Feels like home: Our Table brings sophisticated yet homey dining to Bargersville

The atmosphere envelops you the moment you walk through the doors at Our Table American Bistro.

Ample windows surrounding the restaurant space provide a wealth of natural light that plays off the lacquered dark wood tables. A gleaming and sturdy bar, hand-crafted by local woodworker Marc Adams, wraps around the far side of the restaurant.

A fireplace roars in the corner, surrounded by a collection of cookbooks and accent decorations. One such item features the Our Table logo, captioned by the words, “Enjoy the Moment!”

“Ultimately, it’s about gathering around the table. We want people to do that at Our Table,” said Chef Joe Miller, executive chef and co-owner of the restaurant.

Our Table has brought a comfortable yet refined dining concept to Bargersville. Diners can choose from an evolving menu featuring everything from classics such Old World lasagna and a bistro burger to artisan flatbreads, a spicy shrimp bucatini and sauteed walleye almondine.

Miller and his wife Ginger, in addition to their partners Laura and Ken Fikes, have emphasized the power of their family’s own dining room table. They want that same atmosphere to be part of Our Table.

“We both come from big families. Sundays growing up, we had one meal. Gathering around the table, the idea of coming together as a family, is important,” Miller said.

Miller has been working in restaurants since he was 14, with his first job coming with Indy Anna’s Catering and its owner Anne Kirk.

“She was one of the hardest working people I knew. She was so good,” he said. “Being around in that environment really led me to where I am today.”

After working there through high school, Miller wasn’t sure how serious he was about the food industry. He decided to take one class at Ivy Tech Community College in a basic foods class. There, he met Chef Alex Darvichi a famed figure in the world of culinary competitions.

Darvichi was putting together an junior culinary competition team in the Indianapolis area, and Miller was invited to take part. In the kitchen at Meridian Hills Country Club, the team would perfect their craft. They’d practice from 3 to 7 a.m., then the team would go to their schools for courses, and then work.

The brutal practice schedule lasted for about eight months. In the process, the team won championships at the state, regional and finally the national level. He went on to apprentice with Darvichi at Meridian Hills and take part in competitions against chefs twice his age.

“What (Darvichi) did was allow you see what you really could do, what was possible that whole mantra, ‘You get what you give,’” Miller said. “I always felt like he gave us such an advantage with as great of a mentor he was, and to push you to do things you never thought you could do.”

Miller continued to work at Meridian Hills, even after Darvichi left, working his way up to sous chef and then becoming executive chef at age 26 a role he held for 17 years.

His goal had always been to open his own restaurant. But he knew he needed the proper experience. With his work experience, he felt he had that, he and his wife felt the time was right to do it.

They reached out to local restaurateurs and small-business contacts to determine what they needed to do to make their vision a reality.

Initially, they were looking at a space in Old Town Greenwood. But Laura and Ken Fikes offered to help fund the eatery, and suggested they look at the newly built space at the corner of Whiteland Road and State Road 135 as a potential location.

It proved to be a perfect space in a growing part of the county, Miller said.

The COVID pandemic stalled the project. In the meantime, Miller worked at Marc Adams School of Woodworking, a renowned teaching facility in Whiteland that brings people from all over the world to learn woodworking skills and techniques.

He handled lunch service for the students at the school.

“It was like a retreat. It was what I needed, and they were the greatest people. It was a blessing,” he said.

As the pandemic eased somewhat, the restaurant accelerated towards opening. On Nov. 23, Our Table American Bistro opened its doors to its first diners.

What those diners found was a diverse and constantly evolving menu. Miller has tried to balance high-end offerings such as fresh Florida grouper filet and Chilean sea bass with more casual fare, such as the char-crusted burger and the lasagna, loaded with fresh pasta, traditional Italian sausage, beef bolognese, ricotta and homemade marinara.

“We want to be comfortable. We wanted to have something where we were just a destination place where someone can only come here on a special occasion,” Miller said.

Other small touches take an outstanding menu and enhance the overall dining experience.

A covered patio with its own fireplace will provide soft seating for guests during warmer weather. A small side space offers a place where the owners envision special dinners or events, such as a “beer and oysters” night.

A demo kitchen, where pastry chef and baker Tanya Smith crafts Our Table’s breads, desserts and other sumptuous baked goods, is open to the eyes of visitors.

“Having (Tonya) here with our menu that helped allow us to do what we wanted all the way. We bake the bread every day; all of the desserts are made in-house.”

The journey to opening up has been a long one, rife with long hours and hard work. But to finally see people in Bargersville and the surrounding community come and enjoying the food, the cocktails, the atmosphere they’ve created has been incredibly rewarding.

“It’s overwhelming. It’s a dream come true. It’s all of those things,” Miller said. “Be willing to dream.”


Our Table American Bistro

Where: 5080 SR 135, Suite A, Bargersville

Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

Information and reservations: ourtablerestaurant.com