A visitor's guide to Final Four Food

While you likely won't be the one out on the court this weekend working up an appetite, you still deserve to treat yourself to some of the best food that downtown Indy has to offer. Here's a quick guide for visitors and locals alike to some of the special hours and promotions at downtown's best bets for great dining.

Massachusetts Avenue's original slow food eatery R Bistro will be open Monday, April 3 from 4-9 p.m. at 888 Massachusetts Ave., just a short cab ride or an easy walk from the Circle. Visit www.rbistro.com for a weekly menu or call 317-423-0312 for reservations.

6 Lounge & Restaurant at 247 S. Meridian will be open for lunch starting at 11 a.m. this Thursday through Monday. Call 317-638-6660 for more information.

In addition to its regular lunch service, the Oceanaire Seafood Room at 30 S. Meridian will be open starting at 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday to serve Final Four fans. Call 317-955-2277 to make your reservation.

McCormick & Schmick's, just off the Circle at Market, 110 N. Illinois St., will be open for lunch both Saturday and Sunday starting at noon. They'll be featuring special dishes indigenous to the states of the Final Four teams. Call 317-631-9500 for more details.

The Conrad, Indy's newest and one of its most luxurious hotels, which opened just this week across from Circle Centre, will also feature two restaurants, including a lobby lounge, and Restaurant du Soleil, a 205-seat eatery offering European brasserie foods under the creative direction of one of America's most exciting young chefs, Jonathan Wright.

St. Elmo Steakhouse, one of sportscaster Jim Nantz's favorite restaurants, will open for lunch Friday through Monday starting at 11 a.m. An Indianapolis institution since 1902, St. Elmo is located at 127 S. Illinois St., 317-635-0636.

Jillian's, 141 S. Meridian St., 317-822-9300, is bringing a slice of the Big Easy to town for Final Four weekend, partnering with Lucky Dogs of New Orleans to serve the French Quarter favorites at their Tailgate Tent on the corner of Georgia and Meridian Friday, March 31-Sunday, April 2. Doors open at 5 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.

Call for special hours and features at some of downtown's other best bets:

14 West, 14 W. Maryland St., 317-636-1414: Chef Tony Hanslits' innovative continental fare.

120 West Market Fresh Grill, 120 W. Market St., 317-972-0600: upscale Hoosier eats.

Bistro Tchopstix, 251 N. Illinois St., 317-636-9000: consistently good Japanese cuisine.

The Bosphorus, 935 S. East St., 317-974-1770: a short cab ride to great Turkish food.

Elements, 415 N. Alabama St., 317-634-8888: creative seasonal fare by Chef Greg Hardesty.

El Sol de Tala, 39 W. Jackson Place, 317-636-8252: one of Indy's most beloved Mexican eateries.

Hoaglin To Go Market & Café, 448 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0300: one of Indy's best brunches.

Mikado, 148 S. Illinois St., 317-972-4180: arguably Indy's best sushi in an artful, peaceful setting.

Red Eye Café, 250 S. Meridian St., 317-972-1500: 24-hour fare once featured on David Letterman.

Community Bites

Think you know how not to be fooled by wine? Well, think again, as Chateau Thomas Winery, 6291 Cambridge Way in Plainfield, will host a special April Fools Grand Tasting this Saturday, April 1, with specially blended wines that will have guests guessing all evening. The tasting begins at 7 p.m. and the cost is $15 per person. Seating will be limited. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 317-837-WINE (9463).