“What is your favorite restaurant?”
âWhat’s the best restaurant in town?â
As a regular who writes about my experiences, I get these questions a lot.
However, my answers to stocks aren’t as simple as you might expect: my favorite is probably where I last ate. The best? I won’t name any. I could name 10, but what 10? They change often. And that regardless of the pandemic, the favorites that have closed and new favorites that are still gaining a foothold.
In other words, to talk about my favorite restaurant, it takes a whole column because it’s like potato chips: I can’t just make one. High-end, white tablecloth, cheap food? Down-to-earth, world cuisine … where from?
So let’s break that down and I’ll tell you about a few places that I particularly like.
For the record, restaurants with white tablecloths don’t actually need white tablecloths. But they should be classy and upscale, with excellent food and attentive service. Two of my current favorites are Seviche (1538 Bardstown Road, 473-8560) where Chef Anthony Lamas serves some of the best creative pan-Latino dishes, with a commitment to sustainable seafood, and Anoosh Bistro (4864 Brownsboro Center, 690-6585), where head chef Anoosh Shariat serves upscale American cuisine with international accents in a stylish setting.
As an old stockyard town, Louisville has its share of steakhouses, most of which exist at the same rare price levels as white tablecloth restaurants. I enjoy it among many Le Moo (2300 Lexington Road, 458-8888) for the quality of the steaks, yes, but also for the variety of the menu and of course for the unforgettably wacky decor. Another favorite is Brooklyn and the Butcher (148 E. Market St., New Albany, Indiana, 812-590-2646.) Set in the stylish surroundings of a historic former hotel, it offers a tempting mix of quality steaks and chops, plus a raw bar, fascinating small dishes, even creative vegetarian options.
I’ve already told you about it Sevichethat fits equally well under white tablecloths, upscale Latino and seafood categories. Another winner in this department (which could also be listed in top Italian) is Volare Italian Ristorante (2300 Frankfort Ave., 894-4446), where Chef Joshua Moore combines an impressive, chef-led, Italian menu with locally sourced ingredients and daily seafood specialties with fresh, sustainably caught fish.
All of these places are delightful and expensive. This is a problem for me because between pandemic restrictions and pandemic economics, affordable food is both a choice and a necessity for me these days.
Fortunately, Louisville abounds in cheap restaurants where a couple can dine in style for $ 50 or less, and sometimes as much as $ 30 or less.
Can’t afford a steak? How about a burger? Louisville has an abundance of burger joints, and it’s hard to go wrong. I always like to eat Shady Lane Cafe (4806 Brownsboro Road, Brownsboro Center, 893-5118), a long-standing favorite where a relatively recent change of ownership didn’t affect the quality of the delicious Brownsboro burger. A more recent arrival BurgerIM (3733 Lexington Road, The Vogue Center, 901-1101), landed at the start of the pandemic, survived the jump from chain to independent ownership and earned well-deserved popularity for its quality product.
Pizza is so popular that a few new pizzerias even opened during the pandemic while most of us huddled. I’ve rarely met a pizza that I didn’t like, so it’s hard to narrow down to two or three. Nevertheless, I am not afraid to recommend MozzaPi (12102 La Grange Road, 494-7012), for its exceptional pizzas and other baked goods made with artisan wheat flour ground on the premises. That is commitment taken to the next level. Another favorite is Pizza Lupo (1540 Frankfurt Ave., 409-8440). which offers remarkable Neapolitan wood-fired pizza, pasta and small plates from a lovely old brick house on the edge of Butchertown.
For fine Italian restaurants with exceptional pizza on the menu, I would choose Bar Vetti (during the pandemic from the 800 Building to the AC Hotel, 727 E. Market St., 883-3331) and Ciao Ristorante, 1201 Payne St., 690-3532) who excel in both departments.
You can hardly go wrong in the many pubs and inns in the region. They are all worth a visit; I am a particular fan of Pints ââ& Union (114 E. Market St., New Albany, Indiana, 812-913-4647) for its delicious small plates and extensive beer menu, and Monnik Beer Co. (1036 E. Burnett Ave. 742-6564), for its family Germantown atmosphere, first class breweries and delicious food.
I’ve explained that many times V-grits (1025 Barret Ave., 742-1714) isn’t just one of my favorite vegan restaurants, it’s one of my favorite restaurants. Delicious âchickenâ and âbeefâ dishes taste like the real thing, but are made exclusively from vegetables. Try it out: you will like it. And don’t miss a pint of excellent beer from the partner brewery, Chimeric brows.
All of this and I haven’t even gotten to Louisville’s extensive global selection of delicacies from our immigrant neighbors: From taquerias to the Mediterranean, Africa and the Pacific. That sounds like another column for another day. Bon Appetit!
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