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NUVO - March 2003

Indy's Top 10 Chefs

With a strong emphasis on locally-raised produce and meats, Regina Mehallick"s culinary philosophy is refreshingly simple. "I've endorsed a back-to-basics philosophy over the years. Basic in the sense that the ingredients are fresh and local, allowing for seasonal menu changes. Portions are balanced, with equal emphasis on vegetables and starches, and portions are sized to allow diners to enjoy a full three-course meal."

Educated at Johnson & Wales University, Chef Regina gained her first practical experience in South Carolina. She also studied at prestigious cooking schools worldwide, including the World of Regaleali in Sicily, Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland and various other European and British establishments, before moving to Britain for three years in 1996. There she worked as sous chef at the prestigious Yorke Arms in north Yorkshire, as part of an all-woman kitchen, and also at Stravaigin in Glasgow as chef de partie.

Upon her return home, she spent a year or so working at the Canterbury Hotel in Indianapolis before opening R-Bistro with her husband, Jim, in 2001. The menu at R-Bistro makes a point of informing us that all dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients, and are cooked to order. This is readily apparent from the dishes themselves. Every plate I've tasted at R-Bistro has been bright and vibrant with color as well as super-fresh. The current menu (which changes seasonally) is replete with vegetables, fresh salad greens and bright, crisp flavors. The cooking is light and airy, with little evidence of heavy sauces and thick reductions, and very little butter and cream. A short but to-the-point wine list perfectly complements the similarly short, but focused, menu at R-Bistro.

R-Bistro was rated 4 stars by NUVO in 2001. For reservations, call 423-0312.