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BBC set to release its first bottled brew

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014

BBC Taproom, 636 E.Main St. will launch its first commercially-packaged lager, a modern first for a local craft brewery. Louisville Lager has been brewed to be “an everyman’s/woman’s lager for everyday drinking,” according to Phillip Dearner, BBC Beer Co. President.

Although most of the popular mass-market beers are lagers, BBC decided to brew a better one, one with the “fresh delicate flavors of a living beer.” Brewmaster Joel Halbleib said, “I was inspired to turn professional brewer when I started tasting beers that I knew I could make better versions of at home.”

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King Estate Wine Dinner at Varanese

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014

Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 18 and 19, 7-9 p.m. Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave. will host its monthly wine dinner, this month featuring wines of King Estates, of Willamette Valley, Oregon, all of which will feature the pinot grape. Todd Vice will be on hand to discuss the wine pairings. The event has already proved so popular chef John Varanese has added a Monday dinner to his original Tuesday offering.

The dinner will begin with Backbone Pinot Gris, which will accompany a cheese course. The second course will be poached red shrimp with a salad of arugula,sorrel, rhubarb, strawberries and watermelon, with strawberry and cracked pepper vinaigrette. The wine will be Acrobat Pinot Noir Rosé.

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Calling all chili chefs!

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014

If you are a restaurant chef and have a chili recipe that you have been hoarding, here is your chance to show it off and get muchos kudos.

On Oct. 11, Sam Swope Auto Group, 10 Sam Swope Auto Drive in the East End, is throwing its first annual Crime Stoppers Chili Cook-off, inviting restaurants and firehouses to compete for bragging rights for making the best chili around.

The Swope Group intends this to be a big family party day, with clowns and bouncy houses, live music, a fire truck to climb on and other assorted fun. Crime Stoppers will also stage a Family Security Awareness event, providing information about how family’s can be secure against crime and house fires.

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Recent restaurant nostalgia

Posted by on Aug 14, 2014

An outbreak of restaurant nostalgia seems to have broken out recently, if a couple of posts that sprang up on my news feeds recently is any indication. Various social media posts mooned over once-popular and now-defunct restaurants that loom large in the gustatory memory of local dining patrons.

One such posting listed Kaelin’s,  Azalea (with a cursory mention of one predecessor, La Paloma, but not the grand-daddy on that Brownsboro Rd. site, Bauer’s), L&N Wine Bar, Alameda, Mamma Grisanti’s (but not Casa Grisanti, nor Ferd Grisanti). 

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Hot off the presses

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014

The new issue of Food & Dining Magazine is on the street.

The racks are being filled now, and distribution should be complete by the end of the day. Click “Find A Copy” to find the distribution point closest to you and go grab your free copy!

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Bourbons Bistro to fete distiller Jimmy Russell

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014

Tonight, Wednesday, Aug. 13, Bourbons Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Ave., will host a four-course Wild Turkey Bourbon dinner to recognize Wild Turkey’s master distiller Jimmy Russell’s 60 years in the industry.

At the dinner, Russell will sign bottles of Wild Turkey Diamond Anniversary commemorative Bourbon, which has been released in his honor. Bottles may be purchased at Liquor Barn St. Matthews, 4301 Shelbyville Rd.

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Lamas to use a cookbook for special dinner!

Posted by on Aug 12, 2014

Of course, it will be his own cookbook, the forthcoming “Southern Heat” written with Gwen Pratesi, who will be a guest at the event. The dinner marking the publication of Anthony Lamas’s first cookbook will be Monday, August 25 at 6 p.m. Seviche–A Latin Restaurant, 1538 Bardstown Rd.

Special guests will include Chris Morris, Master Distiller of Woodford Reserve, Nancy Newsom of Col. Bill Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham, Matt Jamie of Bourbon Barrel Foods, and Brooke Eckmann of Ambrosia Farm, all of whom get kudos in the cookbook, and whose products will be used on the menu.

