Category Archives: $$ Modest ($20-$40)

We go Malaysian in the autumn heat

Satay
Whether you go for the Malaysian dishes or prowl the East on August Moon’s eclectic menu, this 20-year-old eatery remains a favorite. The chicken satay recipe comes from Chef Peng Looi’s hometown of Ipoh, Malaysia. LEO Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(August Moon, Festa Italiana)

When the weather forecast for the first weekend of autumn calls for high temperatures in the middle 90s, something just plain isn’t right.

What can we do about it? I’ll leave the big picture details to Al Gore, but as for me, I’ve got a plan: We’ll go with the climate flow, but gradually switch over to dining on tropical cuisines. I figure folks who live within shouting distance of the equator probably know something about eating to beat the heat.

Happily, it’s not hard to find tropical cuisines in Louisville, where warm-climate dining options range among such favorites as Vietnam Kitchen, Mayan Café, Thai Taste, Queen of Sheba, Taste of Jamaica, the recently relocated Chez Seneba and many more.

The other day, though, sitting around with the air-conditioning cranked up and nursing an appetite, I found myself craving authentic Malaysian satay. Continue reading We go Malaysian in the autumn heat

The quality factor: Three local gems

Caffe Classico
Caffé Classico stands out on Frankfort Avenue for its cool, sophisticated Euro-style atmosphere and excellent coffee and espresso drinks. Owner-chef Tommie Mudd recently introduced a full dinner menu. Photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes
(Caffé Classico dinner, Mojito brunch, Original Impellizzeri’s)

In a world where MBAs rule and where economic terms like “monetization” and “quarterly balance sheet” and even the blunt “bottom line” hold sway, it sometimes seems as if the simple concept of succeeding through high quality and honest service at a fair price has become old-fashioned and even a bit naive.

Happily for local food lovers and the restaurant-going public, though, these sweetly antiquated concepts remain alive and well among many of Louisville’s excellent local, un-chained restaurateurs.

We’ve stepped up to the dinner plate and had three home runs smacked directly at our taste buds in recent weeks. Continue reading The quality factor: Three local gems

Amerigo discovers Louisville

Amerigo

(Amerigo Italian Restaurant, Voice-Tribune, Aug. 9, 2007)

Amerigo Vespucci, a minor mapmaker of fifteenth century Italy, may have visited the New World briefly a decade or so after Christopher Columbus set foot ashore in 1492.

Yet, thanks to another mapmaker who named the new continents after his cartographic colleague, the Americas are forever known by Vespucci’s slightly altered first name; while Columbus’s moniker attaches only to such relatively little-known patriotic hymns as “Hail Columbia” and, well, the capital of Ohio.

Now Amerigo gains a 21st century connection on the sign over the door of a six-unit, Nashville-based Italian-style restaurant chain that recently opened its first Louisville property. Housed in the building that was formerly home to Harper’s, Amerigo Italian Restaurant has built a substantial word-of-mouth buzz since its opening last month.

We’ve found a lot to like on early visits: Continue reading Amerigo discovers Louisville

Plus ça change at Café Lou Lou

Cafe Lou Lou
One of the reasons Café Lou Lou’s new locale works is the retention of the original look, including striking art pieces. LEO photo by Nicole Pullen.

LEO’s Eat ‘n’ Blog with Louisville HotBytes

The 19th century French satirist and polymath Alphonse Karr was not, as far as we know, a food critic. But when he penned the lines, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” (“The more things change, the more they stay the same”), he might as well have been talking about Louisville’s Café Lou Lou.

A lot of us obligate urbanites were horrified to learn earlier this year that Chef Clay Wallace and co-owner Helen Ellis planned to move the popular eatery’s quarters from Frankfort Avenue in Clifton to St. Matthews, literally across the street from where Sears used to be.

Leaving the artsy, hippy-dippy diversity of Clifton for almost-suburban St. Matthews? How can this be, we wailed! Café Lou Lou can’t possibly stay the same! How can it survive in the whitebread land of SUVs?

As it turns out, the answer to these questions turns out to be, “Very nicely indeed.” Or, if you prefer, “Plus ça change.”
Continue reading Plus ça change at Café Lou Lou