Editor's Note: As the restaurant is about a week old, Jolene won't be giving this a star rating until they have experienced a few more weeks of business.
The Southside gets a bad rap for a lack of innovative independent dining options. And honestly, there aren’t many restaurants that would entice me to drive from Indy’s SoBro neighborhood to Main Street, Greenwood.
But Revery, a new contemporary American restaurant located at the corner of Main Street and Madison Avenue in Greenwood, is one that will definitely draw me back to the Southside.
The chef/owners, former Mesh chefs Mark Henrichs and Danny Salgado, have taken an historic building – it was built in 1861 – and created a modern restaurant with a creative menu, one with enough intriguing items to make me want to return. And while they know that the more unusual dishes might not be the biggest sellers, they are happy to have the freedom to put them on the menu.
“We’re kind of making a statement with our menu,” said Henrichs. “We’re a little edgy but at the same time we’re still approachable. We’ve got foie gras, we’ve got pig tails, we’ve got bone marrow. We don’t expect that stuff to sell out the door, but we have it here for the foodies who like to come out and experience something new.”
The freedom to change up the menu to spotlight a new product or a seasonal specialty is what prompted the two chefs, who are both from Chicago, to strike out on their own.
“Working for bigger restaurant with owners, you have to do a tasting,” said Salgado, “and you have to get it approved, and before you can get it on the menu, it’s out of season or it’s gone. Here, we’re able to change the menu every day. That’s why we’re doing this. We get to please our palates instead of other people’s.”
And the two chefs are betting that they can please the Greenwood community as well and have taken care to keep the menu at an accessible price point.
“The best thing is on our menu, we’ve got small plates,” said Salgado, “so we’ve got things for three dollars, up to five, six dollars for smalls.”
The medium plates section tops out at $17 for the foie gras (which is served with house brioche, pear, ginger marmalade and a curry granola), though most mid-size dishes are in the $8 to $13 range. That section also includes such items as bone marrow, lamb neck Bolognese, beef tartar and duck fat poutine. The menu also includes a section of larger entrees.
The restaurant, which seats about 110 in three dining rooms, was still busy on its recent opening weekend when we stopped in just before 9 p.m.
The main dining room, which has large windows looking out onto both Main Street and Madison Avenue, is especially striking at night. Renovation of the building, which has housed everything from a drug store to a furniture company to a law firm, took about five months. Now, it’s a comfortable, handsome space, with original wooden floors and lots of exposed brick.
Dinner began with complimentary popcorn, flavored that night with an interesting coffee-barbecue seasoning. For a $3 charge, you can get your popcorn frozen with liquid nitrogen, which arrives at the table with a smoky, dry-ice effect.
The restaurant has just been open a week, and while it’s still too early to know how diners will take to the menu, we certainly enjoyed everything we tried. Our choices ranged from the Asian-inspired pig tails, $6, which were super flavorful and meatier than we expected, to the duck fat poutine, $9, which featured a very tasty sausage gravy to a that delicious papardelle, $17, served in cream sauce with shaved parmesan and loads of roasted mushrooms.
Service was friendly and attentive, and our server quickly found out answers to our questions – which turned out to be yes, the papardelle is made in house, and yes, the limoncello and raspberry cake is as well.
The beauty of ordering a variety of different sized plates is the sharing, of course, and we did end up splitting everything we ordered. And since she knew we were sharing, our server was terrific about making sure our salad and the papardelle arrived at the table already split between two plates.
Dessert, too, was shared, and we enjoyed the limoncello and raspberry cake, which was served in a glass and was actually more like a springtime trifle.
And whether they order dessert or not, diners also receive a plate of cotton candy, which – like the popcorn – carries out the playfulness of the restaurant’s daydreamy name.
Jolene Ketzenberger covers local food at EatDrinkIndy.com. Follow her on Twitter @JKetzenberger.