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Jan 5, 2012 08:26 AM

Dinner in Indianapolis - March 17 - Suggestions Please!!!

Hi All,

I will be visiting Indianapolis for the first time with my girlfriend on St. Patrick's Day weekend for The Black Keys concert and the Pacers/Knicks game the following night, both at Conseco Fieldhouse.

I am looking to dine at one of Indianapolis' true gems for lunch and dinner on the 17th. We like all types of food. Any recomendations that you can suggest would be great. Price is not an issue... I would prefer something upscale. Thank you!

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  1. Assuming you will be staying in the downtown area, two of my favorites are on Massachusetts Avenue- Mesh on Mass and R Bistro. A longish walk (15 minutes or so?) or very quick cab from the downtown circle. Some say service at Mesh can be a bit "snooty," but I have never had a problem, although I usually eat at the bar. Neither of these are upscale, as in suit and tie, but they are nice places to go for a solid meal and good glass of wine.

    There are a few newer restaurants downtown that are getting good publicity, but I have not yet had the chance to try them- Black Market and the Libertine come to mind.
    Could not find the website to the Libertine

    If you are truly looking for upscale, then try Oceanaire or one of the multiple steakhouses (Ruth's Chris, St. Elmo's, Capital Grille, etc.).

    Hope you enjoy your stay!

    2 Replies
    1. re: mem53

      Black market seems to have got "spotty".

      1. re: mem53

        I would agree about Mesh and rbistro. The one time I was at Black Market (Nov. 2100) it was very good. I love Recess and I found Oakleys flat, unremarkable. But its been a while since I've been.

        Ball & Bisquit on Mass is good place for a cocktail & small plate. St. Elmo's is unique to Indy and would probably be the steak house I'd recommend anyway.

      2. I see from a search that the concert is at 8 pm/March 16 and the game is at 7 pm/March 17. That gives you time to have early dinners at two of the best places in town:
        • Recess (, 6 miles (about 17 minutes) north of Conseco Fieldhouse; or
        • Oakleys Bistro (, 11.9 miles (about 30 minutes) north of the Fieldhouse.

        Cab it if you are not going to have a car. Ask the restaurant to get you a cab for the return leg.

        However, do you need/want to stay in the downtown area only?

        Some CH threads of interest below. Some places have closed, some moved; you should check up on those of interest to you. Some recs may have changed too - ask.

        One of the threads mentions Barcelona Tapas in the downtown area - IMO it should seriously be avoided.

        Consider looking for some places with Indy character, as one of the above threads discusses. Where is your home base? Is it Ontario (Toronto?), as your past posts suggest?

        R Bistro
        888 Massachusetts Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204

        Oakleys Bistro
        1464 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260

        4907 N College Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46205

        6 Replies
        1. re: huiray

          If you are willing to travel a ways from downtown, I completely agree with Huiray';s recommendations of Oakley's and Recess. Two of the very best in Indy, in my opinion.

          1. re: huiray

            Thank s everyone for the great suggestions... we'll be able to check out two of the restaurants during our trip. We'll definately try to pick spots with Indy character. I'm from just outside of Toronto and we have Ruth's Chris, Mortons etc, so I'd love to try one of the Indy unique places.

            Another question... we'll be meeting some friends from Wisconsin for St. Patty's day festivities on the 17th. Where would you guys suggest partying that night in the downtown core? We're all mid-20's and like our green beer! Thanks!



            1. re: cupidom

              Libertine is downtown and has good food and drink. R Bistro on Mass Ave. is another good spot.

              1. re: cupidom

                If you are looking for a sports bar, there are about a million in the downtown area, since Conseco Fieldhouse and Lucas Oil are both located downtown. For a little less sporty but still lively bar scene, you could go to Adobo Grill on Washington. It is a mexican/tex-mex restaurant with a fun bar and a lot of tequila......

                1. re: cupidom

                  In addition to the other suggestions for your bar bash, you might consider trawling up and down Massachusetts Avenue ("Mass Ave") and the immediately surrounding area. This is part of the "Artsy area" in Indy and the road has been mentioned above in the first response from mem53. It's a street stretching for about a mile or so with bars, pubs, restaurants, galleries, a theater or two, knick-knack shops, miscellaneous businesses, etc, with some spacing between them and some empty lots as well. Think of it as a less-full quasi-Queens Street in Toronto. If you look again at some of the CH threads I referenced previously you will find mentions of various recommended pubs etc in them; or just look up "Mass Ave Indy" on Google. Some pubs/restaurants in the area include (but are not limited to): Ball and Bisquit, Chatham Tap, Bu Da Lounge; and Lockerbie Pub on E Michigan off Mass Ave.

                  1. re: huiray

                    Update: The Bu Da Lounge on Mass Ave is closed. It moved to 148 East Market Street.
                    (1 1/2 blocks off Monument Circle)

              2. If you want something more upscale then I would stay away from the core of downtown, since that area contains mainly corporate chains for the convention goers. Libertine would be the closest to downtown with the most serious food. R Bistro and Black Market are on Mass Ave. and both have small, seasonal menus which change often. Black Market has a daily changing blackboard menu with more adventurous items if you like offal. Goose the Market for lunch would be a great place to get the best charcuterie in the Midwest along w beer and wine. It really depends what you are looking for but the 4 places mentioned do the most serious food downtown. Other than that it's h2o Sushi or Recess, which are both in Broad Ripple area. Good luck.

                2 Replies
                1. re: napolean

                  Had the best meal I've had in Indy in a long, long time at R Bistro about two weeks ago if that helps.

                  1. re: HoosierFoodie

                    Thank you to everyone! You guys have provided more than enough suggestions! I'm likely going to take my crew to R Bistro.

                    @huiray Thanks for the bar tips! I'll let you know where we ended up when I get back from Indy. Cheers!

                2. I wonder if anyone who's been to Libertine could tell me about how many dishes are on the menu? I can't find a menu anywhere. While I'm not averse to mixed drinks, wine is more my style and I'm always looking for somewhere interesting to eat when I visit the area. I loved L’Explorateur, so I am quite curious about the range of food available at Libertine. Thanks.