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  • Recess

  • Online Reservations

  • Address:
    4907 N College Ave
    Indianapolis, IN 46205
    Downtown Indy
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $50 and over

Recess Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.recessindy.com
  • Email: info@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 Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "My favorite restaurant in Indy. Always delightful!"
    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
  • "Quite simply, Recess is the best restaurant in Indianapolis. With all due respect to Bluebeard and Late Harvest, Greg Hardesty is the man."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "A fabulous restaurant! Great food, and the staff is not pretentious! If you enjoy FINE dining without an attitude, this is the place for you! Lauren is great!"
    Dined on 11/9/2013
  • "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
  • "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
  • "My favorite restaurant in Indy! Always a surprise to see what will be on the menu the night you dine. You must be adventuresome!"
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "I really enjoyed this restaurant and definitely recommend it. I generally never go out on Valentine's day, but my wife and I decided to give it a shot. With the awful snow (4-5") and traffic, we arrived embarrassingly late, but the restaurant was very accommodating (we called ahead to let them know). The rest of the night was great, and we were able to relax and enjoy ourselves. The wait staff was attentive, the food was absolutely delicious, the ambiance was great, and the restaurant was booked correctly (no stuffing extra tables in). This place is very relaxed with a great focus on food. Recess has restored my faith in restaurants that can provide a great V-day evening. Plus, the food and wine are really wonderful. A must try for Indy!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We have never had a bad meal. It's not cheap but the taste and quality of food are superb. I also enjoy the wine pairing."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "At $170 for two people for food alone, this place is outrageously over priced. The food was good, but not blow-your-mind spectacular, which is what I would expect when paying this much. Not to mention the meal was trout, fried chicken, pulled pork and beef shoulder. You can get a filet and lobster each for this price at other places. Service was very good. We sat in the smaller room and it was really cold. I walked into the larger room to use the restroom and the larger room was comfortably warm. As for decor/ambiance, it was just ok. The decorations were contemporary, but it looked to me like they just threw contemporary decorations into a crappy strip mall retail space. I will definitely not be going back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food was great, wait staff was excellent, very knowledgable and helpful. The only complaint I have is that it was my wife's 30th birthday which I mentioned in the reservation but nobody said anything about it, would have been a nice touch."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Recess is the most consistently great restaurant in Indy. The food is outstanding and they do an excellent job with the wine pairings. Recess is a "must" for anyone in the area who loves great food."
    Dined on 2/7/2014
  • "Recess is a great place, especially if you are looking for outstanding food that is not your typical thing. Our meal was extremely good and the service was phenomenal as well. Definitely not an inexpensive place but well worth the $$!"
    Dined on 1/29/2014
  • "This was our first time at Recess though we had heard many good things about the restaurant prior to eating there. The food was amazing, no other way to put it! The reviews I read were all correct. The chef was doing a very rare ala carte pop up Vietnamese menu and I received a call from the restaurant to make sure I was aware of this before coming. We were excited to try it and the meal exceeded our expectations. The sticky rice salad was unusual and delicious, the scallops were among the best I've ever eaten, as was the foie gras, and the Pho was to die for! We also enjoyed the "smoothie" for dessert. We will definitely be returning and I can't wait to see what we will be served next time!"
    Dined on 1/28/2014
  • "While not the hyperbole we've read of "best food in Indy": It's nice to have a place to eat very good food and not need to be dressed up Service knowledgeable and unobsequious Prix fixe cost high for the area Didn't expect the fish in this caliber restaurant to be overcooked and it was medium-well Interesting/edgy wine pairings-- enjoyable If you're offering pears for dessert they should be ripe and flavorful-- they were not (better pears in any local grocery) and it diminished the entire experience of a 4-course meal to have it taper with this All this being said-- we'll try it again before coming to judgment and appreciate that there are those inventive talented entrepreneurs willing to give it a go in SoBro!"
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "I'm a foodie and I've been dying to check out Recess. I'm a huge farm to table supporter in fact, you'll hardly catch me at a restaurant that isn't. Our waiter didn't look at us while reading the menu items but rather at a piece of paper with his dinner notes and the staff hung around the server window (along with the hostess) which was right next to our table so we could hear the scoop going on in their lives. The food itself was great but 2 people, 4 glasses of wine and 2 meals totaling $200...for the service I received, no thanks. Maybe I had it on too high of a pedestal. Bummer."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We visited on New Years. Food was good but very expensive for the courses, portions received. Don't go hungry!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "On my list of memorable dining experiences. The food and service were outstanding. The chef is a superstar and the servers were attentive and the timing was flawless."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Our third visit in the last year, and as usual it was excellent. Probably my favorite restaurant in the city. Interesting menu choices on this evening such as ray wing, cauliflower soup with fried oysters, polenta as a dessert, etc. If you go and you typically have 2 or more glasses of wine with dinner, I would strongly recommend doing the wine parings with the mean - its a great value and I find the pairings pretty spot on."
    Dined on 1/4/2014
  • "New Year's Eve menu was excellent and each course was well-prepared and very tasty. I did not go for the wine pairings, but others in the party seemed to be pleased with the selections. Though, a tad on the pricey side, it was a great experience. Our waiter was well informed and very attentive. For me, Recess will be limited to special occasions, but I will definitely return."
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "My husband and I went out for a date night together. It was great. The food was amazing!"
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "The food was amazing and had a great bottle of wine. The service was fantastic as well. The meal is pretty pricey, but worth it for a special occasion."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "I had no doubt that the food would be outstanding but even for a special occasion I have a hard time justifying the price of $60 per person on a set menu. Our total bill with a glass of wine each + tip was $175. I thought the decor was very cold and uninviting. The food was outstanding and the service very good but I will probably not be back."
    Dined on 12/21/2013
  • "This is my favorite spot in Indy. Great, creative food. Casual but decidedly upscale. Appreciate the flexibility with vegetarian and pescatarian eating."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "The food and wine were great. Loved the low-key ambiance. It was a little pricey at $245 with gratuity for two diners. Probably would not go back unless it is a special occasion, or we hit the lottery. The only real negative, being older and from outside the local community (and carrying enough money to pay for the evening), is we felt a little insecure at this location. We would probably get over that if we visited frequently."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "Recess was amazing. The four-course meal was divinely crafted. The wine pairing was excellent. The service was top notch. Great place to celebrate an anniversary!"
    Dined on 12/17/2013
  • "The food that Chef Greg Hardesty and his team prepares is exceptional. Perfect technique, and generally good flavor profiles. The night I visited, I had: Lamb carpaccio with arugula, manchego and aioli: Nice textures, good flavors; needed salt on the lamb. Uni: interesting combo with Asian flavors Fluke: pan-seared with turnip and carrot, this was a bit of an umami overload Tasmanian trout: an odd combination of flavors that mostly worked, but because the plating was in a small bowl, identifying elements was very difficult. Dessert: an unremarkable combination of flavors. Sad way to end the meal. Problem: the wine pairings were poor but expensive; I learned they were selected without tasting the food. UNACCEPTABLE!"
    Dined on 12/11/2013