By: Lorri Markum—
Dining is an experience, not just food on the table. Vera Mae’s Bistro in downtown Muncie, and its patrons have known this for more than 18 years.
From the moment you approach the front door, it’s evident this is no ordinary restaurant. Owners Kent Shuff and Steve Fennimore take pride in what they’ve created as a destination dining experience in the heart of the city.
With the atmosphere of New Orleans style mystique, everything from the beautiful mismatched china, to the personally selected, eclectic artwork hanging throughout creates a warm and relaxing ambiance for diners to enjoy. Far from the fast paced establishments throughout Muncie, Vera Mae’s encourages patrons to take time enjoying company and conversation, while indulging in hand-prepared meals from their own chef. “Upscale dining, not fine dining,” Kent Shuff will tell you. Vera Mae’s takes pride in making guests comfortable. One of the only, if not the only, restaurants in town void of television screens, it’s easy to lose track of time, immersed in the warm, friendly atmosphere.
A modest staff of dedicated, attentive servers and bartenders add to the experience answering questions, providing recommendations, while serving perfectly prepared meals, wine, and drinks to guests. With the largest selection of wines nestled in the spacious, in-house wine cellar located in the Board Room below the main dining area, guests are able to enjoy a wide variety of personally selected wines from around the globe. Servers are educated through wine tastings to help assist guests in perfect wine pairings, available by glass, or bottle. The beautifully designed, custom crafted wood bar offers a full array of liquid spirits, along with signature cocktails, and Vera Mae’s own infused signature bourbon served by experienced bartenders.
Open weekdays for lunch, fresh quiches, soup, and entrées feature wholesome ingredients made to order. Dinner unveils fresh seafood feature entrées and soups, along with the abundant menu choices from appetizer, and main entrée to desserts. Vera Mae’s makes their own linguini pasta as well! Tossed with Prosciutto di Parma and available with an optional choice of fresh grilled shrimp, or chicken breast, this generous portion will satisfy the largest appetite. But what is the most sought after item on the lunch or dinner menu? French Onion soup. Made fresh, their generous size crock of mouthwatering, bubbling, provolone drenched soup is served with must-use, craft scissors for diners to maneuver through the perfectly browned cheese layers to the satisfying broth beneath.
Not to be outdone, the dessert tray is presented with the current dessert features from Ghyslain Chocolatier of Union City, Indiana along with gourmet cheesecake selections from Sweet Lilly’s. Vera Mae’s also offers family recipe, homemade Bread Pudding with whiskey sauce, and Bourbon Pecan pie. Not to be outdone, you may opt for dinner and a show with the tableside prepared, and flamed, Bananas Foster!
Spring, summer and early fall allow guests an option to enjoy dining in a courtyard-like atmosphere in front of the bistro, surrounded by beautiful flowers and foliage. Indoors, guests enjoy candlelit tables, and a cozy fireplace setting in the Balliard and Bistro dining areas. Have a special event or celebration? Vera Mae’s accommodates private dining options for individual and corporate guests.
Reservations are encouraged for all guests, however, walk-ins are welcome. Reservations may be made online at veramaes.com. Event catering is also available by contacting Dave Franklin at Vera Mae’s. Open Monday through Friday serving lunch and dinner, and Saturday dinner only, Vera Mae’s is certain to become your destination for dining.
Vera Mae’s Bistro
209 S Walnut St, Muncie, IN 47305
Lunch served M-F, 11:30am to 2pm
Dinner served M-Th, 5pm to 9pm
Dinner served Fr & Sat, 5pm to 10pm
Live music Friday & Saturday from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.