To say that Sharmaine Cooper took corn to another level is an understatement.
The chef roasts fresh two-tone sweet corn in her Public House restaurant and dresses them in various seasonings. And while customers enjoy the $10 “basic” cobs with broccoli and cheddar, cheddar and bacon; and selling Italian herbs and cheeses, it’s the gourmet protein additions that take them beyond fine dining.
An ear of lamb chop ($20) is dressed with spreadable garden vegetable cheese and an artisanal blend of parmesan and mozzarella, then topped with lamb chops with a garlic parmesan drizzle, parmesan cheese and homemade seasonings.
The lobster cob comes with a six ounce lobster tail. (For those who can’t decide between the two, there’s a surf and turf option with both.)
But diners looking to indulge have just a few dates to nab one of this year’s specials at the restaurant, 4002 Boulevard Pl., Indianapolis.
They are part of Sharmaine’s Gourmet Corn menu which is only available on Fridays and Saturdays from April to September.
Innovative Spikes helped launch the Cooper Restaurant, but Public House offers other notable dishes, fusion cuisine with TexMex, Asian, Italian, French and soul food influences.
sports barMGM brings matchmaking and Vegas vibes
Burgers, shrimp quesadillas and a crispy chicken sandwich on an onion adorn the menu along with sides such as lemon broccoli and yellow rice. Lamb chops and a honey garlic fillet also top garlic parmesan fries ($25); and big appetites can enjoy well-stocked platters with salmon fries, a burger and three whole wings.
Much of the traffic to the bistro is for the popular salmon nachos ($20), a concoction of tortilla chips topped with air-fried salmon, pico de gallo, southwestern ranch, sour cream and homemade sauce. The dish was so popular that it spurred on a spiky version.
And recently, pasta has been in the spotlight here, especially the Surf ‘n’ Turf Ramen Bowl ($50) with lamb chops, salmon, shrimp and lobster tail.
Cooper manufactures its sauces in-house, including the House Sauce cheese blend which is used extensively on the menu and has been an integral part of the company since its early days.
From home to restaurant
Cooper, who attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Oregon, opened the plant-filled restaurant in April 2021. This was after restrictive working conditions caused her to quit her job as a food center. calls in 2016.
She did photography on the side, but that didn’t give her an approximate income. Cooper had a four-year-old daughter at the time.
“I knew I wanted to get back into the food industry. And I knew I wanted to sell something that nobody else was doing,” Cooper said. “And I knew I could do a great elot.”
Combining this with his knack for working with flavor profiles gave rise to Gourmet Corn. She sold the creations for $2 an ear.
“I was just putting in the basics, like butters and cheeses and different things,” Cooper said. “Most of the protein I was adding to it was bacon.”
It was enough to draw hundreds of customers a day to his home in southern Broad Ripple.
comfort foodsDiscover these new restaurants
Besides the traditional Mexican street corn with mayo, cotija cheese, cayenne pepper and lime; Cooper listed seven other varieties, including Maple Bacon, Lemon Pepper, and Old Bay.
She stepped up toppings in 2020, but halted the operation after the health department told her she could not sell the food from home.
The same staff who worked with her there followed her to Public House.
Among them is older sister Celaneise McCray who has worked with Cooper since the gourmet corn business was founded.
McCray is impressed with Cooper’s creativity.
“She can put anything on a piece of corn. It’s very exciting for people to see those things,” McCray said. “Her food is very unique. You won’t find much of it anywhere. I really think she should patent some of the things she creates.”
Gourmet corn, including a dip-coated buffalo chicken ear ($12), can only be ordered by phone or at the counter.
Other menu items are available at Public House, 317-602-6569, publichouseindy.com, Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter: @cherylvjackson.
#Public #House #offering #gourmet #corn #limited #time