Louisville Restaurants

  • The Mayan Cafe
    The Mayan Cafe
    by shrimp56
  • One of the hearty regional Mexican dishes
    One of the hearty regional Mexican...
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  • Seviche
    Seviche
    by riorich55

Most Recent Restaurants in Louisville

  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Proof On Main: 21C's Restaurant

    by John195123 Written Feb 19, 2014

    Proof gets rave reviews. It's a good restaurant. Great booze selection, excellent service, interesting menu.

    When I went there, however, I felt that the menu at the time was trying to hard to sound good. It was a, "Hey, let's make people think this dish is great by adding bacon," a problem that seems to plague restaurants. Maybe I should clarify: many restaurants take a dish, either good enough in its own right, or lacking bulk or flavor, and try to make it more appealing by adding something like bacon. We all love bacon (if we eat meat) and who can argue with the added grease and flavor of bacon?

    Well, it's not always necessary. It's like lobster. I don't understand the obsession with lobster. Lobster may taste great, but it's one of those ingredients that makes people feel like they're getting something amazing, just by the fact that it's lobster. Who cares if it's cooked properly, it's lobster! Oh boy!

    Thinking about the menu, simple is often better. If there is consensus that a dish lacks something, don't fill in with bacon. Make something else for the dish.

    Maybe I'm just being a whiny foodie, but I know when mediocre is covered up with bacon. I'll still eat it, of course... and I'll still enjoy it. Understand, that what is good isn't always gourmet- a fast-food hamburger can be excellent. But also understand that what is wrapped in bacon or what comes with a bib and melted butter doesn't immediately equate to quality.

    Three majorly overused ingredients: Bacon, lobster and sugar.

    So, back to Proof. Everything we had was good, but not spectacular. I expected more, considering the reviews. I can only assume that my standards are too high for this type of restaurant, that the head chef was out and the chefs didn't care, or that the reviewers have different standards than I do. Or maybe they had more to drink.

    Regardless, try it out, tell me what you think!

    Bottom line: Would I go back? Well, considering the menu probably changes, yes. I would.

    Favorite Dish: Marrow. Perfectly done.

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    Garage Bar: A bar... in a garage

    by John195123 Written Feb 19, 2014

    The first time I had pizza at the Garage Bar, everything had a burned flavor to it. The crust was a bit black, but it seemed that the pizza wasn't burned, but had been flavored by something else that had burned. The calzone was excellent, though.

    Since then, I've been back and have been very happy with the pizzas.

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    Milkwood: Chef Edward Lee

    by John195123 Written Feb 19, 2014

    I've seen countless reviews of how great Chef Lee is. I know he's great and wonderful.

    You know what I learned after visiting Milkwood? I didn't need to go back. The food was definitely above par, but it was also not amazing. I have nothing against Chef Lee. I expected the best from him, and maybe because my expectations were so high, it was hard to come up to that standard, but I don't think so. It's not that the preparations were "too complicated" or above my palate. I've been to many a superb restaurant, and Milkwood was just not up there. Maybe it was the day, but Chef was there that day.

    If you're a gourmet, a foodie, or fan of Chef Lee, it's worth at least one visit. Let me know if you'd go back.

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    Zanzabar (Z): Unique and Good

    by John195123 Written Feb 18, 2014

    These guys make great American food, have live music and a solid bar. Atmosphere may be a bit on the rougher side, but we went with kids and all was well!

    Favorite Dish: The Bread Pudding... amazing. Made with Nord's doughnuts and just amazing.

    LUNCH LINE • cafeteria style • TUE - FRI: 11AM - 2PM

    DINNER • SUN - THUR: 5PM-10PM • FRI - SAT: 5PM - 12AM

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    Bombay Grill: Southern Indian Cuisine

    by John195123 Written Feb 18, 2014

    Lunch buffet and dinner menu.

    Bombay Grill isn't far from Shalimar, but the food, in my experience, is much better. Maybe it's just different. Bombay Grill brings Southern Indian cuisine to Louisville, and amid the dosas, a wide selection of naan, and various specialty dishes, you won't be disappointed.

    The atmosphere, admittedly, isn't anything special. Center tables surrounded by booths in an open room with mirrors, but minimal decor otherwise, doesn't scream, "I'm trying too hard to be an authentic Indian restaurant," which is good. It's simple, functional and very pleasant- not getting overly noisy, even when full.

    If you're a fan of Indian food and you haven't been here, I think you'll like it.

