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  • Recess

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Recess Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.recessindy.com
  • Phone: (317) 925-7529
  • Hours of Operation:


    Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Greg Hardesty
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Private Room, Smoking Area, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Between E. 49th St & E. 50th St.
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Recess
Recess is the ultimate culinary playground. Every day chef Greg Hardesty and his culinary team create a four-course pre-fixe dinner from scratch, using for inspiration the season’s freshest local and regional ingredients. Please check our website each day for the menu.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
Diner Reviews
  • "Took my wife here for our anniversary and had an amazing time. The food and wine pairings were great!"
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • " Each course was balanced. Attention to detail. Wines paired well. Overall perfect meal, Greg is still the best chef in Indianapolis!"
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "I love the variety of flavors and textures that Recess presents as its fixed-price menu. The menu changes daily, and we've dined at Recess several times and have never been disappointed."
    Dined on 7/23/2014
  • "Everything about Recess is outstanding. I can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 7/10/2014
  • "always a wonderful experience, we go whenever I am in town"
    Dined on 7/1/2014
  • "We went for a birthday celebration and we we're let down since it was fast food with a twist. We thought it would be a little more upscale. Portions were too small for the price. It's worth going to say you've been but once is enough"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "I live about 2 blocks from Recess but had never checked it out. Definitely a bit pricey in comparison to the rest of the neighborhood (dinner for 2 came out to about $200 after all the alcohol was imbibed), but it was delicious. They change the menu out daily, so can't really recommend any particular item, other than to say you'll probably get something great no matter what."
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "The quality of ingredient is good. Chef's idea is great. It's very exciting to check daliy base changed fixed menew."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Recess has great ambiance and decor for an understated dining experience with top in class food. The staff had a light mood and touch which matched the feel of the place. My god, the salmon entree that night! I have never tasted anything like it. i am not generally a huge fan of my meat or fish smoked. This smokey salmon flavor was out of this world unique and perfect. And the salad was exactly as it should be, unbelievably fresh and bursting with flavor. I had them pick my pinot grigio wine from their selection and it was heaven. I left sated, but not stuffed, as dinner should be. Every new restaurant should be like Recess - different space and different food, superior at what their doing, confidant but fun."
    Dined on 6/26/2014
  • "Recess continues to live up to it's reputation. The interior decor (or lack thereof) is charming in it's own unpretentious way - polished concrete floors, cinderblock walls, plastic chairs and tables. This all works simply because the food and the people make it work. The portions are fine (you leave no longer hungry nor bloated) but both quality and presentations focus your attention where it should be - on the food. All of our plates returned to the kitchen completely empty. Quiet but not tomb-like, this is a great place for special occasion dinners."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "Dinner with my wife there was one of the best dining experiences in a long time as far as the quality of the meal. That being said, I do believe that the price was a bit much for what we had. Portions were small. Wine selections by the glass were limited, and all were $12-13 a glass, which also seems high for the wines available. The floor could use either some carpet or other type of flooring other than the old concrete."
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "I had been wanting to try Recess for a while, so we went for chowdown midtown. We liked the food and thought it was good but the portions were very small. Given the 3 course, fixed menu, we were unable to change that. Both of us left a little hungry. I consider myself a foodie and am not looking for Chili's sized portions. I absolutely love Oakley's bistro and I consider their cuisine similar to Recess. I will be honest that I was slight disappointed in Recess for the money spent, I've had more satisfying meals elsewhere. Maybe it was because of chowdown midtown menu, but we had to make reservations in advance without knowing that evenings menu. We may try Recess again the future if the menu and fixed price seem reasonable for that evening."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "it was a very good meal but I do not think it was worth the price. The way their menu is designed is it changes every day so Sundays could be worth it and others not."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Recess is simply the best Indianapolis has to offer. It's a small place intentionally so they can be selective about what they serve. Generally, I'd recommend being early rather than late in case they have a run on a particularly good dish (which is relative term since everything is good), but given the choice between here any anywhere else, pick Recess. It is not cheap, though, and you should be prepared for $60/head without drinks. A note on the menu: it is a set menu with usually 1-2 choices per course. Check their website before booking for the daily menu."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "I must start with "the food was very good". I did not feel it was spectacular. Had wreck fish which was too chewy. This was our first visit and will probably be our last. 3 small courses for $40. Then add wine, tax and tip and you are easily over $80+ a person. I don't need my food "biggie sized".....but I was still hungry. No wine chiller. No bread. Maybe there is a market in this town for a restaurant of this type....but I feel Bluebeards, RBistro and Oakleys are similar. They are priced better. My husband absolutely detested the interior of the restaurant. Concrete and block....plastic chairs. He was not a happy camper in that regard. I have been to many a NYC restaurant. I feel we don't command that type of high cost. "
    Dined on 6/5/2014
  • "Loved everything about this place. Would suggest slightly larger portions though. I had to go home and have a snack."
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "Excellent food. Focused menu. All courses were excellent. One dessert option disappointed."
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Recess is the best restaurant in Indy for fresh, innovative food. Our server, Katie, went out of her way to explain each dish and to recommend the perfect wine to go with our dessert."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "What Greg Hardesty does with food is beautiful, delicious and surprising. He is always tinkering, always pairing ingredients that have no business working together ... and yet they do. He's an amazing chef -- easily the best in town -- and eating his food is always a treat. In fact, although I now live 600 miles away, this was the first place I went after stepping onto Midwest soil this week. Now I'm plotting how to get back there before I leave."
