Daniel's Vineyard in McCordsville
We had high hopes for Daniel’s Vineyard, they have a legit pizza oven and the photos looked great online. This place got on our radar when @supperinthecity posted a photo of their pizza. It looked super good, and is actually part of a larger trend of wineries and vineyards investing in pizza ovens to offer a wider variety of food while people drink.
The main building sits back from the road, but you can easily spot the acres of grape vines and flags out front pointing to the entrance. We went at the perfect time of day as the sun was setting to the west over the rows of trellises. The main building is huge, and inside there are lots of photo ops with barrels, a neon sign, planters full of annual flowers. It's a really cool place. Outside there are tables along the field, tables along the building, shades to pull down so the sun isn't in your eyes, and tables surrounding a small stage that had live music.
When we got up to the counter we picked out some wines to try, I ended up getting a flight of five 2 oz bottles for $12 (averages $6 per regular glass of wine, not bad). The wine flight was cute at first in the little bottles, like a little chemistry set, but then left me wishing I had something more sophisticated. I would have paid more for larger flight servings.
We were told the place was on a limited menu that night, and could only offer cheese and pepperoni pizzas. I wonder if it was a staffing thing or an ingredients thing, either way at least pizza was still on the menu. I got the cheese and Chris got the pepperoni.
We ended up with hard chewy crust. The cheese flavor was really good, but the overall impression was not great. The cheese was like elementary school lunch pizza cheese, it was delicious. They have a really nice pizza oven, but something was up with the crust.
I didn't want to say it, I tried to be charitable, but the phrase that kept coming to mind was "gas station pizza" (nothing against Casey's) because I've never had pizza like this out of such a fancy oven - it was basically summer swim club snack bar pizza or movie theater pizza.
After dropping $70 (half of that was alcohol), I don't think we'll come back. This place is clearly more of a 'venue' than a restaurant. They have live music, reception space, and a couple was even taking wedding photos while we were there. I bet this place was hit hard by the pandemic and it's too bad.