New Eatery Serves Up Classic American Fare and European Selections
Writer / Julie Yates
Photographer / Kelli White
With years of restaurant experience behind him, and a deep love and respect for the community, Sladan Stanisic and his wife Brandy recently opened The Nesst a steakhouse in downtown Noblesville. Located at 917 Conner Street, the eatery offers guests a cozy yet upscale atmosphere. Opening a new business in the midst of a pandemic might seem like a bold move to some, but Stanistic’s faith in local receptiveness is paying off.
After the military conflicts in Yugoslavia, Stanisic came to the United States in December of 1998. He was thrilled to find his first job as a dishwasher at MCL Cafeteria and by 2001, he settled in Noblesville. From 2002 to 2017, he worked his way up from bussing tables to General Manager for Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. In 2017, Stanisic left Ruth’s Chris to be a managing partner of Capri Italian Restaurant in Indianapolis where he stayed until September of 2020.
“Having my own restaurant was a long time coming for me,” Stanisic says. “When I presented the idea to my wife, I didn’t know if she would think I was crazy for wanting to open a restaurant during these times, but I have lived in Noblesville for years and felt the community always wanted this. I am genuinely thankful for how supportive they have been. From November 1, the first day we opened our doors, we have never had an empty restaurant.”
“Wow!” is the common reaction people have when entering the restaurant. When entering, customers are greeted by an exposed brick interior accented by wood and contemporary lighting. To the right is a lounge and bar with tables, and to the left is a dining area called The Miller’s Room. Straight ahead is a large dining room with a fire pit in the middle. Paintings for sale by local artists adorn the walls.
The concept of the restaurant is classic American steakhouse, but guests are offered the chance to experience something different. There is a section on the menu labeled “Get Out of Town,” which features dishes from the Balkans, Stanisic’s homeland. There are also other Eastern European and Italian options.
“It caught us off guard that people are loving everything on that part of the menu so much,” Stanisic says. “A lot of the dishes come from my mom’s recipes. People love the sarma which is stuffed cabbage rolls. We make them in small batches so they are always fresh.”
The rest of the menu features traditional steakhouse items from appetizers to desserts, but there are some surprises. Shrimp cocktail, $15, is served with homemade horseradish sauce, and also available are fried green tomatoes, a favorite from the kitchen of Brandy’s grandmother, with a creamy roasted red pepper sauce for $9. Sharable sides, $8, include Brussels sprouts, broccolini, asparagus and sautéed wild mushrooms. Baked and mashed potatoes are available as well.
The restaurant serves high-quality meats and seafood. Aged, all-natural and non-GMO steaks are shipped to the restaurant six days per week. Prices range from $24 for a six-ounce filet to $35 for an 18-ounce T-bone. Double-bone, 16-ounce pork chops for $26 are sourced locally from Fischer Farms. Rounding out the selections are a 16-ounce veal chop for $30, blackened scallops for $25 and Brandy’s favorite, two chicken breasts in portabella mushroom cream sauce for $19. With fish of the day always at market price.
The dessert menu has several choices running between $6 and $8. There is the steakhouse constant, cheesecake, but this is with a Greek yogurt twist. The biggest seller has become the $7 baklava made from Stanisic’s mom’s recipe. Also included are cakes, peanut butter mousse pie, and ice cream or sorbet.
“We feel that everything that comes out of the kitchen is excellent and is a great price for the quality people are getting,” Stanisic says. “It’s an experience that people can enjoy and not break their wallet. We want people to get what they deserve for their money.”
Stanisic has been careful to slowly develop the restaurant by only taking on the level of business he can handle, in order to make sure each diner has a fantastic experience. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends. In the future, Stanisic hopes to open for lunch service when the weather turns warm enough to cultivate some charming outdoor seating.
“I think Noblesville is a wonderful community and it deserves to have a restaurant like this,” he says. “It is family friendly, but it can be a place to discuss business. It’s something positive we all need. Sometimes I watch everyone enjoying themselves, and I am continually thankful for all the community support.”
The Nesst is located at 917 Conner Street in Noblesville. For more info, call 317-214-7137 or visit TheNesstOfNoblesville.com.