About Vida

Since its opening in 2016, Vida has received critical acclaim, earning AAA’s coveted Four Diamond award every year. This highly discriminating award is earned by only two percent of nearly 30,000 restaurants reviewed annually. Vida is one of a very few Indianapolis restaurants to be honored with this distinction.

Four Diamond Award Open Table Award

How did we do it?

Both of our dining menus—a seasonal à la carte menu and a rotating, five-course tastings menu—showcase Vida’s dedication to fresh ingredients and culinary technique. Each dish is carefully constructed with ingredients from local farmers, house-made charcuterie, and Indianapolis’ only in-house hydroponic wall of greens.

Our talented chefs offer an evolving array of imaginative dishes inspired by the changing Indiana seasons, childhood memories and their own personal bests.

Our two in-house Sommeliers carefully curate an extensive wine collection to fully complement Vida’s menu. Using a Coravin wine extraction system to protect the integrity of the wine, we offer distinctive wine pairings and featured wines by the glass that you won’t find anywhere else in Indianapolis. You’ll also find a collection of rare spirits in our fully stocked bar that appeals to those from the most educated enthusiast to the most casual consumer.

Vida’s talented chefs and highly trained Sommeliers work together to create an unforgettable dining experience for our guests. Here’s an introduction to our team.

Our Team

Chef Thomas Melvin

Chef Thomas Melvin
Executive Chef

Chef Thomas Melvin joined Cunningham Restaurant Group in 2014 as the Executive Chef at Union 50. Under Chef Thomas’s direction, Union 50 made Open Table’s list of 100 Hottest Restaurants in America for two consecutive years. In 2017, Chef Thomas transitioned to Executive Chef at Vida.

Born and raised in Indiana, Chef Thomas began his culinary career at a young age, learning & training at restaurants throughout the state. The more he learned, the more his passion grew. Chef Thomas’s menu is inspired by his surroundings - anything from ingredients to artists; seasons to fellow Chefs and restaurants; musicians to travel destinations. His menus reflect the respect for the culinary craft and the artistry created his kitchen.

When Chef Thomas finds time away from his busy restaurant schedule, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amanda, and their two children Grant & Stella.

Chef Hattie McDaniel

Chef Hattie McDaniel
Pastry Chef

Being a pastry chef is second nature to Chef Hattie. Her great-grandmother (her namesake) and her two grandmothers were all fabulous cooks and bakers. Great-grandmother Hattie once managed Barringer’s Tavern on South Meridian Street, so it’s no surprise that Chef Hattie’s youthful passion for baking became her chosen career path.

Chef Hattie graduated with honors in baking and pastry arts from Johnson and Wales University in South Carolina. She also earned her Certificate of French Pastry Arts from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux, France. The most valuable lesson she learned was that, contrary to popular thinking, baking is not a science—it’s a feeling.

At Vida, she continues to combine childhood favorites with unconventional techniques to create nostalgic, innovative desserts that make our guests smile. Although she’s one of Indy’s youngest chefs, Chef Hattie’s ricotta donuts won top honors in the dessert category at the 2016 Indianapolis Monthly’s “Best of Indy” event. You’ll want to save room for dessert when you visit Vida! Hattie unwinds after a day in the kitchen by weight lifting and strength training.

Roddy Kirschenman

Roddy Kirschenman
Sommelier & General Manager

A Level 2 certified Sommelier, Roddy developed his appreciation of fine wines 25 years ago while working as a server assistant in Aspen. He learned his craft by attending many wine tastings and avidly devouring books and magazines on wine. Roddy is especially fond of Decanter magazine and any book by British wine writer Jancis Robinson. Roddy joined Cunningham Restaurant Group in 2009 as the General Manager and Sommelier of Mesh and followed up by opening award-winning restaurants, Union 50 and Vida.

A wine buyer since 1994, Roddy notes that it’s important for wine buyers to keep in mind that they are buying for the guests and not themselves. Roddy’s favorite part of the job is introducing guests to wine they would have never ordered on their own and his reward is seeing how much they enjoy it.

Roddy is a fan of German Rieslings and both white and red Burgundies. If he could try one rare wine it would be a 1990 Chave Hermitage, a classically made French wine from a family that has been producing fine wines since 1481.

Vida Mobile Logo

We are located at 601 E New York St, Indianapolis, IN 46202 and you can reach us at 317-420-2323. Vida is part of the Cunningham Restaurant Group.