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“Amazing despite some interesting incidents”
Review of OAKLEY'S Bistro

OAKLEY'S Bistro
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Ranked #148 of 2,426 Restaurants in Indianapolis
Price range: USD 1 - USD 34
Cuisines: American, French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Washington
Cross street: 86th & Ditch Road
Description: It’s commonly thought that you know you’ve found your life’s calling if you’d do your job for free. Chef Steven J. Oakley personifies that idea. His career began at age 16 when he offered his services to a suburban Chicago restaurant for free: “I just wanted to work, I wanted to learn,” says Oakley. That emphasis on hard work and continual learning has culminated in Chef Oakley arriving at the top of his profession in Indianapolis. That structured education didn’t temper his need to learn from other chefs in other kitchens and he spent many weekends traveling to New York City to work in some of the most prestigious restaurants in the country, including The Park Avenue Café and Lutece—for free of course. He spent summers back in Chicago where he worked at the famous Charlie Trotter’s. Following a brief stint at the Scottsdale Princess Resort in Arizona, Chef Oakley returned home to Chicago where he worked for another landmark restaurant, Printer’s Row, and again, Charlie Trotter’s.
Reviewed 10 July 2010

Our first experience at Oakleys Bistro was quite eventful. We sat down to enjoy our dinner in the very busy restaurant, and in the middle of our dinner we were met with some very interesting incidents. Appartently, the woman on the other side of the half-wall we were sitting next to decided to throw an absolute fit and destroy any dignity she had (I'm assuming this is the lady who commented last on the restaurant). I could continue on about her, but this is not an attack on her. All I have to say is we, as well, had the chicken and the same server. We were more than happy. Despite being busy and dealing with a man who fainted (as well as helping the medics into the restaurant) they were still extremely attentive and helpful. If our server was having trouble making it over (do to the events), another was there immediately to make sure we had everything we wanted. As an employee in the service industry I would have to applaud the manager for dealing with this woman, since I heard her initial uncompelling argument of disgust, which just involved telling the poor manager to "just go ahead and walk over there, take $50 off the bill, and then I'll pay it. They did it for me at Bravo." Despite all this happening our waiter kept his composure and the fun-spirited conversation going. For Oakleys Bistro, as a whole, this was an unbelievable demonstration of "rolling with the punches" and persevering.
As far as the food goes, there is very little that can compete with this menu in Indianapolis. This isn't a steak house. This is an extraordinary display of culinary intelligence. I can only imagine how much time goes into planning a menu with such conceptually styled meals on it, and not to mention training your employees in such depth over them. On top of knowing the menu, our server managed to describe, in quite the elegant detail, the daily specials without any written notes. Memorizing 5+ specials and even the details of how certain components were created is no easy task. This coupled with a great pairing of wine, in which we discussed more than just a couple wines, left everyone at my table more than pleased. I have to repeat that Oakleys was absolutely amazing. Even with all that was going on they kept the atmosphere light and fun, and when you are out to eat with friends that is a major factor in enjoying a meal. I will always recommend Oakleys Bistro to anyone looking for great food, drinks, and an engaging staff, who create a wonderful atmosphere.

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2  Thank tryin_it_all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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148 - 152 of 172 reviews

Reviewed 2 June 2010

We returned to Oakley's again this year in connection with a trip to Indy for the 500. We've been there many times, and the food was as good this time as ever. But never have we felt so rushed. The waitstaff apparently believed that 4 minutes would be sufficient time to study a menu with complex offerings, and they seemed offended that we would want to take a few minutes to consider the pairing of food with wine. We could not finish our beverage fast enough, were not offered the possibility of a second glass, the last morsel of food had barely left our forks before someone swooped in to pick up the dirty dishes, not even a hint of a desire/hope by the waitstaff that we might be interested in dessert and forget about asking for coffee. This is the place for you if you desire great food and don't mind being encouraged to finish as fast as possible so that someone else can take your table. All for $150 per couple. What a deal.

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1  Thank prairieguy16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2010

One of the top 5 meals I've ever had. My wife and I are foodies and love eating at local places in every city we visit. The menu was outstanding, the service was excellent, and the quality was amazing. We sat at the chef's table right by the kitchen and talked with Chef Oakley the whole meal. Great guy and an even better chef. The whole meal (drinks, appetizer, entree, and dessert) for 2 was about $90. Well worth it!

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Thank mike_dial
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 May 2010

Delicious food and a great value! The open kitchen was a bonus, as we were able to actually speak with the chef as he prepared food. There wasn't one item we ordered that wasn't a combination of amazing flavors. This is situated in a great neighborhood just north of downtown. Highly recommended!!!

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Thank Huskerfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2009

We had a celebration at Oakley's last night. A pre-bachelorette/bridalshower weekend dinner. The service was wonderful. Steven, our server, not only gave us superb service but had a great sense of humor with us. The food was wonderful. There were assorted dishes tried from the Shrimp corn-dogs for starters, to Duck-Duck, to the filet. In fact, I think each of the entrees was tried by at least one of our party. The food was all prepared as requested or suggested and from the comments and lack of any food left on plates, it tasted wonderful. My personal entree, the pork loin, was cooked perfectly and nicely complemented by the polenta. We shared a couple of desserts and they were rich and decadent and fun, I highly suggest this restaurant for anyone who enjoys good food, a great atmosphere, and wants a memorable experience, whether it be for a simple evening out or a special occasion.

Thank beths98567
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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