The Trustees’ Table’s smothered pork loin.

Shaker Village shakes things up, but it’s still a lovable getaway

Kentucky’s beautiful Shakertown at Pleasant Hill is one of my favorite places anywhere. Nestled in the shady lanes and meadows of a Mercer County hilltop, this 200-year-old restored Shaker village is both a living museum and a peaceful and serene getaway.

And, completing the lure, it also boasts an excellent dining room, with first-rate upscale bistro fare served by black-clad servers in the elegant beauty of the Shaker Trustees’ House, a redbrick hostelry that dates back to the early 1800s. Continue reading

Pollo Arrosto, the half roast chicken at Mercato.

Mercato brings Italian style to Norton Commons

Some of Louisville’s top chefs, such as Anoosh Shariat and Bim Deitrich, have built their reputation on a string of restaurants spread over decades, making every one a success.

And then there’s Fernando Martinez, who does restaurant entrepreneurship a whole ‘nother way. With his wife, Cristina, and cousin Yaniel Martinez, Fernando keeps adding more and more restaurants to a growing squadron of fine eateries that all run simultaneously. This is no cookie-cutter chain either, but a variety of excellent restaurants, all different in style and even national origin. Continue reading

Eiderdown’s Abratna Brew with Marksbury Farm bratwurst.

Eiderdown in Germantown makes us happy

I won’t deny that being a restaurant critic is fun, but it’s hard work also. And there is one truly significant downside: When duty calls you to eat out someplace new every week, it’s not easy to return to dine casually at places that make you happy.

Nevertheless, there’s a handful, or maybe two, of local eateries that please me enough – and, frankly, are affordable enough – that I’m likely to drop in now and then even when I’m not wearing my food-critic’s chapeau.

One of those is Eiderdown. Continue reading

The slow-braised pot roast at Finn's Southern Kitchen

Finn’s pot roast is a feast for all seasons

In case you hadn’t noticed, summer has clamped down on us fully now. It’s 95 outside as I write this, and the central air is struggling. The humidity? Don’t even ask. It’s as if the giant evil spaceship in Independence Day: Resurgence is dropping down over the metro, only it’s a giant sponge dripping hot water.

Yuk. Nothing seems very appetizing when the weather is like this.

Wait! How about a big bowl of good old-fashioned pot roast? Continue reading

Industry Standard - Marsha Lynch

No dinner without the din

There’s a free-floating stainless steel ring that rests against the rinse sprayer nozzle of a commercial dish-washing machine. The ring is ostensibly there to prevent the nozzle from flailing about when released.

In reality, it’s a sleigh bell.

When a kitchen is really rocking, that little ring jingles and jangles constantly as the dishwasher shakes the nozzle back and forth, rinsing plates and pots. Continue reading

Mofongo, the classic Puerto Rican plantain-and-pork dish, at Migo.

Go, go to Migo for creative, delicious tacos and more

Why, why, why did nobody tell me that I needed to go to Migo until now?

Look: This place, a partner in the triumvirate of Hammerheads, Game and now Migo, has been open since mid-October. In other words, I’ve been missing out on some of the best, most creative and delicious tacos and more in town for eight months! Continue reading

Gospel Bird's Southern Fried Chicken

We’re singing in Gospel Bird’s choir

What in the Hell is a Gospel Bird?

No, wait, better make that, “What in Heaven’s name is a Gospel Bird?”

I’m pretty sure it’s not a winged creature that knocks on your door and asks if you have found Jesus. It’s not a dove that comes down with wind and fire, either. Continue reading

Oysters on the half shell at River House

River House scores a solid average

J.P. Morgan famously said that if you had to ask how much his yacht cost, you couldn’t afford it. The good folks at River House Restaurant & Raw Bar may have had this iconic wisdom in mind when they set up their “reserve” wine list for their new eatery in the yawning riverside quarters that once housed Falls City Boat Works.

This lofty roster of trophy wines tops out at a cool $500 for a bottle of the sought-after Mondavi-Rothschild Napa Valley Opus One. That’s too rich for me, but then, so is a yacht. Continue reading

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