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Indianpolis great dining with friends

Dapuma Jul 30, 2010 03:45 PM

I will be in Indy next week downtown @ the Marriott - will not have access to a car, however if a place is worth it can probably go with friends in a cab

will be there for 4 nights but only have one maybe two nights to go out to a nice dinner

Normally we go to St Elmos as you can walk to it and it is pretty solid.

Was hoping for a recommendation for a unique restraunt

I saw some info for Recess...that could be fun - we have a similar place in Scottsdale called Posh, which was fun but not great

I know Palomino is right down there, i have never been there but always though about it, how is that place?

Please give ideas - will be dining with a group of friends, we all like fine cuisine but it should have a loose dress code as we will not have "going out / club" clothes with us for the most part, jeans and a nice tshirt / dress shirt would be great

Would prefer a non chain or if a chain a small chain

  1. n
    napolean Aug 1, 2010 01:05 PM

    The two recs for fine food that's not a chain would be Recess or R Bistro. Both are casual, although don't listen to locals because INDY is still in that 'dress code rule mode' where most think these two establishments are merely 'fancy' and wouldn't require shorts with a nice shirt. It's amazing the affect a conservative population has on people!?!?? Especially when it comes to eating great food! Recess will be a hike. R Bistro will be off the beaten path a bit but still downtown at the East End of MASS AVE ARTS DISTRICT---great area to get away from the convention-centric downtown area! These two restaurants change their menus daily and weekly so check them out before you make a choice. Other than that? Um...Siam Square for Thai or maybe some pub food. Sorry I can't think of anything off hand because you're not interested in chains. Palomino is safe enough if you just want to get filled up. But you can get that anywhere in the USA. I hope you enjoy your visit to Indianapolis, Indiana.

    -----
    R Bistro
    888 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

    8 Replies
    1. re: napolean
      nsxtasy Aug 1, 2010 08:23 PM

      R Bistro is about two miles from the Marriott, so it will require a car or cab. If you have a car, other good places that require a car include Oakley's Bistro, Meridian, Euphoria, Z's Oyster Bar, and Zest. I've posted detailed reports on meals at all of these (other than Recess) in that same topic for which I provided the link in my post above. (If I had a car and had to choose only one of these places for a great dinner, it would be Oakley's.)

      Again, for absolutely top-notch food within a short walk of the Marriott, the Oceanaire is outstanding and Palomino is also very good as well; they're both great choices. So you really don't need a car, since there's excellent food just a few blocks from the Marriott.

      Attire at restaurants in Indianapolis is typically casual, similar for the most part to what you'd find in any big city, but without any "dress-up" places requiring jackets. I can't think of a single place where a gentleman wearing dress jeans and a polo or dress shirt would be considered inappropriate, with the possible exception of some of the nicest steakhouses where you might want to wear slacks that are not denim.

      1. re: nsxtasy
        n
        napolean Aug 2, 2010 05:47 AM

        So, when was this rule of no denim jeans instituted for the nicer steakhouses? I don't get that mentality. It seems like big slabs of steak n potatoes would equate to jeans (maybe even cutoff jean shorts!) more than other types of food? These days, I bet Morton's, Ruth Cris or Sullivan's wouldn't turn anybody down at the door. Not even Capital Grille. Rules, rules, rules! Do people want to go out for good food or merely a dress up contest?!?!?!??!?

        -----
        Capital Grille
        2800 W Big Beaver Rd, Troy, MI 48084

        1. re: napolean
          nsxtasy Aug 2, 2010 08:05 AM

          I don't know what is appropropriate at those steakhouses because I haven't been there (which is why I mentioned them as a "POSSIBLE exception"). However, the listings they have placed in Opentable specify the attire as "business casual", which, for gentlemen, generally means non-denim slacks and a shirt with a collar. Sometimes these listings are inaccurate; maybe some people wear nice jeans there anyway, I don't know. The places that are listed as "business casual" include Capital Grille, Dunaway's, Eagle's Nest, Eddie Merlot's, Morton's, Oceanaire, Peterson's, R Bistro, Ruth's Chris, Shula's, and Sullivan's (but not St. Elmo's, which is "casual elegant"). I've been to the Oceanaire and R Bistro and nice jeans would be appropriate, you won't be the only one there. Is it true of the steakhouses as well? If you've been there recently, you can tell us.

          And it's not always a matter of "rules". Often it's simply a matter of what other people are wearing. Maybe a given restaurant would be willing to seat you if you walk in wearing beach attire or camping attire, but if you're going to be conspicuous as the only one dressed like that, you might not want to do so. I know I wouldn't want to look out of place, although I enjoy casual attire as much as anyone else.

          When in doubt about appropriate attire at any restaurant, the best thing to do is to phone them in advance and discuss it. Every place I've done this with has been happy to fill me in, not only on what they would permit but also on what people generally wear and what would be out of place.

          1. re: nsxtasy
            Dapuma Aug 3, 2010 10:47 AM

            I have been to St Elmo's and never felt out of place in jeans and a dress shirt or even nice t shirt, i just wanted to make sure that no one else would feel out of place because i am usually the more stylish of my friends, sounds like no one will feel out of place at any of the restraunts

            I looked that the Palomino restraunt, I didnt see anything on the menu that struck me as have to try, do they have a specialty or something they do really well?

            Sounds like concesous is Recess / Oakly Bistro / Oceianaire / R Bistro sounds kind of cool as well

            I usually go to Chatham Tap to catch the opening game of the Prem Season, but this year it will be the Community Shield...I am assuming that is the art district and where i would find Recess and R Bistro?

