Our sibling print publication, Food & Dining Louisville Edition, will be on the streets with its Fall 2005 edition in a few weeks. Here’s a free preview, our quarterly report on openings, closings and changes on the local restaurant scene:
As we do every quarter, Food & Dining comes up with a quick, rough-and-ready diagnosis of the health of the local restaurant business by tracking recent restaurant openings and closings. This round, the doctor’s report is good, amid considerable activity: A total of 30 new restaurants have opened for business around the metro area, while only about 20 (including, unfortunately, a disproportionate share of mom-and-pop ethnic spots) closed their doors.
Continue reading What’s new around town
Look, don’t make the same stupid mistake that I did. For months I’ve been putting off an evening trip out to Westport General Store for no particularly good reason. “It’s too far,” I whined. “It’s way out in the country. Takes forever to get there.”
Yesterday afternoon, as we drew toward the close of one of those achingly beautiful early-autumn days with blue October skies as brilliant as a sapphire and foliage popping against it like a postcard with colors too bright to be real, we finally packed the car with provisions for a long trip and hit the road to Westport. Huh. It’s just 20 miles out US42 from the Watterson, a 25-minute trip out one of the most scenic highways in the region … and that’s before the leaves start to turn.
Less than a half-hour. One-sixth of the time you’d have to wait for a table at P.F. Chang’s on a Saturday night. And when we got there, we found a cozy spot in a pleasant setting, where proprietors Will and Laura Crawford and their crew provide a comfortably sophisticated bill of fare that would in no way be out of place in the fanciest bistro on Bardstown Road or Frankfort Avenue.
Continue reading Westport General Store
Sometimes it seems like there’s no better way to start a long, lazy Saturday than a hearty breakfast. And when I talk about breakfast, I don’t mean brunch. Eggs, bacon and toast, not your quiche and salad bar. A steaming cup of strong coffee works for me, save the Champagne and the bloody Mary for later in the day, thanks.
I’ve been enjoying dining out for breakfast quite a bit lately, discovering a number of recent restaurant arrivals that either specialize in breakfast or at least make it a serious part of their bill of fare. Let’s celebrate this sunny Saturday with a quick look at a half-dozen of them.
I have to confess that I was a little shy at first about checking out Logos Coffee House (2250 Frankfort Ave,  897-2272), pictured above.
Continue reading Breakfast!
The humble cheeseburger quietly celebrated a landmark anniversary this year as Kaelin’s declared Wednesday, Oct. 12, the 70th anniversary of the day that restaurant founder Carl Kaelin allegedly had the bright idea of draping a slice of cheese atop a sizzling grilled burger, and a great new sandwich was born. (For a long time I doubted this story, figuring such a simple idea surely must have occurred to someone centuries earlier; but extensive Web searching suggests that Kaelin’s claim is true.)
By happy coincidence, I dropped by Kaelin’s that day to meet some buddies for lunch, not realizing that it was a red-letter day. In honor of its birthday, the cheeseburger platter was on sale for just $5.95, two bucks off its regular price. Naturally I ordered one, with onion “straws” and a cup of Kaelin’s chili on the side.
Continue reading Fine burgers: Kaelin’s and Primo
UPDATE: After only a few months, Benny’s new place has gone out of business. We’re back to one Impellizzeri again, but happily, brother Tony recently celebrated his 11th anniversary in business at Vieux Carre. Ardent fans of the Impellizzeri style of pizza – and they are legion – have been bereft since early this year when Benny Impellizzeri abruptly shut down the familiar pizzeria on Bardstown road that his father had founded a generation ago.
The fact that Benny’s brother, Tony, had gone off on his own 10 years ago and was producing virtual clones of the family pie from the identical recipe failed to soothe them, because Tony’s new spot was way the hell out in the suburbs, a long trek through traffic for hungry Highlands residents.
Now there’s good news and bad news: The good news is that Benny is back in business, so the city now has the option, somewhat colored by sibling rivalry, of choosing either Benny’s version (“The Original Impellizzeri’s”) or Tony’s spot (“Tony Impellizzeri’s Italian”). Continue reading Impellizzeri Impellizzeri!
Now there are two
Restaurateur Bim Deitrich has been serving fine food in Louisville for just about as long as I’ve been writing about it, and he’s not slowing down any more than I am. Deitrich, who was a key player in several of the popular spots that started Louisville’s modern restaurant era back in the ’70s (Hearthstone Tavern, the Bristol and Formally Myra’s) and more recently honchoed Deitrich’s Brasserie, Allo Spiedo and Red Lounge, is launching his latest effort and potentially one of the hottest: Primo, 445 E. Market St., (502) 583-1808. (Related review and rating: Click here.)
Primo, featuring Italian cuisine from one end of Italy (Piemonte) to the other (Sicily) opens to the public Monday, Oct. 3, but held several “soft openings” by invitation this week. Since my anonymity is blown here in any case (Bim has known who I am for years), I sneaked in the other night with an invited crowd of “foodies” from our Louisville Restaurants Forum, and I’m glad I did. Continue reading Primo looks promising