    Lunch Buffet
    Mon thru Fri 11:00 AM til 2:30 PM
    Sat and Sun 12:00 PM til 3:00 PM

    Dinner
    Monday thru Thursday and Sunday
    5:00 PM til 9:30 PM
    Saturday and Sunday
    5:00 PM til 10:00 PM
    Closed on Tuesdays

    Favorite Dish: I haven't had anything I didn't like.
    The mango Lhassi is good, and they have a decent selection of wine and beer.

    My favorite dish:
    http://www.bombaygrillky.com/menu/

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    J. Graham's Cafe: Enjoy a Hot Brown at the Brown Hotel

    by etfromnc Written Nov 20, 2012

    J Graham's Cafe offers bistro-style casual dining in one of the finest hotels in America. I cannot afford to stay there but I love the world famous Hot Brown sandwich. They also have local produce so fresh that you may feel an urge to walk out back and check out the garden. Open for breakfast and lunch, from 7 AM to 2 PM, the Cafe offers guests a contemporary a la carte menu or full buffet option including gourmet soups, salads, and entrees as well as a decadent dessert display Tuesday-Friday.

    Favorite Dish: The Hot Brown, a local variation on Welsh rarebit was first served here in 1926. A proud member of the open-faced sandwich family, the original Hot Brown recipe used white bread, turkey, and bacon, all covered in Mornay sauce and broiled until brown and toasty. J. Graham’s Cafe still serves the Hot Brown, as originally presented but I understand that imitations and variations are found at other cafes in the Louisville and Lexington area. The most common, and widely reviled, variation seems to revolve around replacing the Mornay sauce with American cheese.
    The buffet ranges from $13 - $17 and the Hot Brown will set you back $15.

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    BEST AND WORST: A NOTE ABOUT THESE REVIEWS

    by John195123 Updated Feb 12, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I wanted to provide a brief introduction to my restaurant reviews. Many members review the best restaurants in their pages and don't mention the mediocre or worst. I'd like to provide a thorough assessment of Louisville's restaurants, good and bad.

    I consider myself to be a serious foodie and the quality of a restaurant is, therefore, complex. I look at overall quality as well as individual aspects of quality from entering the restaurant to leaving. Not all of these reviews reflect that as many were written prior to this updated review cycle.

    As a foodie, I look for the best foods I can afford, either to cook or to order at a restaurant. That's not to say I eat steak and lobster every night (steak and lobster are overrated). That is to say, though, that if I eat out at a restaurant that is reputed to be good, or that claims to be good, it should not fail those expectations. I'm well aware that I'm a food snob, but do note that, for me, being a food snob does not prevent enjoyment of simpler foods, from street vendors to certain fast foods.

    What I'm trying to do with these reviews is to look at these restaurants from a foodie's perspective to provide the readers with a unbiased assessment of the restaurant. I'm not being negative just for the sake of being negative and using the anonymity of the internet to air my angers at the world. (I have no particular food favorites and am not picky about individual ingredients, so one culture's cuisine won't always reign supreme over all others. I like food from all cultures.) I'm doing this to provide feedback to restaurants and consumers so that improvements can be made and the best foods and services provided to discerning customers and travelers. I wouldn't want to travel someplace in search of interesting and exotic foods only to find another American chain. I want authentic, I want fresh, I want hand-made- and I assume that other travelers want that as well.

    One note for any restaurant out there: KC Masterpiece is not a selling point for barbeque. How many of the best barbeque places in the world use that? Not many. So why try to sell your food on a mediocre store-bought sauce?

    So, to begin, how do we define good food? Is one cut of meat really better than any other.

    More later.

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    Smokey Bones: Smokey Bones? Don't bother...

    by John195123 Written Feb 8, 2012

    This is allegedly a barbeque joint. If you hold any love for the culinary wonderfulness (new word) that is barbeque, stay far away from barbeque that fails not only its namesake, but the meat it's designed to serve.

    Smokey Bones may have decent service and a kid-friendly (lots of background noise) atmosphere, but it does not fulfill the BBQ quotient. Poor quality meat, insipid sauce... that's what I remember of our visit. For a serious foodie and a lover of BBQ, I was not simply disappointed, but also astonished at what passed for BBQ at this restaurant.

    Louisville isn't really known for barbeque, but we have a few excellent places, noted in other reviews. If you're going out for barbeque, I can't say that the food here is worth the trip. In fact, I can say that we were utterly disappointed in the disservice that this place did to barbeque that we never want to go back.

    ***I must note that their other food may be just fine- I didn't try most everything else they had. But this is a chain restaurant, I believe, and if so, the food is about par with other chains.***

    One note for any restaurant out there: KC Masterpiece is not a selling point for barbeque. How many of the best barbeque places in the world use that? Not many. So why try to sell your food on a mediocre store-bought sauce?

