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“Best Restaurant in the City--if you are not from Indy, please read below”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Recess

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Ranked #115 of 2,346 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
49 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Best Restaurant in the City--if you are not from Indy, please read below”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2014

Indianapolis Magazine lists their 25 best restaurants every year. My wife and I live in Indy and have eaten at all of them, multiple times in most of them. We also use Tripadvisor a lot, so I'm trying to do a favor here to people visiting our city.

Recess is the best restaurant in the city. It's that simple. I've never talked to anyone who knew food who didn't think so.

Now, it is true that on any given night they just have one menu and you might catch a menu you don't care for. (They do sometimes have an alternate entree.) If you look at some of the less-good reviews here, you might see people who didn't like the menu that night.

The food is extremely high quality and excellently prepared. Four courses for $50, roughly, is a great deal. And they have a limited menu "diner" next door (Room 4).

There are 3 chefs in Indy who are regularly nominated for the James Beard Midwest award. Greg Hardesty at Recess is one of them. Interestingly, the other two are ranked #167 and #184 on TA . That would be Neal Brown at Libertine and Regina Mahallick at R Bistro. You should also eat at their restaurants.

The Top 20 on Tripadvisor starts with a donut store--and by the way, Longs has GREAT donuts, so people aren't lying. But then you see chains like Fogo and Capital Grille and Seasons 52--which are all good, but you can get that food anywhere.

There are some great restaurants on the Top 20 like Siam Square, Bluebeard, Oakleys, and St Elmo, the most famous restaurant in the city. Tamale Place and Patachou are also very good, but extremely casual. But for heaven's sake, people who like great food should go to Recess if they can.

Don't say someone didn't try to tell you.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
6 Thank calebindiana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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88 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Delicious and always a pleasant surprise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2014

This place is pretty cool. I believe the head chef trained at Bluebeard... Which is another favorite of mine. The menu is fixed with one or two variations available but it's a different menu every night made from local fresh ingredients. It's a five course meal so come hungry. For an added layer of perfection, make sure to add their wine pairings.

Visited December 2013
Thank Bomot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
77 reviews
65 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Rest – n – Repeat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 20, 2013

It took me several attempts to find an open reservation that fit our schedule, but oh was it worth the wait! Recess is a gem, located south of Broad Ripple on College Ave. The prix fixe menu changes daily, but Josh was very knowledgeable about the selections and made us feel at home. We started with a lovely fresh salad, followed by a Petrale sole dish, Fischer farm beef main entrée and a chocolate mousse with pears – all was delicious. Indulge with the recommended wine pairing; the wines accented the wonderful flavors of the food very well. We will be back soon.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Tom V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Food excellent, Ambiance zip”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 31, 2013

We frequently choose Recess when we want to celebrate a special event. I have not eaten better food anywhere in Indianapolis. Some of it is simply divine. Only the deserts seem to be little on the weak side. Wine is affordable and well priced, unfortunately you will have to do without real cocktails.
That part is superb, without a doubt.
But, but, but. The interior of any McDonald has more charm. Cinderblock walls, no art, cheapest, once discarded furniture, awful acoustics, loud, and no privacy unless you whisper. All that is irritating and distracting from being able to fully enjoy a fine meal. It's as cold as a morgue, zero personality.
We hope one day Recess' environment will mirror the high quality of its kitchen. That would entice us to also take out-of-towners and business associates with us.

  • Visited October 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Marlon65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern NJ
Level Contributor
352 reviews
218 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Maybe I just did not appreciate the fixed menu on the night we went”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

Recess is not for everyone as the menu is fixed each night and you can't really adjust the dishes you will get. Perhaps I just did not like the choices we had but I'm not a particularly picky eater and like to try new things. For the price, I expected to be a little more blown away but it was just average. The second round was the best which was a grilled fish (artic char, I think) on a potato pancake with bacon and corn. Everything else was not very memorable, but the service was attentive.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank RoyLScam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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