No one could miss the passion in the voices of Joe and Ginger Miller as they describe Our Table, their new restaurant opening soon in the Bargersville area.
“After someone dines at Our Table for the first time, we hope they would say, ‘I felt so taken care of-amazing food and wonderful service! I can’t wait to go back!’”
It is clear that this upscale establishment will provide guests with chef-crafted original recipes set in a warm, softly lit environment intended to give customers an exquisite dining experience. Why the name “Our Table?”
According to Ginger, her husband loves to host and set the perfect milieu whether preparing for a meal or an event. Therefore, when they were discussing possible names for the restaurant, they realized that they would want people “to feel like they were at our table.” Hence, the perfect name was created.
The Millers are not strangers to the southside. Ginger attended St. Barnabas Parish and Roncalli while Joe graduated from Scecina Memorial High School. Ginger was attending graduate school in Oregon with no plans to move back to the Indy area, but her aunt had other ideas. When her niece was home on a summer break, her aunt mentioned that she had a friend whom she wanted Ginger to meet.
“I had a weak moment and said I’ll do this for my aunt. We ended up spending an entire Sunday talking, and the rest was history. He came to visit me in Oregon, and once I graduated, I got a job in Indiana, and came home and we were engaged!”
They now live in Perry Township with their five children; John Patrick,13; Eva, 11; Quentin, 9; Violette, 8; and Edward, 6 and are very active in the St. Barnabas community.
The couple, who will be married 15 years on Nov. 11, have very different backgrounds. While Joe had an early interest in culinary arts, Ginger has a PHD in special education.
“I taught last year but stopped so we could focus on the restaurant. I’m going all in on the restaurant. I loved it and would have kept doing it if we didn’t have this…..I couldn’t see myself teaching and being all in with Joe on this.”
Joe’s interest in culinary arts began at the young age of 14 as he began working for a local catering company, Indiana’s Catering, whose owner taught him a great deal and allowed him to actually work in their kitchen. His formal education started by taking a class at the Ivy Tech Culinary Hospitality Program in Indianapolis to see if that was what he wanted to do. He ended up graduating with a degree in applied science and even had the opportunity to study abroad in France which he considers “life-changing.” Joe still has high praise for this program. “All of the instructors at Ivy Tech are actually chefs. The kitchen is state of the art, and the chef who runs that facility is Jeff Bricker….he is top notch.”
Another very influential mentor for Joe at the time was a man named Alex Darvishi. “When I enrolled at Ivy Tech, that’s when Chef Alex Darvishi, who at the time was chef at Meridian Hills Country Club, was putting together a culinary team for competitions. They called him the Vince Lombardi of culinary competitions. I was asked to be part of that team, and that changed my life there because I was part of the Indiana Junior Culinary Team, and through doing that team, I was eventually hired on as a line cook at Meridian Hills, and at the same time we won the national championship….. I worked for Chef Darvishi for three years, and once he left, I worked for another chef from Switzerland as his sous chef and, eventually, at the age of 26, was promoted to executive chef and held that position for 16 years…..schooling was good but the best schooling I got was working with Chef Darvishi. He was amazing.”
Ginger certainly concurs, “Just from what I’ve observed and learned from Joe, when it comes to the culinary world, a lot is who you work with. Working with Chef Darvishi instilled a lot in him.” Indeed, Joe was fortunate to compete with the chef and his teammates in competitions in California, New York and Germany.
Joe left his job at Meridian Hills in November of 2019 with high hopes of opening his restaurant, but then COVID-19 hit. He joined the Mark Adams School of Woodworking and led their lunch service program until 2020. Renewing their search with their business partners and family members, Laura and Ken Fikes, Joe and Ginger found the perfect location at a Mike Duke owned property in Bargersville.
Because it is a new build, the couple was able to start fresh and add their own rustic charm and warm ambiance to the design. With approximately 4,800 square feet to work with, they have created a unique dining experience with the capacity for 120 patrons inside as well as at least 20 guests who can enjoy the covered patio and fireplace on the outside of the building when weather permits. Joe and Ginger have also created a beautiful private room inside the restaurant where guests can enjoy a wine country atmosphere for intimate parties.
As with many businesses, they are having some issues with their supply chains. The booths took over four months to arrive, and now they await some essential food ingredients and liquor. However, because all the menu items are original and made from scratch, the acquisition of supplies should not take as long. Joe and Ginger have the mindset that adjustments always have to be made and “let’s make it happen.”
They feel they have been blessed with the hiring of quality staff, several who have worked with Joe in the past. One important asset is Tanya Smith, their new pastry chef who was the former head baker for Circle City Sweets known for its French pastries and breads. The Millers are hoping that phase two of the restaurant will feature a market area where customers can purchase Smith’s goods as well as a demo kitchen where Chef Joe can share his skills.
Our Table’s menu will offer a variety of items including steaks, flatbreads, lamb chops, and fresh seafood flown in daily. There will also be accommodations for those with food allergies or who are gluten free. Joe says, “Our menu lends itself to be easily adjusted so there is something for everyone.”
Our Table will be open from Tuesday through Thursday from five to nine and Friday through Sunday from five to ten. They will be closed on Mondays and also major holidays to allow for family time. Reservations are required with walk-in only seating available at the unique walnut bar area. Lunch will be available from Thursday through Saturday during phase two of the restaurant’s opening.
Our Table is located at 5080 State Rd. 135, Suite A, in Bargersville with an opening date of mid to late November, before Thanksgiving. Cozy up to the fireplaces or bar and make Our Table your Table in the near future.