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    The Blind Pig: Blind Pig? Blind Palate

    by John195123 Written Feb 8, 2012

    The Blind Pig combines the ambience of an old "industrial" building with pig meat in its many forms. They make their own sausages and have a decent selection of libations for the more discerning drinkers. Yet, like many restaurants, they fall down in certain areas.

    Service at the Blind Pig is just fine, the appetizers are decent. But their mains were not quite as good as they could have been and the pumpkin dessert was unsweetened,,,... Probably an oversight, but shows lack of care and consideration on the chef's part.

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    21C's Proof on Main: Good, not great

    by John195123 Written Feb 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One of the draws of Proof on Main is its attachment to 21C Museum Hotel, noted as one of the top hotels in the country, and, as the restaurant's name implies, is located on Main Street in downtown Louisville.

    I get the feeling that this restaurant is very impressed with itself. It is attached to a hotel that displays some bizarre and interesting art, and it seems that this is a "see-and-be-seen" joint, especially on weekend nights.

    All that said, the staff is typically friendly and, especially early in the evening, (on a week night) is happy to accomodate infants and kids (hopefully well-behaved ones). The decor of the restaurant is fairly basic when compared with the museum and hotel, but its simplicity is elegant.

    The service on our visit was without fault. It was neither overly-attentive nor lacking, and the server had a good grasp on the menu and drink offerings. Our server was impressed with my order of straight bourbon (Pappy Van Winkle, I believe) and was further impressed by our order of the bone marrow appetizer. That's not tooting our horn, but may suggest that those particular items were not often ordered, despite their more elegant or gourmet nature.

    The food itself probably holds a better reputation that it deserves. An eater used to the chain restaurant fare would consider Proof to be superb, yet those with a more qualified palate might have looked at the marrow as simply trying to be gourmet. Similar to the way wrapping food in bacon is an attempt to elevate the main ingredient by making it feel richer or more decadent, the bone marrow seemed to do the same for the menu and did not fully reflect marrow's true culinary potential.

    The cucumber soup was not as expected. Again, this was an attempt by the chef to be clever and different and exemplifies the problem with Proof- they haven't quite hit the food flavor ("deliciousness") mark as well as they might have hit the inventiveness mark for a Louisville restaurant). Yet, the soup, amounting to a thin cucumber puree with toasted bread crumbs and grape/cherry tomatos worked pretty well.

    It should be of note that we can't recall what we had for entrees- not exactly the effect for which a stellar restaurant should shoot, but indicative of the overall disappointment we felt in Proof's menu considering its many positive reviews.

    One of our desserts was a plum pudding, which was nothing like the heavy, British style of pudding and more a fresh plum fruit pudding. The taste was good, but it just wasn't as expected.

    Keep in mind that the dishes described may not be on the menu if and when you visit, but they are presented to represent the restaurant's style.,

    As you've probably gathered from this review, we weren't exceedingly impressed with Chef Michael Paley's restaurant. He clearly holds promise, but we didn't feel that the food was up to par with the concept or quality of the hotel and Proof felt like more of a place for people to begin to appreciate gourmet foods than a place for true foodies to get their fix, a place for people to feel like they're eating top quality. Unfortunately, it just wasn't up there with the best.

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  • riorich55's Profile Photo

    Seviche: Latin Fusion - Good Stuff

    by riorich55 Written Aug 9, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Seviche
    3 more images

    Again, I'm writing this tip almost 2 years after the fact. But since I've been cleaning up things in my house I ran across the receipt which helped jog my memory of this really good restaurant. I was on a road trip with a co-worker going from Indianapolis to Louisville to Cincinnati to Cleveland, so we were on the 2nd leg of our trip. I had been to Louisville a couple of times before and had been on Bardstown Road, so when I got to the hotel I looked at a map and found Seviche in an advertisement. It looked like my type of place so away we went for about an 8 mile ride.

    Favorite Dish: We started out our evening with some home made Sangria which was probably the best Sangria I have ever tasted. Not too sweet, but with each sip you wanted to keep this going all night long. For our befores we had a spinach and pear salad along with some empanadas (which were listed as MR and GC), they were light and flakey and as you can see from picture #2 were presented very well. Needless to say we cleaned our plates off.

    Then it was on to the main course. My co-worker had a very good (according to her) roasted organic chicken which indeed did look delicious. Whenever I see sea bass on the menu my stomach always starts its argument to order it and once again it won out over the other equally impressive items on the menu. It came with a side of fava beans which I don't think I'd ever had by themselves. But the two together set each other off just perfectly.

