With one visit to R Bistro, it will be easy to see why it was the OpenTable 2015 winner for diner’s choice. Owner and executive chef Regina Mehallick founded R Bistro back in 2001. From the beginning, the restaurant focused on local ingredients to make dishes that were both rustic and contemporary. Though originally from Pennsylvania, Mehallick has cooked in South Carolina, Scotland, Ireland, England, Sicily and elsewhere.
It’s this diverse repertoire that makes it possible for R Bistro to have a new menu every week. Thanks to its friendly staff and excellent food, R Bistro is a perfect place to meet up with friends and family and enjoy something new.
The menu changes weekly so only the freshest foods available are used as ingredients. It is always unique and delicious. Since we live in the neighborhood the servers know us by name and remember what we like. This is one of the best restaurants for the money in downtown Indianapolis.
The food and service were wonderful. Our waiter was attentive but did not intrude!! I loved that the food is locally sourced. The pork cheeks had the most amazing sauce. I would highly recommend R Bistro. Great for date night.
We don't eat out often because we don't care to pay for food that we could prepare ourselves. But every time I go to RBistro, my palate is surprised. In a good way. The combinations of ingredients is two steps beyond what I find elsewhere. The menu is small, and the dishes might not sound like much, but don't let that fool you. Soup is not just soup. It's an experience. Parking, however, can be a real challenge to the Indianapolis residents, who are used to parking directly in front of the restaurant. Mass Ave has gotten popular as a dining, entertainment, and living location, so parking on a Friday or Saturday evening might require 15 minutes or a longer walk than you expected.
On this visit, we started with Beet & bacon spaghetti with parmesan & pea shoots and Calamari salad with fennel, oranges & radishes. Both of these were amazing, but the beet and bacon spaghetti (which I tried only because it didn't sound like something I'd like) had me moaning at the table. The Calamari salad was perfectly prepared and very refreshing. For our main dishes we enjoyed Calabrian ribs with polenta & greens, a hearty, flavorful dish that had my spouse raving, and Spanish mackerel with pearl couscous and a spicy saffron broth. The mackerel was perfect and the spice of the broth was a lovely addition to the meal. Beware, it might be a bit too spicy for some palates.
Service was exemplary, save a spot on my butter knife. I'm typically very particular about service at nice restaurants (for example, I don't like it when the server takes a diner's dishes before all diners have finished), but this evening had nothing to report but cheerful, informative, and expedient service.
It was a lovely evening.
Always delicious with great service. Chef Regina does not disappoint and all local Ingredients are used in the preparation of all the dishes.
Affordable wine list and a nice ambiance add to the value.
On Saturday night, we once more went to R Bistro. We started with a calamari salad (which we split) that was to die for. It had fennel, oranges and radishes and was simply delicious. My spouse then ordered the beet and bacon spaghetti with pea shoots as her mains (hoping I would share some of mine - I did). That, too, was excellent and lighter fare which was her preference. My choice was the Calabrian ribs with polenta and caponata. The ribs had been rubbed, slow roasted and then finished on a grill. They were absolutely exquisite. We coupled with a lovely Cotes' d' Beaune and finished with pots de creme. Perfect service from one of our favorites, Dori, coupled with really wonderful food made for another delightful evening.
We were late due to much traffic downtown on Saturday night and appreciated the hostess holding our table for us. We were disappointed, however, in the entrée choices situation and the entrees we ordered. Two of the 5-6 entrees on the menu were not available when we were ordering. We ordered the substitute, steak dish and it was not up to the standards we expect from R Bistro. The meat was dry and not very flavorful. In addition, we saw another patron be served the seafood stew after we were told they were out of that dish. On the plus side, our salad, soup and dessert were great.
On our latest visit to R Bistro, we were able to order a non-menu item, osso bucco. It is one of our favorite Italian dishes and one that my spouse regularly makes. Thus, we have a basis for comparison. Erin Kem's version was truly delicious, different from my wife's, but delicious nonetheless. We were able to pair it with a lovely Chianti Classico, a roasted carrot salad and a blood orange, olive oil cake. Yum.
