Regarding Indianapolis and 4-Star restaurants, comments posted elsewhere:
For context: visit this link. It’s Official: L’explorateur to Close
Honestly, I think it says more about Indianapolis budgets than our dining habits, and it says more about restauranteurs not really understanding the Indy market. I’ve never had the money to go to L’explorateur, and I certainly don’t now.
I hate chain restaurants and overly salted food as much as you do. But SOME of our unique independent restaurants have to be within a budget for everyone to go regularly and not just as a birthday gift or holiday treat.
If you look at New York and Chicago and LA – locals don’t go to L’explorateur-like restaurants every night. Those high-flyers are attended by tourists from out of town, with locals attending on special occasions, and the large population of those cities means occasional dining from locals is enough to keep high-end restaurants in business.
But those cities also have awesome, independently-owned and operated restaurants that fit in the $ and $$ range – that’s where locals do their daily dining.
The Indianapolis market needs a lot more of these quality $ and $$ restaurants. And right now, our cities population isn’t big enough that we can support high-end restaurants with occasional dining.