    Dined on 5/14/2014
  • "We have been to Recess twice and have thoroughly enjoyed the food and experience both times. It is a totally fixed menu that changes every day, so if you are selective about what you eat this is not for you - or call ahead to find out what is being served that day so you are not disappointed. If you like to experience unique food combinations/flavors and are open to trying new things I highly recommend this spot. They also have a good wine selection with recommended pairings. I am not aware of any other place in Indy like it. For us, it is a special occasion place because including wine it will probably cost you $80 - $100/person but when in the mood/budget, it is worth it. I highly recommend Recess for the food and dining experience."
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "I was worried about the predetermined menu but I was surprised how well everything tied together. Everything was perfectly cooked and had outstanding flavor. Only two complaints is that the portions were a bit small and the environment was not as intimate and personal as I had hoped it would be."
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "Excellent prix-fix meal with familiar cuts of meat / fish with inventive sides and seasonings. Presented simply and tastefully with great attention to detail. Wine pairings were good, but not outstanding. "Rough" / industrial interior design of space was a (nearly distracting) contrast with the refined fare. "
    Dined on 4/24/2014
  • "Great food with great service. The portions aren't what you are used to, but it's an "experimental" kitchen, so you shouldn't expect diner sized portions anyways..."
    Dined on 4/22/2014
  • "We dined on Good Friday, and had Fish courses of Marlin, Halibut, and Salmon. All were fresh,just delicious, and I wish I could eat it again!"
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "This is a great neighborhood restaurant with superb service and excellent food. If it was a little cheaper I would go once a week."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Outstanding dinner - creative, well presented, tasty. Not rushed - ample time to enjoy the dinner. Fairly pricey though. They were aware it was an anniversary and acknowledged it with a candle on our desert. Some restaurants do more."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Our waiter was great, recommended superb wines (Christopher Pinot noir). Fun to watch chefs in kitchen. We had chicken (tender, brined and excessively salty) and beef ravioli (excessive salt overpowered meal). Asparagus was best I've ever had. Volume of food was perfect. Coffee perfect. Appreciate access to parking lot across the street."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "You must be open to try something new here -- the fixed menu changes daily, with only a couple optional (additional) extras. The four courses we had this night were incredibly tasty and beautifully presented. Don't expect to "pig out" -- each course was just the right delectable size. Best tenderloin (with celery root puree and cauliflower-horseradish gremolata) ever! Have to admit I was not adventurous enough to try the optional "uni spoons, wasabi, aged soy" appetizer, but my husband loved it. Only downside was skimpy parking at strip mall. Pricey but well worth it."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We loved Recess. We were there last Saturday night and the food, service and wine list are all first rate. My wife has an intolerance to gluten and they were exceptional in accomodating her. We were on our way to a show at nearby Clowes Hall and they got us out the door in time, even though we had them slow the pace of the food a bit midway through our meal. The food was precisely cooked and delicious. The wine list is full of thoughtfully chosen gems."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "Awesome food! Been here twice - first time the service was excellent, very attentive, never wanted for a thing; whereas, second time less attentive and had to ask another waiter for assistance"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "My friends and I had a pretty flawless meal at Recess--every course was fantastic, and especially the meat and dessert courses. This is where I would normally say, "Try the ____," but that doesn't apply to this restaurant; since the whole idea is that you go in and trust the chef, I'll just say: trust the chef--he'll do right by you. The service was also spot-on--fast and attentive."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "We visited this restaurant while attending a conference in Indiana. It didn't have a lot of hype in local publications, but the James Beard nomination was enough for us to try it. While normally tasting menus can be fussy, long winded, overly foamed, etc, this meal was different. Very fresh ingredients, simple preparations, incredible flavors and spot on combinations were very unique and flavorful. I loved the interior, casual and energetic without trying to hard. You would feel at home in jeans or a blazer. Even the dessert was good, which normally does nothing for me. The perfect simple coconut panna cotta."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "I love food and finding places that are out of the ordinary. I don't mind paying a little more for a memorable meal but I don't particularly like paying for the atmosphere and having mediocre food. Recess was great! Great flavors and service - the surrounding may be a little sparse and minimal but it worked. I truly felt like the focus was on the food and the quality ingredients. Can't wait to go back again some day! Thanks, Recess!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "This has been my wife and my birthday restaurant for the past 4 years. It is hands down one of the best restaurants we have ever been to. Greg is a genius when it comes to food. Every meal we have had is spectacular; the ingredients and so fresh and flavorful. The wine pairings with the courses are outstanding and they compliment the flavors perfectly. If you have not been you need to go!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Most of us have no idea the challenges a chef and his staff have when it comes to nailing every facet of opening a new restaurant. To us, it is a culinary experience! We enjoyed the decor! It is fun with the natural look of a building. Josh did a fantastic job across the board!He described the menu from notes, but I wonder how many of us could remember a new menu every evening and recall all the details the chef has included in each dish? That did not hinder our experience. Our food was fresh, cooked to perfection, healthy, vibrant, creative, delicious. If we had to suggest something to chef/owner Greg Hardesty, it would be to serve the beautifully presented food on smaller plates so the portions seem appropriate and not tiny."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "My favorite restaurant in Indy. Always delightful!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "If you like to put your dining experience in the hands of the chef, this is the place for you. Everything on the days menu was fantastic. The optional wine pairings were great as well."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Outstanding food and service, we had such great time with our friends we kind of stayed late. Not a single person mentioned or said anything to us! In my opinion this is top choice in Indy for mandarin-oriental-level dinner. Thanks god for them-)"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "The food at Recess was good, not great. You don't get a choice of your meal , except that you get a choice of two entrees. The service was good, but a little slow. For what they charge, I was disappointed in the food and the overall dining experience. I will not go back to Recess."
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "This restaurant lived up to its billing. The food was outstanding and the wine pairings were impeccable. It is a casual dining atmosphere but the food is worth the inconvenience of the concrete floor and plastic chairs. When I am in Indianapolis again, this restaurant is on the revisit list."
    Dined on 2/19/2014