The food is always interesting and fresh. It's the kind of ace that runs out of items each day because of its insistence on homemade. Portions are individually sized. Don't split dishes. You will be left hungry. A little pricey I think.
I am personally on a mission to dine in local restaurants that are not a part of chains. I was very pleased with R Bistro. The food was fresh and perfectly prepared. The wine list superb. The service was friendly and helpful without feeling the least bit overbearing. I can't wait until my next experience!!
Have enjoyed dining at R Bistro on many occasions and will undoubtedly do so again. Will admit this was not the best meal we have had there. Salads just OK, likely due to the time of year and availability of best greens. Two of us had the beef tips and both servings were tasty but more difficult to eat than expected as there as a lot of gristle or tendon through the meat. Timing was bad as dinner was part of a birthday celebration for my sister.
As always, the service was excellent (Brad, I think) and the pacing of service nice.
R Bistro is our favorite restaurant. The menu is always different; always features lots of local, fresh, yummy stuff; and always makes a wonderful presentation of something delicious. Regularly one of Indy's top 25, and deservedly so!
We had a wonderful dinner: terrific mussels, a cauliflower salad with sautéed cubes of Halloumi cheese, a delicious tender veal chop, trout, coconut cream pie, and mascarpone-filled crepes with kumquats. The wine list is amazing, designed to encourage diners to have wine! There are many interesting wines priced at $35 or less per bottle. We were tempted by an Argentinian cabernet franc but got a white Bordeaux blend. Our server, Nathan, was excellent and helped with the wine selection. How fortunate we are to have this wonderful restaurant in Indianapolis!
We had excellent service (Ben):t Our three course meal was amazing : the wine choice that our server recommended was superb : the table split two appetizers as well as meals : It was our first ever visit to R Bistro so our server gave us back ground information on the company and chef which was very nice. He even disclosed a famous Indianapolis Colt that frequents often to enjoy the weekly changing of the menu. We will DEFINATELY be repeat customers and be watching the menu from the R Bistro web site.
Quiet restaurant, excellent service with an ever changing menu. Food is innovative and this is one of my favorite spots in Indy!
If you would ask me how I feel about R Bistro, I would probably just say, "Oh, it's nice."
R Bistro was completely empty on a Tuesday night, which isn't necessarily a problem -- we were obviously well attended to by everyone working. It would have been nice, however, to have more of a restaurant atmosphere with a few other tables. Sometimes it was awkwardly quiet.
The food was good -- nothing completely stood out to me as a dish that I needed to share with my friends or family. I ordered trip-tip steak and my partner had duck. We had no complaints with our meal, but left thinking that maybe our expectations were a bit too high.
Our waiter was friendly and knowledgeable, but we were caught off guard by how much his language. It's not that we were offended, it just seemed strange. His demeanor didn't really fit.
I'm glad I went to R Bistro. I like trying new things and it has been on my list. I don't see the need to ever go back. If you are hoping for a romantic evening and have a large budget, go ahead and try it. Maybe you'll love it.
We had an enjoyable dinner. We were the first guests of the evening but it got busier as the evening went later. The service was great and food selections were appreciated. We will return with friends.
New Years Eve 2014 was more than two months ago! Suffice it to say the particular details are vague and cloudy. The bottom line: superb meals, good vino and dessert helped inaugurate 2015 in fine fashion. A special or spontaneous occasion calls for R Bistro!
Had another wonderful time eating at R Bistro. Food was great as always, service wonderful and atmosphere was nice. Will go back.
This is the third time I have been to R Bistro. Usually I am amazed by the delicious food. This time the chicken was not particularly flavorful or moist and the dressing was just so so. The French toast dessert also was just OK. I will be back because I know they are capable of creating such wonderful dishes.
