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“We loved it”
Review of Recess

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Ranked #133 of 2,354 Restaurants in Indianapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $50 - $50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Dining
Cross street: Between E. 49th St & E. 50th St.
Description: Great place with a menu that changes every night!
Level Contributor
45 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“We loved it”
Reviewed July 1, 2012

We loved this place, but can agree with the other reviews, both good and bad. (This place might not be for everyone.) Point is, Indy needs a place like this, and your risk will most likely be well rewarded. What is the worst that can happen?

We hit it on an "up" night. Food was amazing and we loved what was on the menu. Also, table placement allows for nice conversation. The wine list had one of our favorites, txacoli. We haven't had that wine since sitting on the beach in San Sebastian, Spain in 1997. It took us back and we fell for this place, hook, line, and sinker.

Great night at a cool place.

  • Visited June 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank MidwestFamilyTvl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
130 reviews
74 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“Excellent food and wonderful atmosphere”
Reviewed May 31, 2012

Recess is one of those unusual finds where the food experience is truly exceptional and yet there is a casual nature to the place. When you first arrive, it looks a little bright (which it is), a little hip (which it isn't really) and while there is room for another table or two I think, they are generously spaced out so your table is truly your own.

The menu is fixed - so that you need to know right away. It was a surprise to us - and it is not for everybody. Having said that the menu was exceptional and worth the faith that you need to extend when you can't pick your courses a la carte.

The prices were reasonable, the fish exceptional and the service was great. In a nut shell, you have to like a fixed menu. But here is the good thing.... if you have arrived and the fixed menu doesn't do it for you, the location has a great alternative restaurant inside that also has magnificent food - so you cannot lose.

Both locations have limited tables so reservations are likely best.

  • Visited May 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Gareth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Best restaurant in Indy, but not for everyone”
Reviewed May 22, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I are regulars at Recess for one reason... Great food. Chef Greg Hardesty basically combines awesome ingredients to create a masterpiece with each plate. Again, it is a fixe-price menu that changes daily and it usually costs around $50.00. Sometimes big portions and over salting food is overrated if you have excellent and fresh ingredients. Also, the wine pairings are usually right on. The service staff is excellent and they know the food and how the wine pairs with it. Room four (which is attached) is a bistro-type restaurant with a few options that is a good alternative if you don't want the 5 course meal experience (and cost.). I will keep coming as long as he is continuing to cook this wonderful meals!

Thank MDPRTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 23, 2012

Expensive and very small. Informal. Excellent service and the food is exceptional and innovative

Visited March 2012
Thank HoosierNana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2012

Hate clich'e and don't want to be the bad guy, but it appears I'm the little kid asking if anyone else realizes the emperor's naked. Don't actually know if the emperor's vanity plays a part, but based on $/services-goods rendered, can't help but wonder?

Setting's fine (not 'fine' as in fine dining, just o.k.) and service good. Wife and I had 5 courses, and shared each others entree's (both being beef, and while we're avid carnivores, this seemed a bit odd considering the many non-beef eaters). Food looks, feels and tastes fresh. Portions were perfect for us. But that's really about it. Nothing exciting or exceptional going on the night of our visit. Overall the dishes were simple (not 'elegant simplicity', just simple), relatively bland and the combinations un-inspiring. We're really not all that hard to please. Even just the tiniest bit of simple salt and pepper on the beef(s) would have gone a long ways in adding some long-needed flavor, i.e.

Being one of the costlier meals to be found in this town, I'd hope and expect there to be a little something-something going on, particularly given a fixed menu. If not some degree of a 'wow' factor, at least a 'yum' or a 'now that's interesting'. Often Oakley's, R-Bistro, Tastes, etc. are able to conjure up all three at the same setting. Not so much here.

Aware prior reviews are excellent. Perhaps our expectations differ. Have no animosity towards this restaurant. It's in my neighborhood, it's a much needed independent. I do wish it well and want it to succeed. And I don't mind the price, but do expect the dining experience to be commensurate to it. As for our visit, it was not. It'd be just two stars if it were being compared to just it's peers, and not all restaurants in general.


  • Visited March 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank ecolnago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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