Category Archives: Frankfort Ave., Clifton, Crescent Hill

Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

I still mourn the 2010 departure of Red Pepper, Louisville’s best Chinese restaurant ever. As good as it was, Red Pepper owner Yuan Hua told me when it closed, the combination of a $5,000 monthly lease payment and a respected Sichuan chef who required fair payment for his skills, sent it on to restaurant Nirvana after a short, bright two-year tenure.

Now, eight years later, the exotic-looking building on Lower Brownsboro is lighted up again: Ikebana Japanese Restaurant & Sushi has come to fill the space. Continue reading Ikebana fills long-vacant Red Pepper space

Porcini’s landmark status is well and fully earned

It seems as if Porcini just got here. It seems as if Porcini has been here forever. The truth, as usual, lies between these extremes, but one thing is certain: The years have flown since I first sat down to a fine Italian dinner at this comfortable Frankfort Avenue landmark. Continue reading Porcini’s landmark status is well and fully earned

LouVino and Con Huevos win at brunch

Fresh from delicious brunch experiences at LouVino and Con Huevos, I must ask a simple question: Who doesn’t love brunch? I certainly do!

Some folks love brunch buffets, and there’s a lot to like about a sumptuous feeding trough of pans loaded with breakfast and lunch goodies. But I like a set menu of brunch dishes even better. Sure, I’m down for unleashing my inner glutton at a massive buffet, but my inner foodie recognizes the value of chef-created individual dishes.

Both Con Huevos and LouVino offer thoughtful, inviting selections of brunch dishes that consistently show the delicate, complex but balanced nuances of flavor that reveal serious creative spirit and dogged attention to detail in the kitchen. Continue reading LouVino and Con Huevos win at brunch

Lupo’s pizza and pasta sing a fine Italian song

Whatever might prompt two members of an indie rock band with a 17-year record and three songs on the Billboard 200 to leap from the world of music to the hard work of opening Lupo, an Italian restaurant that features pizza and pasta?

That’s just what vocalist and guitar player Adam Turla and cellist-keyboardist Sarah Balliet of the band Murder by Death have done, though. In August they joined Sarah’s brother Max Balliet, owner of the popular Holy Molé taco truck, to open Lupo, a fine, casual eatery in a nicely restored 19th century red-brick house on the far inner end of Frankfort Avenue where Clifton meets Butchertown. Continue reading Lupo’s pizza and pasta sing a fine Italian song

Volare brings its top game to Italian delights

I hate to be a whiner, so before I get to my one complaint, let me tell you all the things that I love about freshly renovated Volare.

• It looks classier than ever, thanks to a light but effective makeover.
• Chef Joshua Moore’s menu is better than ever.
• Its impressive selection of pasta dishes has been kicked up by a fancy new Italian-made pasta machine.
• The bar’s comfortable vibe is not diminished by sophisticated live music Wednesdays through Saturdays. Volare scores as both a neighborhood hangout and a city-wide destination.

But first we had to get our table. Let’s talk about that. Continue reading Volare brings its top game to Italian delights

Fine drinks meet fun plates at Red Herring

After many years standing vacant at the top of the hill in Clifton, prompting strollers on the Avenue to muse, “Boy, that would make a great restaurant,” the historic white-brick Hilltop Theater has taken its place on the city’s dining scene as Red Herring Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen. Continue reading Fine drinks meet fun plates at Red Herring