Thursday, January 19, 2012
Our Devour Downtown at R Bistro
Corrin and I looked forward this evening to our meal at R Bistro after a hit and miss lunch at Zoup and Whichwich. R Bistro, a local effort of Chef Regina, has been on the Indy scene located on trendy Mass Ave for quite a few years. It has the reputation for being one of the top restaurants in Indianapolis. We had made reservations at R Bistro as part of Indianapolis's annual Devour Downtown event. During the two-week event, restaurants provide a set meal for $30. R Bistro was featuring an arugula salad with tangerines and walnuts, beef stroganoff, and a baked apple with creme fraiche. When we arrived, we made a slight departure to the next-door chocolate shop and each bought a bar of specialty chocolate. Back at R Bistro, Corrin and I were greeted warmly by the hostess casually standing in the front of the modern, brick-exposed, perfectly lit restaurant. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu although a bit nonplussed by our myriad of questions. I wisely added a soup to the predetermined menu. It was a cream of brussel sprout soup that we aptly devoured. We quickly decided that it would become a holiday dish at our table.
Our salad was balanced with the peppery arugula, sweet tangerines and fig dressing adorned with crumbles of blue cheese. Sadly, we found a few yellowed pieces of salad. Really?? Our beef stroganoff looked quite pale with its egg noodles and creamy sauce on plain white plates. Can we once again say parsley?? The stroganoff had tender pieces of beef round and mushrooms within a lovely creamy sauce although the fresh dill was a bit overpowering. Our dessert was a huge disappointment that should be ashamed to be called a dessert. It was a baked Golden Rush apple, naked, stuffed with tart cranberries and some golden raisins a midst some creme fraiche. I need dough or at least some sweetness in my dessert of apples. We did appreciate the fact that most items features on the menu were locally sourced. The wine they paired with my meal, a Rodney Strong chardonnay, was disappointing and too dry for me. This particular wine can be bought at Trader Joe's for $12.00 a bottle. Corrin and I decided after the meal that the menu was not well thought out with too many items featuring cream. I really like R Bistro and the chef; however a restaurant of this caliber should not have so much unevenness.
Atmosphere - 8
Service - 8
Price - 6
Presentation - 5
Food quality - 8
Overall - 7
Average rating from other reviewer websites – 3.5-4 out of 5 stars. One patron said it perfectly “ Don't get me wrong. It's good, but I'm always left feeling like I wish the dishes were a *little bit*... different.”.
Listen Up: Work on jazzing up the looks of your dishes. After all, you are a high-end restaurant! Nicer plates please - and parsley! White linen to cover your metal and cheap wooden tables would add an elegant touch. Desserts need attention! Don't rest on your laurels.