G3 – A Great Bite: One person’s opinion

Faux CJ front page

(By Jim Murphy. Republished with permission from G3 Illustrated)

Taste and palate are extremely personal and subjective. A restaurant review is simply one person’s opinion – their view, attitude or appraisal of a particular dining experience. It is not, nor should it ever be, a definitive statement of superlative or the death knell of any restaurant.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case in our little burg. Citizens apparently take heed of our locally published restaurant reviews. As a result, La Rouge, which had the possibility of being one of Louisville’s shining dining destinations, was unable to survive in light of one man’s assessment of his meal (which I am given to understand he consumed completely during yet his third dining venture to La Rouge).

We all were at the March G3 Soiree hosted by La Rouge. It was a blast. Bobby J sang his characteristic American standards. Food and drink was galore. The layout naturally lends itself to mingling yet with great booths for more intimate conversations. I loved the idea of having a chic, modern place to meet for dinner or drinks in Louisville’s Gay Ghetto.

Admittedly, Michael and I were a little bit cautious about having dinner at La Rouge following the scathing review in [The Courier-Journal]. The paper got it wrong. It was yet another dining event rather than merely supper (or suppah as I would have said in my younger days). Great Food; Great Service; Great Fun!

The menu was upscale American Bistro. Michael and I feasted on wonderful calamari and luscious crab cakes. The dinner was a number of small plates; salmon, filet mignon and a spicy pasta dish. All presented beautifully. All complemented with wonderful vegetables. All in all, a great dining experience.

Rick Longino was the owner and head chef. Rick was chef for many Gay Icons on tour: Cher, the Backstreet Boys, Barry Manilow and Neil Diamond to mention a few. He cooked for us as if we were Rock Stars. How many of you boys and girls have had Cher’s chef cooking for you? We have, and it was fabulous!

Michael and I had an experience 180 degrees different from that supposedly had by the local “one star” reviewer. It simply does not make sense. I cannot help but think that given the editorial commentary and downright gossip in the review that the reviewer had an axe to grind. I wonder … why?

For La Rouge to close before it even got started is just a shame. It’s a real loss to Louisville, but more particularly to our community.

So, I repeat my theme – a review is just an opinion. And guys and gals, we need to support financially the businesses that support us. So please check out G3 Illustrated’s advertisers and patronize them. We really can make a difference!

By Jim Murphy
G3 Illustrated
April 2007