Category Archives: Bistros

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

The Hub's grilled-kale salad

The Hub is on a roll

Let’s get this right up front: I miss River City Tire. Nice folks selling good tires at fair prices, and whenever that stupid little flat-tire icon lit up on my dashboard, I could run by and get a free pressure check with a friendly smile.

But River City Tire is gone. There’s no use crying bitter tears over that. And I have to admit that the new building that replaced the old urban-grunge industrial facility fits nicely in to the upscale urban scene that promoters have dubbed The Avenue. 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

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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