Executive Chef/Partner: Carlos Salazar
Chef Carlos has spent the last 8 years cooking and learning from some of Indianapolis' best chefs. Prior to Rook, Chef Salazar worked as the Sous Chef for James Beard-nominated Steven Oakley, at Oakleys Bistro. At Rook, Chef Salazar brings his myriad of experiences to casual, Asian fare. "My vision is to redefine Asian street food and elevate it into a dining experience that is creative and modern," he says. "Street food, when executed perfectly, is about simple but bold and exciting flavors."
Chef Carlos' cuisine at Rook quickly got the attention of the food community, garnering a nomination for The People's Best New Chef (Great Lakes Region) in Food & Wine Magazine in 2014.
In his spare time, Chef Carlos can be found enjoying the golf course, staying active as an avid road cyclist, showcasing his culinary skills in cooking competitions, and spending time with his wife and newborn daughter. "My inspiration doesn't only come from food itself, it comes from people around me."
Rook is part of the same restaurant group that brought you Siam Square in Fountain Square, the acclaimed Black Market on Massachusetts Avenue, and the highly-regarded cocktail bar Thunderbird. With Rook, we set out to make the kind of food that we crave on our breaks - bold, Asian flavors. We wanted to bring the feeling of an Asian night market to the neighborhood that has supported us for so many years.
Our menu changes with the seasons and evolves to showcase different regions of Asia and unexpected flavor combinations. At any time you might find dumplings, steamed buns, Filipino rice bowls, ramen noodles, kimchi, nam phrik, Hainanese chicken, and practically anything else that gets our blood flowing. This website and our Facebook page always reflect our current menu. Follow us on social media for updates on daily specials.
THE UNSUNG HEROES THAT MADE IT HAPPEN
From the moment you set foot into our restaurant, you'll feel the same kind of vibe that you feel on the streets of Vietnam, Singapore, Laos or Thailand. We couldn't have accomplished that goal without the help of an entire team of contractors, architects, landlords, designers, craftsmen, and purveyors of vintage goods. Our interior designer, Nikki Sutton of LEVEL Interior Architecture + Design, was integral to the look and atmosphere of Rook. She brought bold ideas for a casual restaurant -- downed powerlines, rooks perched upon the poles, vintage furniture from Indy Swag, and beautiful woodwork by Nick Allman D+ F. Everything you see was designed and custom-made for us to evoke the sense of strolling down a hidden alley in Asia. That vision was completed by a custom mural by Indianapolis artist, Justin Cooper, installed in the Spring of 2014.
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST
We want to thank the residents of Indianapolis for your continued support. Fountain Square has been our home for many years at Siam Square, so it was only natural to open Rook a few blocks up in the street in Historic Fletcher Place.
We hope you enjoy our restaurant as much as we enjoyed putting it together and cooking for you. We look forward to seeing you soon!