage in the area, and I think Michael will have a lot of fun pairing wines with German food.” Morgan added, “It’s very humbling to us that people continue to show up to our restaurants, whether it's for a charity function or to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. Tony always says, ‘There’s always room for one more at the dining table,’ and we want people to know that we’re not formal—we’re a come on in and take a load off, we’ve got food in the kitchen and wine in the glass kind of experience. When the kitchen opens and service starts, that’s when the party starts, and everybody just has a blast.” To request more information and/or to reserve your seats for the next Tasting at Tony’s of Indianapolis Benefiting the CCPL Foundation that will be held in the first quarter of 2020, please email Elizabeth Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $175 per person and include a themed dinner and selected wine pairings in one of Tony’s private dining rooms. The date and time of the 4th event will be announced in December. For more information about or to make holiday reservations at Tony’s at Indianapolis, visit tonysofindianapolis.com.