Midwest Living Review
Everyone's talking about Recess, and with good reason. Chef/owner Greg Hardesty has created his own personal culinary playground within the sparsely decorated cinder block walls of his new digs, and he's bringing customers along for the mouthwatering ride. Opened in 2010, Recess is located in a nondescript brick strip of businesses on the border of a slightly sketchy neighborhood called South Broad Ripple. The area is poised to be an up-and-coming spot, but we think that's probably a few years away. With a four-course, fixed-price menu that changes daily according to what's fresh and seasonal, dining at Recess is a different experience every visit. Meals usually include a starter, a fish course, a meat course and dessert. The perfectly sized small portions satisfy without making you feel stuffed. Hardesty posts his menus online, so you can see what's cooking before calling for a reservation. Our first course was a Southern Indiana chanterelle mushroom and sweet corn soup with a little Parmesan baguette toast slice. This was comfort food, almost like a richly seasoned summer stew, but the ingredients and serving size made it feel light. Course two was a fish offering, a 4-ounce-ish piece of American red snapper on top of a melange of summer vegetables with a delicious lemon thyme jus underneath it all. The third course was the only disappointment of the evening -- a beautifully presented fan of sliced beef strip loin (from Jasper, Indiana, Fischer Farms) over a few green beans, diced carrots and Yukon gold potatoes with a horseradish Cabernet reduction. It was sort of like a deconstructed pot roast. The beef was served medium rare and it was delicious, but it was tough. Happily, dessert got us back on track and ended the meal on a high note. The little ramekin of blueberry trifle was an ideal summertime dessert. The blueberries were sweet and fresh, the cake and cream luxurious but not too heavy, and the whole thing was dusted with white chocolate shavings. A no-brainer wine pairing option for $19 takes all the guesswork out of selecting the right vino to complement each course. Dinner at Recess doesn't come cheap; prices hover between $45 and $60 per head before drinks and tips. But if you're up for a true food adventure, Recess is delicious dining fun.