Category Archives: Frankfort Ave., Clifton, Crescent Hill

54 bottles of wine on the wall …

Lamb pops
L&N Wine Bar and Bistro’s “lamb pops,” four bite-sized lamb chops over large Israeli couscous. It’s an appetizer that’s substantial enough to serve as a light main course. Photos by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes

I’ve been predisposed to like L&N Wine Bar and Bistro ever since it opened. I’m a wine geek, and the owners are wine geeks. With its majestic wall of wine, a 54-bottle Cruvinet wine-storage facility and dispenser that’s the largest made, it boasts a wine program that’s second to none.

More than 100 wines are available for tasting, from as little as $2.50 for 2-ounce “taste” of several value-priced items to $60 for a bottle of more upscale wine. Connoisseurs may also choose from a short daily list of higher-end wines on the Cruvinet, or peruse the book-length cellar list.

But you don’t have to be a wine geek to enjoy this place: Continue reading 54 bottles of wine on the wall …

Psst! Try this Derby Daily Double

Shaking beef
Basa Modern Vietnamese’s Shaking Beef, a dish made famous by San Francisco’s Slanted Door. Photos by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Basa Modern Vietnamese, Mojito)

Derby is big in Louisville, not just for racing but for restaurants, too. If you don’t have reservations already for the popular spots, you’re pretty much out of luck unless you’re willing to take a place in line.

Restaurateurs rush to get new eateries open for Derby frenzy, scheduling grand openings to catch the Derby tide. Last year it was Proof on Main, Nio’s and the short-lived Danielle’s. In 2005 we got Blu in the Marriott, 316 Ormsby and that wacky Fourth Street Live.

This year two sophisticated new eateries with ethnic flavors form a winning daily double: Basa Modern Vietnamese in Crescent Hill is named after a Vietnamese fish. Mojito in Holiday Manor is named for a Cuban libation. Both spots are welcome additions, already generating a noisy buzz. You can put them both into an exacta box: They’re sure winners.
Continue reading Psst! Try this Derby Daily Double

NO-ni and more wacky pizzas

Danny Mac's pizzas
A couple of pies from Danny Mac’s: At left, the wacky bacon chicken ranch with a base of ranch dressing in lieu of tomato sauce. At right, a more traditional version with sausage, onions and peppers. Photo by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Cafe Lou Lou, Primo, Tony BoomBozz, California Pizza Kitchen and Danny Mac’s)

Pizza fundamentalists, not unlike the other kind of fundamentalists, insist that there is only one true way. Any variation on the strict Neapolitan tradition – save possibly for a select few authorized New York City variations – is not merely blasphemous but perverted. Let the congregation answer: “Amen!”
Continue reading NO-ni and more wacky pizzas

Kingfish on Fridays

Kingfish
Hearts of oak: Faux Olde Englishe and whimsical nautical decor provide the River Road Kingfish an atmosphere surprisingly reminiscent of the Galt House. Photo by Robin Garr.

Fat Tuesday is inexorably followed by Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent; and even for those of us who don’t religiously adhere to the custom of fast and abstinence, enjoying a platter of sizzling fried fish is a tradition of the season that’s easy to indulge in.

The other night, rushing the season a bit, we wandered over to the Kingfish restaurant near the foot of Zorn Avenue (3021 River Road, [502] 895-0544) for a pre-Lent preview at one of Louisville’s most enduring fish restaurants, a chain founded in 1948 and named, believe it or not, after a character on the then-popular Amos and Andy radio show.
Continue reading Kingfish on Fridays

How can we miss Impellizzeri’s when it hasn’t gone away?

Impellizzeri's pizza
There’s nothing quite like an Impellizzeri’s pie. If the closing of the Highlands location made you cry, dry your eyes and head for the ‘burbs. Photo by Robin Garr.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Tony Impellizzeri’s, Taste of Jamaica, Mayan Café and more)

Pizza may trace its culinary roots to Naples in Italy, but since this delicious immigrant-food treat exploded out of its ethnic enclaves in the Northeast to become a national phenomenon back when the first Baby Boomers were growing up, it’s become as all-American as, well, chow mein or frankfurters.

Over the generations in Louisville, a handful of Italian family names have become household words inextricably associated with the noble pie: Calandrino’s in Louisville, and more recently, Tony Boombozz; in Lexington, Joe Bologna’s. Some of the city’s big-name Italian eateries, including the off-again, on-again Lentini’s and the late, still-lamented Casa Grisanti, can trace their heritage, at least in part, to the humble pizza.

But one familiar Louisville pizza family name may carry more weight than all the rest, and we’re not just talking about its massive pies: For a full generation, one pizza maker remained the place to go for a filling ration: Impellizzeri’s.
Continue reading How can we miss Impellizzeri’s when it hasn’t gone away?

Chili today, hot tamale

Flabby's chili
Flabby’s chili is a simple, classic preparation – coarsely ground beef in chunks with tender red beans and just enough short strands of spaghetti to make it Louisville-style. Photos by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Five noteworthy bowls of red; Karma Café)

Tomatoes or no tomatoes? Beans or no beans? Chopped meat or ground meat? Chile powder or dried chilies or fresh? And by the way, is it “chile” or is it “chili”? Gimme a break! This is almost like listening to the Kentucky legislature arguing about whether evolution or intelligent design should be taught in our schools.

Much of the chili debate centers around the argument that chili is a historic dish with a long tradition that started in the Texas-Mexico border country and was spread across the heartland by cowboys on the open range, and that it must be a pure, unadulterated combination of beef and chile peppers, nothing more, without adulterants or fillers no matter how delicious those additives might be.
Continue reading Chili today, hot tamale