By Robin Garr
“Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.” Yogi Berra may or may not have said that, and if he did, he was talking about Ruggeri’s, an iconic Italian restaurant on The Hill in St. Louis.
But Yogi might as well have been talking about The House of Marigold, a stylish new restaurant out Shelbyville Road. This breakfast-and-lunch spot opened late in March and got so popular, so fast, that it took me until now to find a way to beat the crowds and get in. Continue reading The early bird gets the table at House of Marigold
By Robin Garr
When I get a restaurant meal, I look for a number of things whether I’m reviewing or not, but especially if I am.
• I like a sense of design and style that doesn’t get in the way of comfort.
• I like good service. Friendly is fine. Fawning is not. And competence matters.
• I like a menu that’s clear, informative and easy to read in dim light; that lets me know what a dish is like. Extra points for naming the sources of meats and produce.
• Most of all, I like good food. Isn’t that what a restaurant is for? And “like” turns to “love” if the food isn’t just good but shows off the chef’s creativity and bold experimentation.
A recent visit to Naive Kitchen + Bar in Butchertown ticked off every one of those boxes, cementing its place among my local favorites. Continue reading Creative Naive scores high on our critic’s criteria
By Robin Garr
“I recently had the pleasure of dining at North of Bourbon, a New Orleans-style restaurant in Louisville. From the moment I walked in, I was transported to the vibrant, colorful world of the Big Easy.
“The atmosphere at North of Bourbon is lively and energetic, with good music, colorful Christmas decorations, and the smell of good food and spices in the air. The menu is filled with classic New Orleans dishes as well as more unusual offerings. The portions are generous, and the flavors are bold and spicy.
“But the real star of the show is the bourbon.”
Okay, hold it right there. Continue reading You don’t need artificial intelligence to love North of Bourbon
By Robin Garr
More than a year later, when the local food critic finally heads out to a fine local restaurant for a relaxing sit-down dinner, where does he go? For me, the answer is simple: It has to be Seviche.
I’m always reluctant to name any restaurant my Number One, as any of five or ten favorites could wear the crown on any given day. But Seviche always makes me happy. Continue reading Seviche always satisfies
It’s hard to believe that Louisville got its first sushi bar, of sorts, as recently as the middle 1980s. (It’s also hard to believe that I’ve been writing about food and drink for that long, but that’s another story for another day.)
Back when Louisville had its first taste of locally-made sushi, served over a Fourth Street drug-store lunch counter on Thursdays only, the idea of sushi was a bit divisive. A few of us yelled “Yay!” A substantial percentage responded, “Yuk! Raw fish!”
Times have surely changed. Continue reading hiko-A-mon’s fine Japanese style rewards our eyes and palates
GI wonder if you miss sitting down to a good meal in a fine local restaurant as much as I do.
It’s not just about the food. Driving through Holiday Manor the other day, I spotted Grassa Gramma and remembered how much fun it is to dine there. Continue reading Grassa Gramma takeout makes a fine Italian dinner at home
Cochinita pibil. These two Spanish words – one common, the other not so much – shine a bright light on both the Mayan cuisine of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula and neighboring Guatemala and into one of Louisville’s favorite South-of-the-Border restaurants, Mayan Cafe.
So what’s a cochinita pibil? A little pig – that’s the easy part – long and slowly roasted in a tart, flavorful marinade of sour oranges and Mayan spices, housed in a large metal box and lowered into a pib, the traditional Mayan fire pit.
Mayan Cafe doesn’t have a giant fire-in-the-hole in the tiny kitchen of its NuLu home, but I can testify that Chef Bruce Ucán’s oven-roasted rendition is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen done to pork. Continue reading Cochinita pibil at Mayan Cafe takes us straight to Yucatán
The tall gray stone sanctuary of Calvary Lutheran Church was approaching its 90th anniversary when its congregation, aging and declining in numbers, regretfully decided to pack it in. “Emptying the building. Sad work,” the Rev. Austin Newberry wrote in February 2016 in the final post on Calvary’s Facebook page.
But now the lofty nave is filled with a new kind of spirit as Noche Mexican BBQ, opened early in August, settles in. Continue reading Noche, the church of Mexican BBQ
SOU might mean “South.” It could represent “soul.” Yet the proper way to pronounce the name of this new Plainview-area eatery is not “sow” or “soo” but “So-you.” Intentional ambiguity seems to lie at the heart of this upscale dining room in a thoroughly renovated former Skyline Chili parlor, and that’s all right. Continue reading However you pronounce SOU, we sure like it.
The bright mustard-yellow exterior paint job that made Bistro 1860 (2013-2018) stand out is gone, replaced by tasteful off-white with light sage-green trim. The huge 54-unit Cruvinet wine dispensing machine that made L & N Wine Bar (2004-2012) special is gone, too, a victim of disuse.
But the latest occupant in the historic 19th century brick farmhouse at the corner of Brownsboro Road and Mellwood Avenue, Hearth on Mellwood Eatery (2019- ), is looking good. Continue reading Cozy comfort and creative cookery at Hearth on Mellwood