Monday, July 12, 2010

Recess- Revisit

You know I like Recess, I have written it up already a couple of times before. I love the fact that they change the menu every day and highlight what is really fresh and seasonal. We were celebrating a sort of personal milestone and it was hubby’s choice. He wanted to be guaranteed a good meal so Recess it was. And I figured since they change the menu every day, every review is a new one right?

As usual, I really enjoyed the meal, although this time there was a course that I didn’t care for—the salad course. This is sort of unusual for me because unique salads are something I think Recess excels at, and something that usually makes me really happy. And actually I can’t say it wasn’t unusual, I just didn’t like it. It was broccoli and cauliflower florets which were raw, a bit of tomato and onion all tossed with a ginger cilantro vinaigrette. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the ingredients inherently, I am just not a fan of raw broccoli and cauliflower. It was just was a little too crunchy for me—especially the cauliflower which were even larger pieces. More of the tomato would have helped I think, but all in all, it just wasn’t my fave (and the course I didn’t get a picture of either).

The next course was amazing. It was house made pasta (fettuccine size) with chanterelle and oyster mushrooms, fava beans, and peas in a thyme nage. It was a rich dish, and the mushrooms were wonderfully flavored with the nage (think light butter sauce). The peas and favas gave a nice snap to the dish and the pasta was perfectly prepared. It was sprinkled with a bit of parmesan. (My picture was after a bite or so, so that is why the plate does not look perfect). The one downside, even for me, was that it was a small portion—just enough to give you a taste for it, and want more. But I have to say, this was another example of a local chef making fresh pasta with interesting ingredients that puts to shame a lot of the local Italian places.

The next course was either wild king salmon or local beef tenderloin (Fisher Farms) served with a corn cake, collard greens, and bacon zucchini relish. Wow, this one was great as well. Hubby had the salmon and I had the beef so we could try both. I would be hard pressed to pick which one was better. The steak was perfectly prepared and tender, and the salmon was crispy on the edges and perfectly cooked as well. I loved the sides also; the collards had a great flavor, especially mixed with the bacony zucchini. All the veggies were also beautifully cooked and flavored. And the corn cake. It was my favorite accompaniment. Sweet with nice pieces of fresh corn. And corn so far this season has been out of the world for me. There was a nice drizzle of a savory vinaigrette around the plate that just perfectly blended the sweetness of the corn, the saltiness of the bacon flavor and the slight bitterness of the greens, with its touch of acidity.

The dessert course was called a goat cheese croquette—it was sort of like a square of a firm goat cheese flavor panna cotta that was coated in crushed pistachios and served with marinated cherries and blueberries. I loved this course too. The pistachios added a nice crunchy texture to the silky smooth cheese and the fruit, while sweet, was not overly so. Now I love cheese as a dessert in itself, but this was a dessert that could make a cheese lover or a sweets lover happy.

I also really enjoy the low key, yet extremely professional service at Recess. Everyone is laid back, but they know what they are talking about and bring your wine before your food, change your silverware as needed and just generally do the job of a restaurant with ease. It makes you feel like you are amongst professionals, and I really appreciate this.

4907 N. College Ave
Indy 46205

Recess on Urbanspoon


  1. We ate at Recess on Friday night for the first time. Our experience was very similar to yours...loved everything but one course, but, in our case, it was the middle course (soup). Again, great ingredients but just didn't come together for us. We agree about the service -- professional and timely without taking themselves too seriously. We are already talking about when we'll go again.

  2. I notice in a lot of your posts you lament a lack of good Italian cusine in the area. I think you should try Matteo's on the square in Noblesville. It's not a chain, and it's what I think of as authentic Italian.

  3. Thank you for another great review! I have been meaning to check out Recess and this post has given me a little extra push.

    Keep up the great posts! And congrats to your family on your husband's milestone =)


  4. I swear, we were there on the same night.

    I have to say, the salad that you did not like was a favorite surprise
    for me! Like you, I'm not a fan of raw cauliflower, but the
    vinaigrette, which seemed to also have some sesame oil in it, gave it
    a zing! I kept commenting to my wife how much I liked it.

    I agree with all of the rest of your review. The pasta left you
    wishing for more (our knowledgeable waitress defined "nage" for me -
    butter and white wine make everything great); the salmon had a slight
    sweetness, almost like it had a very light brush of agave or honey;
    and the dessert, while simple, was satisfying. My wife especially like

    Keep up the good work.

  5. @Anonymous re: Matteo's:
    I have issues with that place. I commented on it in this post of Erin's:

  6. Recess is almost always good.

    I've eaten there several times and notice that they would sometimes use the same ingredient(s) in different dishes on different days - clearly they get a load of various good stuff and have them in the coolers for a little while - but they use them well to give nice dishes.

    BTW I've asked for both choices on that day's menu (when choices are available) and they have been obliging in bringing both choices out to me, both as full portions...for an extra charge, of course.

  7. Just wanted to post a comment about how wonderful yet another meal was at Recess last night. We went before going to see Bourdain and Ripert at Clowes. I thought this was a top to bottom great meal (other than I had to wolf down my vanilla pot de creme in order to get to the show). A starter with a scallop and pork belly, an amazing monkfish (I wish I saw monkfish on more menus around here) with pasta and lobster mushrooms, beef tenderloin with corn and brussel sprouts, and a squash puree and the aforementioned vanilla pot de creme with apples and caramel. If you haven't been yet, go. We are lucky to have this place.

  8. Again, I had a wonderful meal at recess last night. I didn't blog it but wanted to post a comment. Beautiful tomato salad with corn and Sherry vinaigrette, a supplemental course of hamachi, an Asian noodles in broth dish with fried pork loin across the top. The Viking lamb had a great polenta with little sweet potato dices in it. Loved all the wine pairings as well. And we walked in without a reservation, so if you are ever in the mood, even without a reservation, check it out. You can always just go to Room 4 if you can't get into recess.