Pho Ba Luu extends daytime hours, adds Sunday specials

The popular Vietnamese street food spot Pho Ba Luu, 1019 E. Main St., has extended serving hours both during the week and on weekends. No longer will anyone have to suffer pho withdrawal during the early afternoons; the restaurant will no longer close between lunch and dinner service, but will be open all day during the week, serving the full menu.

Also, Pho Ba Luu will serve Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays will feature $3 mimosa and Bloody Mary specials. “We think people will want some lighter fare during Sundays in the summer,” owner Stewart Davis said, suggesting that Vietnamese street food is ideal for slaking hunger without leaving diners feeling bloated and sluggish during hot weather.

Lede Family Wines dinner at The English Grill

Tuesday, July 25, 6:30 p.m., The English Grill at the Brown Hotel, 335 W. Broadway, will host a special dinner featuring the wines of California’s Lede Family Winery. Jason Lede will speak about his wine selections for the dinner, from the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley, Anderson Valley and Sonoma Coast. Continue reading Lede Family Wines dinner at The English Grill

Humor — Our First Mardi Gras

Earlier this year my wife and I decided that, since we didn’t already have enough problems, we should open yet another bakery. But, unlike our other locations, this one would have a secret ingredient to boost the bottom line — booze! We lucked into a prime location in the Garden District on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Being the only writer on the Food & Dining staff not actually based in Louisville, some context might be helpful. Down here we have this thing called Mardi Gras, which is sort of like our version of the Derby. And as the Derby has its buildup of events like Thunder Over Louisville, Pegasus Parade, etc., Mardi Gras builds to a similar crescendo over the three-week period leading up to Fat Tuesday. Continue reading Humor — Our First Mardi Gras

Farmers’ Market Guide — Buy local to eat local

One of the few things that get me out of bed on Saturday mornings is knowing there are several farmers’ markets where I can go to buy freshly picked local fruits and vegetables I crave, while maybe discovering something new I haven’t tried before and getting advice on how to prepare it. But it’s equally motivating to know I’ll get to schmooze with neighbors while getting a cooked-to-order omelet, bowl of grits or biscuit-and-egg sandwich I can eat while shopping. Continue reading Farmers’ Market Guide — Buy local to eat local

Seafood to come to New Albany

Another restaurant venture from Eric Morris, of Gospel Chicken renown, is due to open soon at 324 E. Main St., New Albany. This business, to be called Hull & Highwater, will have a seafood focus, an idea pushed by Morris’s partner, Garrett Petters, who has wanted to cook fish dishes for some time.

According to a story in the Courier-Journal, Hull & Highwater intends to aim for a middle ground between the low-end fried fish take-out places, and the upper-level fine dining seafood establishments. Patrons can expect to find a raw bar, lobster pot pie, fried or blackened fish sandwiches or baskets. Low-country boils and po’ boys will be featured, along with a catch of the day that will promote responsibility farmed fish, the origin of the fish clearly labeled. The bar will offer frozen cocktails and buckets of domestic and regional craft beers.

Morris at first envisioned his next venture as a street food restaurant that featured African, Asian and American cuisine. But when he brought on Petters, he was persuaded to turn the interior of the building that had acquired, a quondam garage with a second floor overlooking the river, into a ship’s hull, and to turn to serving seafood instead.

The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating, with a patio and a rooftop bar. Food & Dining will post again when the opening is firmly scheduled.

Two wine dinners next week

The rhythms of special dinners continue next week with two wine-focused meals, one on Tuesday, July 18 at Varanese, and the other Thursday, July 20 at Proof on Main. The dinner at Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will feature the wines of BOS vineyards in Napa Valley, while Proof will build its Fork + Bottle series dinner around the wines of Stoller Family Estates in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

The Varanese dinner begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m., with the dinner at 7. The featured guest speaker will be David Bos the vineyard manager who has been working for a decade with biodynamic and organic farming practices to heal and restore played out farmland. For the menu created by the Varanese team led by Chef Erik Abraham, go to http://varanese.com/events/event/bos-wine-dinner/.

The cost of the dinner and wine pairings will be $65. Calling (502) 899-9904 or email letsdine@varanese.com.

At Proof on Main, 702 W. Main St., the 4-course dinner crafted by executive chef Mike Wajda will feature special guest Melissa Burr, Director of Winemaking at Stoller Family Estate, who will lead tastings of each pairing.

The menu will feature an oyster shooter with tomato water, lemongrass and Calabrian chiles; head-on tiger prawns with lardo and garlic scapes; and Amish-raised rabbit cannelloni with ramp butter. The entree will be a whole roasted wild boar served table side with pickled corn, foraged mushroom jam and house sausage.

Featured wines will include 2016 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir Rose, 2016 Dundee Hills Reserve Chardonnay, 2015 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir, 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir and 2015 Single Acre Syrah.

The Stoller Family Estate Vineyard dinner will be $115. Call (502) 217-6360.

J. Harrod’s sold to longtime employees

J. Harrod’s the East End dining institution at 7507 Upper River Rd., is changing hands, though those hands will be familiar to the regular customers. Longtime employees, Charissa Humston and Jenny Neaveill, have bought the restaurant from owner Mike Francis, who has run the business since its opening in 1994, and is now ready to retire.

According to a story in Louisville Business First,   Humstone and Neaveill will buy the business, but not the property, which is owned by a separate property company.

J. Harrod’s serves a well-prepared old-school menu of American fare, a substantial menu of seafood, steaks, prime rib and other grilled. It is noted for making its own ice cream in-house.

Louisville's Foodie Magazine