All posts by LouisvilleHotBytes

Our judge rules Sidebar delicious

Sidebar, the latest about-to-be-hot spot in the Arena Zone, a hip bar and grill with a legal theme, is set to open to the public any day now. This week it’s been serving “VIP” guests in soft openings, something I generally avoid, so I invited HotBytes correspondent Antonia Lindauer to check it out. She likes the looks of the place, and offers us this quick preview:
Continue reading Our judge rules Sidebar delicious

Big Ol’ Backyard BBQ boosts Home of the Innocents

Big Ol' Backyard BBQChow down with four-star chefs as they step out of their kitchens and fire up the grills for Home of the Innocents: It’s the 7th annual Big Ol’ Backyard BBQ! The grills will be smokin’ Saturday, Aug. 25, in the park-like backyard at the Home of the Innocents, 1100 E. Market St. in Louisville. Roll up your sleeves and tuck in your napkin. Get ready to enjoy a buffet of savory barbeque, gourmet side dishes, and desserts galore. This one-of-a-kind, family-friendly event brings together some of Louisville’s top chefs, including Host Chef Laurent Geroli (The Brown Hotel); Chef Anthony Lusiak (Eddie Merlot’s) and Chef Dallas McGarity (Marketplace Restaurant at Theatre Square). In addition to the scrumptious food, this fun event will feature live music by The Remedy, hayrides, inflatables, cornhole games, face painting, art and crafts, a full children’s playground (with a climbing wall), and more! This special fundraising event provides fun for the entire family, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the children at the Home. (Did you know that 88 cents of every donation dollar goes directly to helping the kids?)

Tickets are $50 per person; $30 for students, seniors, military, police, fire and EMS workers; and FREE for kids 12 and under. Groups and families may reserve tables for eight for $350. To order tickets, call (502) 596-1025 or visit


Field-to-Fork dinner to benefit Food Literacy Project

Food Literacy Project
Food Literacy Project
Mark your calendar now so you won’t miss this one: The Food Literacy Project’s annual Field-to-Fork Dinner will be 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at Marketplace Restaurant at Theatre Square. A battery of the city’s top chefs will be paired with local farmers to take advantage of the autumn harvest bounty, creating an elegant five-course dinner featuring fresh locavore meats and produce. Advance tickets, $85 per person, will go on sale in September. (Watch this space for details and a link.) Your support helps Food Literacy Project connect Louisville’s young people to healthy, sustainable food. For more about Food Literacy Project, visit

Go West … to St. Charles Exchange

FVK Swizzle. Jolea Brown @Creative Photography.
Go west, they said. So St. Charles Exchange did. This new spot bucks the recent trend to Nulu (East Market Street), opting instead to open up on Seventh just off Main, across from the entrance to 21c. The concept is “1900s hotel lobby bar,” and by Jove, they’ve done it. After a couple drinks at the bar, you’ll find yourself looking toward the grand set of double doors as if they lead upstairs to your honeymoon suite. The suspendered, vested and newsy-capped waitstaff appear as though they’d procure a carriage for your ride home, if only you asked. Sweeping mustard-gold curtains cascade down the ceiling-height windows, which, during a recent grand opening, let in just enough sunlight to illuminate the dining room’s dusky ambience. The flooring is refurbished wood from an old Kentucky barn, and the ceilings are paneled in deep brown-black wood. Mirrors run the length of cushioned banquettes, while small gold lamps add an air of mystery: this is the restaurant I go to in New York for a bite to eat and a Bellini at midnight.

I’ll make a late night stop at St. Charles Exchange for snacks from the Larder – cheese, olives and pickles, ham, crudités – and an artfully mixed cocktail, such as the FVK Swizzle. The picturesque gin-based drink, featuring citrus flavors and a hit of absinthe to keep you honest, is brightly slashed across the top by pink grapefruit syrup.

A die-hard Springsteen fan, my husband was obligated to try the Darkness on the Edge of Town, a stormy rum drink served over one massive hunk of ice. Had I sampled any of the punches, my pick would have been the Well-Deserved, simply for the name. Exclusively American wines and beers round out the beverage program.

A variety of delectable deviled eggs was offered – curry, truffle, barbeque – the selection will change daily. But the winning hors d’oeuvre, by several lengths, was Elvis on Horseback: peanut butter-stuffed dates, wrapped in bacon, atop a smoked banana vinaigrette. A list of five Plates (“Mains”) range from $22 to $29, and a lamb burger is offered for $15.

Listed hours are Mon. – Sun., 5 p.m. – 2 a.m. A private room is available, and they anticipate opening their cool, shaded below-ground-level outdoor patio July 1.

St. Charles Exchange
113 S. 7th St.