I'm still a bit self-conscious of taking food pictures, so I just grabbed this one of the menu on top of the very trendy stainless steel tables. I did snap one of my meal, too, but it was too blurry form the iPhone, so....
Anyhow, we had considered Recess or R Bistro for the birthday, but while Recess has some outstanding reviews, we were going out on a weeknight, and I worried about two negative things from the Recess reviews - a really long evening and very small portions. In fact, the worry over portion size (a constant worry of the Indy Grub Review) had me in a pessimistic mood as we entered R Bistro.
R Bistro has a really nice, clean, trendy spot at the far NE end of Mass Ave. I liked the exposed brick wall and the clean tables. The menu apparently changes weekly at R Bistro, and this week was the 9th anniversary of the restaurant. So, they were serving the same menu as they did during their inaugural week in 2001.
The Better Half started with the soup of the day - coconut sweet potato. It was a savory soup, and very tasty, though I was not entirely taken with the coconut. I had the spinach crepe with mushrooms in a mustard sauce. Just fantastic. The mustard sauce was flavorful yet smooth. The mushrooms were earthy and comforting. A fantastic appetizer.
For the main course, the Better Half had the vegetarian entree - eggplant rollatini with angel hair. I liked the eggplant, but I prefer mine more crispy, and once this was rolled with the ricotta (and other cheeses?) it was a little too soft for my liking. But, very good flavor. I had the grilled lamb with mashed potatoes with pesto in the mash. Fantastic. I enjoy lamb, and had it as suggested at medium rare, though I tend to prefer the consistency of red meat just a touch beyond that to medium. Nevertheless, great presentation, great flavors. The dish was topped with crispy sweet potatoe shoestrings, which were a nice addition.
Best of all, the portions were more than enough. The server said theirs are "proper portion sizes" which I imagined as a euphemism for "small". But, I was pleasantly surprised and while not stuffed, I was not feeling shorted. We finished the meal sharing a dessert - rhubarb fool. Now, I do love rhubarb, and this was tasty. And, a food entitled "fool"? I felt like it was designed for me! But, as the Better Half mentioned, it seemed like the Jell-O desserts where you have a cheap and easy mousse. And, I kind of was wondering if I couldn't cook up some rhubarb and blend it in with cool whip... but, it was tasty, slightly tart, and a nice end to the meal.
R Bistro isn't really "grub" as I'd likely define it. But, I don't know if terms really matter. It was a nice night out for a celebration, and very well prepared food, filling, and tasty. We're tee-totallers, so no wine. The meal came to $90, which included what I'd say is a slightly better than average tip. Not something we do often, but it was a nice "event" meal. Since that night's meal would have been $57 per person at Recess, I also was glad we save some money in this choice, too.
And, since we were RIGHT THERE, we also grabbed 4 truffles from The Best Chocolate in Town.
I'm pretty basic on chocolate, preferring milk over dark, and like mine pretty simple for the most part. For truffles, I tend towards the fruit flavors - orange, raspberry, etc. But, one of the four we got was a cinnamon, which was really nice. Now the funny thing is, R Bistro offers a dessert of truffles from The Best Chocolate in Town. Maybe they make special flavors just for R Bistro, but based on the price I figured you'd get 3. But, no, a neighboring table ordered the truffles and out came 2. Now, maybe I'm not clear on the transportation cost to go 2 doors down for delivery, but I'd suggest go pick from all the flavors at the chocolate shop's storefront instead of ordering the truffles from R Bistro.
The Verdict: 4.5 belly rubs (out of 5). I'm just personally withholding the half star cause of the price. Food taste and quality were fantastic, but I can see the point that it may be a bit pricey and therefore doesn't fill my notion that good grub should be a good value.