Who we are
Welcome to Robin Garr’s Louisville Restaurant Guide, www.LouisvilleHotBytes.com, the city’s top spot for comprehensive, accurate and unbiased reviews of Louisville restaurants, food and drink, and its most vibrant interactive community of food-and-dining enthusiasts, consumers and food-industry professionals.
You may remember me as the restaurant (and wine) critic at the late, lamented Louisville Times and then The Courier-Journal for most of the 1980s, before Gannett’s purchase of the Louisville newspapers prompted me to bail out of daily journalism and move to New York City in 1990.
When we returned home in 1994, when the Web was new, I decided to start the Louisville Restaurant Guide at Iglou’s invitation because the newspaper had deteriorated badly under Gannett’s management, and its restaurant coverage had become embarrassingly poor. This left a niche wide open for objective, competent restaurant criticism, and with the encouragement of many friends and local “foodies,” I was delighted to fill it. Working entirely at my own expense and continuing the strict rules against conflicts of interest that the Bingham family required when it owned the local newspapers, I launched this site during the summer of 1994.
It has grown over the years, as the Web has grown, both in the content and scope of my submissions and the evolution of the Louisville Restaurants Forum community. We use Web technology to integrate our original content and our busy interactive community; we’re in the process of incorporating videos and, perhaps soon, audio podcasting. But one fundamental premise will never change: I pay my own way, accept no “freebies,” and base all my reports on unannounced visits to ensure that I don’t get special treatment.
In other background, LouisvilleHotBytes.com also provides restaurant, food and drink content for LEO and The Voice-Tribune, and have written widely about food and wine for national publications. I’m host of WineLoversPage.com, the oldest, largest and most awarded wine-appreciation Website, where I host the WineLovers Discussion Group forums and publish the popular wine E-letters, The 30 Second Wine Advisor and the Wine Advisor FoodLetter. I was a manager of the CompuServe Information Service’s Wine Forum from 1985-1997 and from 2005-2008 (and continue providing wine content to its Cooks Online forum; served as host of the Classical Connoisseur program on National Public Radio’s Radio Catskill from 1990-1993, and have judged wine in international competitions and at home in Louisville, where I was one of the founding judges of the Kentucky State Fair wine competition.
Let’s be frank: We offer you not only the best but also the most restaurant coverage in our town and serve the city’s largest audience of resident “foodies,” with monthly circulation in the hundreds of thousands of readers, far exceeding the competition in quality and scope. I count on you to help us build this lead by visiting us often, keeping us informed … and by telling your friends about LouisvilleHotBytes.com.
I welcome your suggestions and comments, tips about local restaurant news and recommendations about places I should try. If you would like to get in touch, feel free to post a comment or question or, if you prefer, send me E-mail at rgarr@LouisvilleHotBytes.com. I will reply promptly to all questions or comments.