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A Breakout Breakfast Star Tries His Hand at Dinner

Jonathan Brooks’s Beholder is the follow-up to the hit Indianapolis restaurant Milktooth

an asparagus dish at Beholder
An asparagus dish at Beholder
Monica Burton is the deputy editor of

Milktooth’s Jonathan Brooks is finally doing dinner. After much anticipation, the chef behind the Indianapolis restaurant Eater critic Bill Addison said “redefines daytime dining” debuts Beholder, his take on a fun night out, in Indianapolis this week.

a cook plates pasta; food on a plate
Some of the items on the menu at Beholder
Mallory Talty/Beholder

Milktooth, Brooks’s breakfast-and-lunch restaurant with wife Ashley Brooks, is among America’s essential restaurants. There, the chef garnered national attention for “A-game cooking” in dishes like sweet and savory dutch babies and fried bologna okonomiyaki, according to Addison. At Beholder, Brooks will take a more refined approach to his menu, while maintaining a focus on Midwest ingredients and regional culinary traditions. “We want it to be sexy, delicious food,” he told Eater. “We want people to feel sexy and comfortable in the space.” (The “we” in this case is business partner Josh Mazanowski.)

To Brooks, this means sharable plates like grilled cucumber in a vinaigrette of burnt cucumber skin with cranberry seed oil and caviar, or buttered rye bigoli pasta with peppers, dried chicken, and herbs. Wine will also play an important role at Beholder, and Brooks envisions the restaurant as a place where Indianapolis diners can explore different varieties at reasonable prices in a relaxed atmosphere.

A dish at Beholder, Beholder’s grilled cucumber
Beholder’s grilled cucumber dish (right) comes topped with caviar and clotted cream.
Mallory Talty/Beholder

Like Milktooth, Brooks’s new restaurant is located in a former garage, but as with the food, the design at Beholder is dressed up for evening. There’s an open kitchen surrounded by artfully chipped sage green walls, and on-trend botanical wallpaper sets off a nook with a designated “Champagne table.”

Beholder is located in between a Family Dollar and a residential neighborhood. Brooks hopes it will become a destination for Indianapolis diners who simply want to have a good time. “We’ll push the boundaries, it will be fun, energetic, loud, comfortable, yet making really great food,” Brooks said. “Not a lot of people have tried that in Indianapolis. I have no ambitions more than that.”

The champagne table at Beholder; Jonathan Brooks
Beholder’s “Champagne table”; Jonathan Brooks
Mallory Talty/Beholder

Beholder opens for dinner tomorrow.

Beholder [Official]