Our latest trip to R Bistro was one of those rare occasions where each of us ordered something we preferred and had not food envy for what the other had ordered. For starters, we had small pancakes with trout and a mild horseradish sauce and a duck confit salad. We split them and each was outstanding. We then moved to our mains - cod for me with bok choy and other goodies and a mild soy based broth. Cheryl had the quail. Mine was very delicate and light, with the cod perfectly cooked. Cheryl's had much stronger, earthier flavors (which is why she preferred it). We paired with a non-oaky California blend called Mannequin. Finallly we finished splitting the apple pie with ice cream. It had a very French flavor and was also great. Couple all of the delicious food wwith great service from Nathan and drive bys from the other servers, Dori and Cliff, and it was top to bottom as good as it gets.
My friend and I had a very good meal recently at this small Mass Ave find. The menu changes weekly, it is a small menu, but with a lot of variety - vegetarian, fish, beef, chicken, pork. Food sourced locally - R Bistro was sourcing locally before it was the popular thing to do...The atmosphere has a nice feel, tables are a little close and the brick walls and tile floor makes it a little noisy, but still has a good vibe. Service was stellar. We shared the Squash/Goat Cheese Salad - very good and we both had the Cod dinner. The fish was a good portion (6-8 oz), moist, flakey. Wine offerings very good. Well done
R Bistro never disappoints. Consistent service and a fantastic menu. I so enjoy the variety and philosophy of using seasonal foods.
We brought out of town guests to dinner after attending Theater on the Square. Our friends have a refined appreciation for good food and wine and they were delighted. The exclusively fresh local Hoosier ingredients were prepared with exquisite subtlety and balance of seasoning and sauces. The unique daily menu always pleases.
We visited R Bistro from Columbus, Ohio. We were in town for a show and I wanted a special place for my wife's 30th birthday. Based on the research I did, R Bistro was at the top of many lists. We were beyond impressed. The menu that week was incredible. My wife enjoyed duck breast and I had a wonderful pumpkin soup with salad. The menu was clean, simple and fresh.....that was also the impression we had of the restaurant/ambiance. Our waitress was incredibly pleasant and welcoming. We truly enjoyed ourselves and we will make it a point to return when we are near. Thank you, R Bistro, for a wonderful evening.
I brought my family here to celebrate two birthdays. I'm from Atlanta and learned of R Bistro from a write-up of Indy's Top 25 Restaurants. R Bistro deserves to be on that list! The menu was imaginative and sooo yummy. And with a menu that changes weekly, it's worth multiple trips!
We started with a variety of appetizers, soup and salad. Each was very tasty but the stars were the entrees. The wild boar stew was the dark horse delicious surprise. The duck was tasty and tender and the monkfish was perfectly cooked.
Everything is individually portioned so that you can really dine on a three course meal. My only small complaint is that there isn't a full bar. Wine and beer only. I'm sure a restaurant of this caliber could come up with some incredible cocktails. But the wine list was very nice. We all left full and happy!
Having read about R Bistro, we decided to make it a stop for dinner during a trip to Indy for a conference. It did not disappoint, and Ben was quite the knowledgeable and friendly host for our meal. The Shrimp and Grits were exactly as delicious as Bem promised-- and an order for each of us was perfect. The duck and the kale/squash/radicchio risotto were amazing entrees, and the chocolate chili cake with vanilla ice cream + balsamic reduction very special. I preferred the ice cream, but overall the meal was fabulous fr start to finish! Thank you!
The weekly menu is always amazing.
The food was perfect. We both had monkfish which was served over lentils. The soup was delicious and the pumpkin gnocchi was melt in your mouth. Our server, Ben, was attentive but not a nuisance. The place was clean and quiet enough to have a conversation without getting laryngitis. Incidentally Andrew Luck was seated behind us as we were finishing out meal. At least at the point when we left, people were leaving him alone and not bothering him with autographs or pictures. That might have happened after we left but the crowd seemed to be sophisticated and respected his privacy. We will certainly put this restaurant on our list of "return to's." A bit pricey but worth it!
The food wasn't very good. The cobia didn't have much flavor and the truffels were a disappointment.
Check the menu ahead of time. Everything is delicious but the menu may not be what you like to eat. If it is go to the restaurant. The chef makes everything interesting and delicious. Good wine list. Very small and intimate.