    The afters we had were a custard flan and the picture you see here was the banana chimichanga. Now there is always room for dessert after a meal and these 2 were just out of this world.

    I've made a trip back to Louisville since then, but the one night I attempted to go to Seviche they had a private party. Darn. If you ever are in town this is my #1 recommended restaurant.

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    Ruth's Chris Steakhouse: Ruth's Chris Steakhouse atop the Kaden Tower

    by Tom_Fields Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Kaden Tower

    An excellent, if rather pricey, restaurant. The best part is the great view of the city from atop the Kaden Tower. This unique Frank Lloyd Wright design is controversial; most people either love it or hate it.

    Favorite Dish: Hard to say. Everything is good.

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  • gkitzmil's Profile Photo

    Bluegrass Brewing Company: quaint brewpub with good food

    by gkitzmil Updated Aug 8, 2010

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    A very nice neighborhood pub/eatery that has fabulous beers and really satisfying food!

    Altbier 1996 Great American Beer Festival Bronze medal winner, this is BBC's all time best-seller. A medium bodied amber ale with a mild hop finish, this well balanced beer will appeal to beer connoisseurs as well as the average beer drinker

    American Pale Ale 1998 Real Ale Fest, Best of Fest Winner, this rich, copper colored ale features a full-bodied, hoppy flavor supported by generous amounts of malt. The recipe was carefully developed for the local palate and has become a favorite of BBC's regular guests

    Dark Star Porter 1997 Real Ale Fest Winner and named after the 1953 Kentucky Derby winner, this traditional English style ale has a robust yet smooth flavor. A subtile hint of chocolate malt flavor fins its way through this very dark ale which features a spicy hop finish.

    Favorite Dish: brick-oven pizzas -- I love them but other food is really good, too

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    Bluegrass Brewing on Fourth (near Broadway): Delicious Food and wonderful beer....

    by gkitzmil Written Aug 8, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Very cute location with great indoor + outdoor seating (for Spring, Summer, Fall) BUT the FOOD is fabulous. Seriously! I went for the beer originally plus the added fact that you can bring your dog on part of the outside seating. But now I go back as this has become one of my favorite restaurants. The Chef formerly worked at the Brown (across the Street) and turns out a delicious Hot Brown (a dish for which Louisville is famous). But the menu is filled with great offerings from vegetarian dishes (many of them) to pizza, to entrees, to appetizers. This is not an old fas

    Favorite Dish: I really like the Pizza Margarita, but everything I have had from this menu is great. However, if you like great beer this is our place. The German Style Alt beer (an unusual amber typical of Dusseldorf) is a good everyday beer. They have fabulous beer aged in Bourbon barrels. Their Bourbon Barrel smoked beer is very unusual (and probably not for everyone) but I love it. The Bourbon Barrel Rye has a great flavor. Note: these bourbon barrel beers have 7.5-8% alc. compared to about 5% in 'commercial' beers -- but their regular taps are more traditional.

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    Cardinal Hall of Fame Cafe: U of L Sports Memorabilia

    by riorich55 Updated Jul 1, 2010

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Entrance to 4th Street Live
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    My very first night in town a few weeks back after a long drive down from Fort Wayne, we didn't really want to search too long and hard for a place to eat. So as I usually do if I don't have anywhere specific in mind, I will ask the person at the front desk of the hotel what they would recommend that is close by. Whenever you get a young person (someone under the age of 30) at the desk, they will always start by rattling off the near by chain restaurants. I usually stop this "chain pitch" before they get started, but she started straight on until I said how about something local and not a chain. She then directed me to the Cardinal Cafe about 1 1/2 miles from the hotel and even gave me a coupon for a free appetizer.

    2 co-workers and myself went in and sat in 1 of 2 dining areas they had. Usually when a place is average I don't really remember too much what I ate and in the case of the Cardinal HOF Cafe the food was fine, just not very original or memorable.

    Anyway, the next night a bigger group was in town and guess where they wanted to go? The Louisville HOF Cafe, so day 2 in Louisville and I've only eaten at 1 place. The next week the group again wanted to go here. Again, because I wasn't paying but the local manager was I again went along for the chance to talk about war stories from days past.

    Don't get me wrong, the place is ok, just not a place I would go back to 3 out of the first 4 nights in town. They have a lot of interesting sports history pictures and other assorted memorabilia from the University of Louisville which is right down the road. A unique feature is that they have large TV's scattered throughout and then small TV's at every little booth if you choose to sit there.

    Check out the website below if you want to see the menu selections.

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