            If i make it to Oakley is there something that is to die for or not to be missed?

            -----
            R Bistro
            888 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

            Chatham Tap
            719 Massachusetts Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46204

            1. re: Dapuma
              nsxtasy Aug 3, 2010 11:06 AM

              >> I looked that the Palomino restraunt, I didnt see anything on the menu that struck me as have to try, do they have a specialty or something they do really well?

              Did you read the detailed report I posted in the other topic, the one for which I posted a link here in my earlier post above? That will give you an idea of what this restaurant is like, including the dishes I had, as well as the atmosphere, etc. Again, here is the link:

              Special occasion restaurant in or near Indianapolis - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348586

              When I was there I had the oven roasted mussells, braised boneless short ribs, and pear bread pudding, and they were all very good.

              >> I usually go to Chatham Tap to catch the opening game of the Prem Season, but this year it will be the Community Shield...I am assuming that is the art district and where i would find Recess and R Bistro?

              No and yes, respectively.

              Massachusetts Avenue ("Mass Ave") runs northeast from New York and Delaware, near Monument Circle. Chatham Tap is towards the end; R Bistro is three blocks past that, at the very end where Mass Ave bends (due to the expressway immediately beyond). It's 2 miles northeast of the Marriott.

              As noted above, Recess is located 5.5 miles north of the Marriott. It's a few blocks from Zest Exciting Food (which I enjoyed, as I reported in that other topic), and I believe that area is called South Broad Ripple (because it's south of the trendy Broad Ripple neighborhood). That's becoming quite the foodie neighborhood; in addition to Zest and Recess, today's Dish column from Indianapolis Monthly notes the opening of two more restaurants nearby, both towards the end of this year.

              >> If i make it to Oakley is there something that is to die for or not to be missed?

              Did you read the detailed report I posted in the other topic, the one for which I posted a link here in my earlier post above? That will give you an idea of what this restaurant is like, including the dishes I had, as well as the atmosphere, etc. Again, here is the link:

              Special occasion restaurant in or near Indianapolis - http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348586

              I love Oakley's, because the food is so delicious and there's a certain whimsy to the menu. I loved the "shrimp corn dogs", the lobster waffle, and the vegetable lasagna. I believe the shrimp corn dogs are considered their signature dish. They sell them individually ($1.75 each) so you can get a bunch as a course, or just order one or two along with everything else if you just want to try them.

              Congratulations to Oakley's on winning one of eight 2010 Achievement of Excellence Awards nationwide from the American Culinary Foundation.

              1. re: nsxtasy
                Dapuma Aug 3, 2010 11:53 AM

                i just read that other thread, very informative, ty

                If you are in phoenix/scottsdale and need some rec's just msg me :)

                you have convinced me Oakley's is where it is at - will def be going there

                we will have to see how the rest of it pans out...will report back!

                1. re: Dapuma
                  h
                  HoosierFoodie Aug 3, 2010 12:51 PM

                  Oakley's food is good the only problem I have is the small wine list at expensive pricing. Almost an afterthought. Though they do wine tastings so apparently they do care. The shrimp corndog is excellent!

                2. re: nsxtasy
                  Dapuma Aug 16, 2010 01:43 PM

                  Oakley's was awesome. Great recommendation, quite a bit further than i expected to get there from the downtown Marriott...$60 cab ride round trip...however the food was pretty amazing.

                  We started off the meal with Shrimp Corndogs - they were quite good, the light honey glaze on them, made them great

                  Then i had the duck two ways...one was a seared duck breast, very good, recommend med rare, i asked for mine rare to med rare because normally duck is cooked that way, i would say go with the chef's recommendation there...mine was very good, another of my party got the duck, another got the short ribs (which i tried and were very good) and another got a the suckling pig and gnocci appetizers, i thought the gnocci app was pretty tasty as well

                  the dessert i got was the churro with fruit compote (cherry/rasberry/strawberry-sih) and carmel iced coffee...wow - probably one of my top 10 fav desserts of all time...

                  would highly recommend it

                  went to palomo as well, cool bartender - ask Memphis for a drink called The Dakota ;p

                  next year will be checking out Ocieana

                  also went to St Elmo's...still think it is overpriced for what it is, but i did see Ted Allen there...so that was cool, i chickened out for a picture, i didnt want to be rude

                  but it would have been cool to have "your picture has been Chopped" heh

      2. h
        HoosierFoodie Aug 1, 2010 01:03 PM

        Pretty much agree w/nsxtasy. Recess is great but check their web site or call for their menu as it changes daily.

        1. nsxtasy Jul 30, 2010 04:54 PM

          I assume you mean the Marriott downtown, correct?

          I posted a detailed report on a dinner at Palomino in the discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348586 I liked it a lot. For another choice, my favorite restaurant in the immediate vicinity of the Marriott is the Oceanaire, the best place in Indy for seafood. Jeans and a polo would be fine there. (They would be fine at Palomino too.) The Oceanaire is my go-to place for Indy dining, the place I keep going back to when I'm in town (while also trying other places on my visits). It's fun, the place looks like you're on an ocean liner, and the seafood is always very fresh, the service helpful and friendly, and always a very good time. But Palomino is a good place too; you can't go wrong with either one.

          Recess is about 5.5 miles north of the Marriott, so you would need to go by car/taxi. I haven't been there.

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