Category Archives: Bistros

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

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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

Decca's pan-seared walleye. LEO photo by Frankie Steele

Our critic gets back to Decca and loves it as much as ever

Stop me if I’ve told you this before, but I have to say it again: One of the best parts about being a dining critic is that I get to try out all the great new eateries (and a lot of the old ones) around town. But one of the worst things about being a dining critic is that I can’t get back to my favorites as often as I would like.

I’m looking at you, Decca! 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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A full plate from the lunch buffet at Shandaar Indian Restaurant.

Something old, something new

Let’s touch down for a couple of quick hits on the metro dining scene this week. Uptown Café has been a Bardstown Road landmark for 20 years, serving always reliable fare in a friendly setting that keeps bringing people back for more.

Shandaar Indian is so new that its well-crafted Facebook page still has that new-page smell. So far out in the East End that it feels closer to downtown Shelbyville than downtown Louisville, it proved to be well worth the trek.
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The Orechiette at 8UP

8UP is stunning, but how about the food?

Even after many years of wisecracking about food, I have to doff my toque to Calvin Trillin, whose culinary scribblings in The New Yorker and elsewhere surely qualify him as the funniest food writer ever.

So, upon my recent visit to 8UP, the self-described “Elevated Drinkery and Kitchen” atop the new downtown Hilton Garden Inn, it was with great glee that I went a’Googling in search of my favorite Trillin quote about rooftop eateries.
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Bistro 1860's Colorado Rack of Lamb

Hate winter? Warm your soul and tummy at Bistro 1860

I try hard to be open-minded. I really do.

Consider the evidence: I’m a U of L grad, but I’m willing to root for UK or even IU, assuming that they aren’t playing the home team. I’m male yet feminist, straight yet affirming. And even as a card-carrying liberal, I voted for at least one Republican on last month’s ballot. Hey, it’s something!

But all this tolerance stops when we talk about the seasons.
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Tarte de tomates

Brasserie Provence soothes the savage critic

“Music hath charms to soothe the savage breast.” Or maybe “beast.” Everybody thinks the Bard wrote this, but it was actually William Congreve, a decidedly lesser poet who lived a century or so after Bill Shakspear trod the boards.

Whatever.

My breast was savage, and so was my beast, the other day. I was crabby. I’ll admit it. And I showed few signs of getting better. What was gnawing at my liver? Let me count the ways. (The Bard really did say that.)
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The ruby trout at Anoosh Bistro.

Anoosh is back! Now, what is he going to do?

Here’s a pro tip for restaurant servers: Don’t suck up. Even if you think you’ve spotted a food critic in the house, don’t do it. It can lead to no good end.

Or maybe you don’t reserve the obsequiousness for suspected food writers. Maybe you fawn over everyone who comes in the door, thinking that bowing and scraping like a rug merchant in a Middle Eastern bazaar will prompt everyone to shower you with big tips.

Take this clue: It doesn’t work. Or it sure as hell doesn’t work for me, anyway.
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Grilled oysters at LouVino

LouVino? LOUVINO? What? I can’t heeeaaarrr you!

We stepped into the high-ceilinged room that had housed De La Torre’s for so many years. It looks … different. And very cool. There’s wood all around, and glass and some brass, too, and a bar so long it goes back to there, backed by an awe-inspiring wall of wines housed in high-tech argon gas dispensers that keep the vino fresh.

Also, it’s loud, and by “loud,” I mean LOUD! as in “I can’t hear a frappin’ word you’re saying!”
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