Category Archives: Voice-Tribune review

Coals Brings The Heat To Make A Fine Pizza

If you grew up eating pizza in Louisville – or for that matter just about anywhere in the U.S. outside, possibly, the urban Northeast – you may be excused for believing that pizza is all about the toppings. Sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, bacon and pineapple and even anchovies, oh, my: Pile ’em high! And don’t forget to dollop on the sweet, sweet tomato sauce and a lake of molten, stringy cheese. Continue reading Coals Brings The Heat To Make A Fine Pizza

MilkWood Becomes A Prime Destination

For the first month or so after it opened in February, if you wanted to check out what Chef Edward Lee and his crew were doing at MilkWood, it was easy: Just wait until the play started at Actors Theatre of Louisville upstairs. The restaurant would empty out, and you could enjoy your meal in almost solitary splendor.

This trick doesn’t work so well any more. Continue reading MilkWood Becomes A Prime Destination

Sweet, Sweet Cornbread And More At Napa River Grill

How do you like your cornbread? Like Scarlett O’Hara, most Southern folk don’t give a damn for sweet cornbread. North of the Mason-Dixon, however, cornbread without a touch of sweetness seems just plain weird.

This topic came to mind the other day at Napa River Grill, where we were offered iron mini-skillets loaded with domed rounds of golden-brown cornbread topped with balls of soft butter. It was good cornbread indeed, crunchy on the surface, crumbly within, coarse-grained and sweet, sweet, sweet. You could put this on the dessert menu and call it corn cake.
Continue reading Sweet, Sweet Cornbread And More At Napa River Grill

Yang Kee Noodle came to town 10 years ago, and we’re glad

I wouldn’t want to say that I’m an incurable fanboy, but I can’t deny that I’ve spent more than a few long days lining up at Oxmoor Center, eagerly waiting my turn to be among the first to grab the latest and greatest iDevice from the Apple store.

And better yet, if hunger pangs strike after a few hours of inching ever so slowly forward in the quest for your iThing, you can always make a quick food run to Yang Kee Noodle, bribing your neighbors to save your spot by promising them a delivery of steaming pad thai, sizzling egg rolls or an oversize cup of hot-and-sour soup.
Continue reading Yang Kee Noodle came to town 10 years ago, and we’re glad

Hiko-A-Mon’s fine Japanese fare earns a following

Who doesn’t love a bento? Whether you grew up admiring doll houses or tool boxes, the neat, orderly compartments in a Japanese bento box, each carefully loaded with a tiny, artful portion, speaks not only to our hungry adult identities but the inner child within.
Continue reading Hiko-A-Mon’s fine Japanese fare earns a following

DiOrio’s earns its place on Pizza Row

When DiOrio’s pizza first settled into the former home of Karem’s Meats in St. Matthews, it already seemed that this booming nightspot zone was attracting more pizzerias than it could reasonably handle … and that was before Coal’s or Mellow Mushroom came to town.
Continue reading DiOrio’s earns its place on Pizza Row

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

Kick (re)start Taco Punk? Sure, why not?

Taco Punk is just over a year old now in February 2013, and I am mighty happy to see it pass that first birthday, the make-or-break point that conventional wisdom sets as a marker of success in the restaurant business. 

Some observers might have doubted that owner-chef Gabe Sowder’s amiable NuLu storefront would reach this point, as it has faced more wacky challenges in its first 12 months than I’ve seen in quite a few years on the eats beat.
Continue reading Kick (re)start Taco Punk? Sure, why not?

“It takes real bocconcini”: Mellow Mushroom takes on the locals

“Downtown” St. Matthews has come a long way, from the generation when it was best known for dark bars populated by portly gentlemen drinking cold beer, to the modern era that finds it chockablock with hipster bars populated by trendy young folks wearing skinny jeans and drinking specialty cocktails. I won’t even open the door to a discussion about whether this trend is beneficial or regrettable, although I’ll suggest that this opinion lies largely in the eye of the beholder.
Continue reading “It takes real bocconcini”: Mellow Mushroom takes on the locals

Cafe Lou Lou Thrives “Where Sears Used To Be”

Here’s something worth knowing about Cafe Lou Lou in St. Matthews: Among all the city’s restaurants, edging out even such close contenders as Equus & Jack’s, Del Frisco’s, Charim Korean and Havana Rumba, it arguably stands closest of all to that iconic Louisville location: “Where the old Sears store used to be.” Continue reading Cafe Lou Lou Thrives “Where Sears Used To Be”