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

When we say “Ciao” to Ciao, we mean hello and welcome

Ciao!” Pronounce it “chow,” or something close to that, which makes it an ironically cheeky name for a friendly eatery. There’s ambiguity in this Italian greeting, though: Much like “Aloha” or “Shalom” or maybe even “Good Day,” you can use it to say hello, and you can also use it to say goodbye.

So let’s say “Ciao,” meaning “howdy,” to Ciao Ristorante, the warm and inviting establishment that has finally filled the long-vacant space where the beloved Baxter Station sadly said its “Ciao” as farewell in the summer of 2013. Continue reading When we say “Ciao” to Ciao, we mean hello and welcome

We dine on the fat of the land, er, lamb, at Fat Lamb

When you think about a place named The Fat Lamb, if you think about it at all, you would probably imagine a temple of carnivorous delights.

And just as you would expect, Louisville’s new Fat Lamb offers some of Chef Dallas McGarity’s appealing takes on lamb, pig, cow, chicken, a bulging net full of seafood and fish. What’s more, there’s a similarly delicious cornucopia of healthy veggies. Continue reading We dine on the fat of the land, er, lamb, at Fat Lamb

Red Barn Kitchen is newer than dirt, and it’s good.

Now and then I crack that the Martinez family’s Olé Restaurant Group is “The Energizer Bunny of Louisville dining.” All together now, let’s say that again: I’ve just returned from my third review of an Olé Group eatery, and I’m delighted to award Red Barn Kitchen my “Recommended” gold star.

But something about this restaurant is different from all the rest. Continue reading Red Barn Kitchen is newer than dirt, and it’s good.

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

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 Mercato brings Italian style to Norton Commons

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 Eiderdown in Germantown makes us happy