Category Archives: $$$ Upscale ( $40 – $60)

The American Royal ribs at Fieri’s Smokehouse.

We try not to go all snob on Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse

Guy Fieri has brought his brand to town, and local foodies are all atwitter. The jokes just write themselves, and you can find them all over social media.

I’ve been trying to stay above the fray by ignoring it. I sent regrets on an invitation to a public relations extravaganza at the new Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse in Fourth Street Live. Apparently, if my colleague Michael Powell is to be believed, that soiree attracted a deplorable pack of food writers and bloggers with noses uniformly raised and pinkies delicately extended. 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

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

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

The Rack of Lamb at Saffron's.

Saffron’s, a long-term keeper

Just over a month ago I spoke with joy of the memorable rice ball experience at Silvio’s. I love Italian rice balls! Two-bite rounds of deliciously spiced and seasoned rice, rendered crunchy and crusty, served with a savory sauce? Rice balls make a great appetizer, not to mention the ultimate bar snack.

And now I’m here to tell you about another rice ball, the Persian-accented, herb-scented kofteh berengee (herbed rice balls) at Saffron’s. Continue reading

A sushi plate at Asahi: Dragon roll, tuna roll and AAC roll.

Comfy Asahi Japanese makes a good first choice or backup

OhBoyOhBoyOhBoy! We’re going to La Chasse tonight! I’ve been waiting a while for this hot new spot on Bardstown Road to hit its stride before rushing in for a review, and tonight’s the night. I’m getting cleaned up and ready, singing happy songs in the shower, where the acoustics are great.

Then Mary hammers on the door. Continue reading

Butchertown Grocery's grilled cheese with tomato soup

“Honest, simple” fare commands white-tablecloth prices at Butchertown Grocery

Hey! Let’s go out and get some gnocchi for dinner!

These are words one rarely hears, unless one grew up in a family or with friends who had an old-country Italian Nonna around. Hell, there aren’t many people around here who know what a gnocchi is (or, to be pedantic, what gnocchi are); and fewer still who know how to pronounce it. Continue reading

DiFabio's cheese-stuffed tortellini special with spinach and basil butter.

DiFabio’s offers comforting Italian family fare

Mmm, mmm, Tortellini! Who doesn’t love these little stuffed pasta rings? Artfully rolled into small rounds, their Italian name stems from “torta,” naming them as “little cakes,” a moniker that doesn’t actually make much sense since there’s nothing very cake-like about them. If you want descriptive food words, try their alternative name, ombelico, a.k.a. “belly buttons.” Continue reading

The steak padron Chimichurri at Artesano

Could Artesano possibly be that good? Yup. Sure could.

Will the Martinez family ever stop opening new restaurants? It’s starting to look more and more as if their Olé Restaurant Group – the metaphorical Energizer Bunny of Louisville-area dining – may keep on keeping on until they have an individual eatery for every family in the Metro. Continue reading

The steak-and-egg burger at Fontleroy's

Fontleroy’s: The buzz builds

To hear the buzz emanating from the local foodie blogosphere you might think that the newborn Fontleroy’s represents the second coming of Chef Georges Auguste Escoffier or somebody.

They’ve got a point, too. There is a lot to like about Fontleroy’s. It’s Chef Allan Rosenberg’s latest venture, and he’s cheffed a string of winners with a relentless focus on food quality and creative preparation. Service is very strong. And our own Marsha (“Industry Standard”) Lynch whomps up some excellent desserts. It’s in a great Bardstown Road location, and it’s fun.
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