You don't have to travel far to get a good meal in Michiana, and a local restaurant is proving it doesn't have to look far to get great ingredients.
This week's Unique Eats takes us to Niles, where a new restaurant is serving up every dish with a side of "local."
Located in the Old Thayers Jewelry Store in Downtown Niles, is a new restaurant with a not so familiar name.
“Olfactory Hue is the concept of smelling color, it is an artistic approach to food and we invite our customers to come in and smell the flavors and the colors, and look at their food and be enticed to enjoy with all of their senses not just their taste buds,” says Daysha Amster the Chef and Owner.
Described as current cuisine, Daysha Amster, the Chef and Owner, has a major focus on local ingredients and it starts at the breakfast table.
“We use farm fresh local eggs, because of the flavor and the color,” explains Amster. “There are no hormones, you know they come straight from the farm from local chickens and they are delicious and taste fabulous.”
What starts out as a typical scramble is taken to a new level, thanks to a healthy dash of homemade pesto, and now you have green eggs and ham.
“We have organic, fresh basil that we get from blue star produce in Buchanan,’ says Amster. “We get like 15 pounds of basil and process it in the peak of the summer and then we freeze it and we use it all winter long, so we have our very own organic pesto here. The pesto makes it so pretty with the yellow and the pink of the ham.”
For slightly more traditional fare, sandwiches, salads and burgers grace the menu, for lunch goers. But you won't find any pre-formed patties here.
“For our farmhouse burger we add green chillis that have been fire roasted over flame and have been peeled,” explains Amster. “We add our white cheddar to the top of it and to get it to melt and kind of bring everything together we hit it with some water and we are going to let it steam.”
Surrounded with kettle chips and homemade pasta salad this burger is served on a toasted pretzel bun with their own special sauce.
“It gets topped with our homemade aoli, which is a mayonnaise based sauce with parsley, and garlic,” says Amster.
For a heartier meal and the opportunity to truly smell color, try the Flemish pot pie, called Waterzooi.
You can keep this dish vegetarian or you can also spice it up with chicken or prawns. Homemade vegetable stock and a little simmer time brings it all together. While it may not look like your grandmother’s pot pie, it tastes just as good.
“It is a little bit scary because it is way outside of the box, and I realize that,” says Amster. “We try to use as many comfort food items from different cultures and bring it in, to tie it in with our theme, but so far it is really working.”
If you can't enjoy the daily special in the restaurant, they offer boxed lunches to go and jams and other creations that you can try at home.
“We do a little bit of everything, we have our hands in all these different things because it is just so fun to bring all the different culinary delights all into one place,” says Amster
Olfactory Hue is open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Thursday and is open through dinner on Friday and Saturday.
They also offer, a once a month supper club with a fixed menu.