Category Archives: Seafood & Water’s Edge

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

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

Seviche's Churrascos de Argentina.

Seviche remains No. 1 even when the chef’s away

This time it was special. A birthday, an anniversary, and I wanted to treat my bride to the city’s best. So who’s No. 1? It’s gotta be Seviche.

We all know that this city is blessed with a grand buffet of great restaurants, with 20 or more that can dominate on any given day. But Chef Anthony Lamas’ pan-Latino gastronomic temple on Bardstown Road rings my chimes consistently loud and clear.
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Mitchell's Fish Market's Atlantic Cod Shang Hai

Mitchell’s Fish Market re-chains, stays about the same

Here’s one reason why I don’t often review corporate chain eateries: They’re generally predictable. Even the good ones don’t change much, unless the stockholders scream for change, and nothing good generally comes of that.

Take Mitchell’s Fish Market: I last reviewed it in November 2001, when it and its then-corporate partner Martini Italian Bistro had just arrived as anchor restaurants the new Summit shopping center. Continue reading

Mushroom cheesesteak and elote at Mussel & Burger Bar

Mussel & Burger (& Elotes) Bar

Okay, I have to admit, I was dubious at first about the idea of this new place in J’town bringing together mussels and burgers as its signature dishes.

When I heard that Cristina and Fernando Martinez and his cousin, Yaniel, were going to build a bill of fare around two such disparate edibles, my imagination pushed back: “One of these things is not like the other.”
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Buffet plate at Captain's Quarters

Sunday brunch tough choice at Captain’s Quarters

Ahh, Captain’s Quarters! From its striking ski-lodge-style wood and glass building to the decks that ramble over its scenic riverfront slope just up the Ohio at Harrods Creek, within skyline’s view of downtown Louisville, what’s not to like? Continue reading

Fried scrod on rye at Fish-Fry House.

Sincerest form of flattery at Fish-Fry House

Fried scrod on rye at Fish-Fry House.
Fried scrod on rye at Fish-Fry House.
When the Fish-Fry House opened in the Highlands last year, it generated a lot of excitement among local fried-fish lovers (who, of course, are legion), but not entirely for the right reasons. People emailed, they called, they stopped me on the street to pronounce the good news: “The Fishery has opened a branch in the Highlands!” Actually, not so much. In fact, when this purveyor of fried fish and other fried things changed its name from Blue Lagoon about a year ago, it hoisted a logo that looks an awful lot like The Fishery’s: Same fat serif font, same big F at the start and big Y at the end; the only difference is a little “-f” replacing The Fishery’s little “e” in the middle of the word. Drive out Bardstown just past Kroger and check it out. Chances are it will fool you, too.

In fact, the tenuous connection reportedly goes back to an old franchise agreement for a different location. The similar sign was not exactly welcomed by the original Fishery folks, or so I’m told.

But the argument has apparently abated, as the sign still stands. Live and let live. It takes plenty of fish to satisfy all the fish lovers in this fish-happy town, anyway, and that goes double when it’s Lent, the season when a lot of believers, in the spirit of sacrifice, switch over from delicious red meat to delicious fried white fish during the 40 days before Easter.

You don’t have to believe a thing beyond “I believe I’ll have me a fish sandwich” to enjoy the goodies here, though; and I’ll testify that Shahram Pouranfour (who also operates Sharom’s Fishery Station on Outer Loop) is a master of breading and frying. In a recent visit, we didn’t taste a fried item that wasn’t crisp, golden-brown and delicious. The offbeat venue only adds to Fish-Fry’s curb appeal: It’s located in the ‘20s-era gasoline service station that was lovingly renovated for restaurant use by the late, lamented Diamond Station.

The menu, as noted, depends substantially on frying, with fried Boston scrod, chicken, shrimp, chicken livers, oysters, salmon croquettes; even fried alligator tail and fried shark bites, along with a few tasty non-fried items such as oven-baked scrod, on a family-friendly menu topping out at $12.95 (for a fried oyster platter with choice of two sides). The bar is currently shut down, a sign on the door announcing that wine, beer and liquor won’t be available “until further notice.”

We made do with iced tea and filled up on a well-made fried scrod on rye ($6.50), an oversize rolled oyster ($5.75) that resembled a giant hush puppy with tiny fresh oysters baked in, and sides of outstanding fried green tomatoes, standard-issue green beans and, reflecting Pouranfour’s Persian heritage, Iranian-style dilled rice.

Our fried lunch for two, filling enough to set aside any plan for a serious dinner that evening, came to $27.78, plus a $6 tip.

Fish-Fry House
2280 Bardstown Road

fish on rye and onion rings

The Fishery satisfies in Lent and all year ‘round

If you like seafood and fish, dine in a city that’s close to the water. This seems like good advice, but for reasons lost to history, Louisville has always been an exception to this rule.

The city is, and has been, crazy for seafood – particularly fried mild white fish – and we reportedly rank second only to Boston in cod consumed per capita, even though we must look hundreds of miles farther than the muddy Ohio for our source of supply.
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A thigh and a wing for Captain Ahab?

I’ve long been a fan of Moby Dick. The local mini-chain with the cartoon whale logo may look fast-foodish, but they’ve been frying quality cod for nearly 45 years, and they know how to do it right. But the news of a recent addition at the Moby Dick in St. Matthews (4848 Shelbyville Road, near Whole Foods) made my head snap back. Fried chicken?
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We get scrod, and haddock too, at The Fish House

Scrod and Haddock sandwiches

So what’s a scrod? I’ll spare you the notorious Boston cabbie joke (although if you’re desperate to hear it, email me.) Anyway … scrod – or “schrod,” an older variation that’s dying out – is a foodie term that’s hard to pin down. Its definition varies depending on where you look it up.
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Recession-busting dining, cheap but fine

Fish tacos at Bazo's
Bazo’s, which recently moved to new quarters off Dupont Circle, serves one of the city’s best fish tacos. Photo by Robin Garr

LEO’s Eats with
(Bazo’s, Caffe Classico, J. Gumbo’s, Stan’s)

OK, everybody listen up. I’ve told you this before, and chances are you’re going to hear it again: There’s a recession on.

Yes, a recession, and a lot of us are hurting. We’re cutting back on luxuries and hoping we won’t have to cut back on necessities.

For those of us who love food and drink and dining out, we’re whipsawed: It’s harder to justify dropping a pile of bucks on a big evening out, so fine dining may be one of the first indulgences to drop off the budget. But this decision puts a hurtin’ on Louisville’s local, independent restaurant community, the Louisville Originals and Keep Louisville Weirds that make our city an exceptional place to dine for its size.
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