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My father would have approved of this

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014

My old man was a laboring man, a skilled welder who fabricated and repaired big machinery. When he would stop in at a bar after work, there was only one drink for him, a boilermaker–a shot and a cold beer. Exactly what everyone else in that working-man’s bar was drinking.

Blame it on hipster nostalgia for a more authentic time, or a reaction against the too-thought-out cocktail menu trend, but boilermakers are making a comeback (though knocking them back like the guys in the bars my dad went to is not a good idea, generally). Now, Doc Crow’s Southern Smokehouse & Raw Bar, 127 W. Main St., has jumped onto that bandwagon by collaborating with Louisville-based Apocalypse Brew Works to develop Whiskey Chaser Lager, brewed to be “the perfect complement to refresh the palate while drinking whiskey.”

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Cooking With Ron: Bountiful Berries

Posted by on Aug 10, 2014

To show you how old I am, I remember when fresh berries were markers of the seasons. Strawberries appeared only at the height of spring, in late May or early June, and heralded the coming of summer. Blueberries and blackberries were high summer fruit, and when they were gone, we knew fall was fast approaching.

Today, of course, fresh berries are available at the supermarket year-round, grown, when winter is upon us, in warmer climes. (Mexico is a prime producer of blackberries; California has industrialized the production of strawberries.)

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Profile: Exchange Pub + Kitchen

Posted by on Aug 9, 2014

With the Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Ian Hall has taken a historic New Albany building and transformed it into a stylish restaurant that would fit right into SoHo. With the Exchange as an anchor, the future looks bright for New Albany’s once-sputtering downtown revival.

Ten years ago, New Albany native Ian Hall — then in his late 20s and already a 10-year veteran of the restaurant business — made a vow to himself. “If I’m going to be in this business, by the time I’m 30 I’m gonna own my own place,” he remembers deciding.

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Restaurant scene tid-bits–August edition

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014

I. Limestone, 10001 Forst Green Blvd. will be ending its 11-year run at the end of the month, when the lease on the property runs out. Owner-chef Jim Gerhardt has not been able to negotiate acceptable terms to continue at his East End location, and so will close his handsome dining room and kitchen that has served modern Southern cooking for over a decade. As of this writing, Gerhardt’s future plans are uncertain.

II. Dinner service returns to Shady Lane Café

After a two year hiatus, prompted by some health problems, Bill and Susi Smith are again serving dinner at Shady Lane Café, 4806 Brownsboro Ctr. The popular East End lunch spot had many fans clamoring for dinner as well, and the Smiths even had an offer to help them run dinner service. “But we thought, if we just did it a few nights a week, it wouldn’t be so bad,” Susi Smith said. “So we are back doing dinner on Thursday and Friday nights from 5 to 8 p.m.”

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Shariat returns to Louisville with purchase of Henry’s Place

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014

 A press release Thursday caught most of us by surprise.  Chef Anoosh Shariat announced that he take over operation of Henry’s Place, 4864 Brownsboro Rd., Monday, August 11.

“I am excited at the opportunity to get back to a location on Brownsboro Road,” said Shariat, who owned and operated Shariat’s Restaurant on Brownsboro Road for ten years.  “It will be like coming home.”

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Mentor and mentees join forces for Bourbon dinner

Posted by on Aug 7, 2014

On Aug. 18, Seviche chef Anthony Lamas and three other chefs who worked under him as sous chefs and then went on to start restaurants of their own, will reunite at Loop 22, 2222 Dundee Rd., to host a Buffalo Trace Bourbon dinner.

Lamas will be joined in the kitchen by Chase Murcino, Adam Burress and Eric Morris, all alumni of Seviche,who have gone on to open Hammerheads, Game and, most recently  Loop 22.

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Varanese beer dinner to feature Against the Grain brews

Posted by on Aug 6, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 6:30 p.m., Varanese, Frankfort Ave., will host a 4-course dinner pairing special dishes with a variety of beers concocted by Against the Grain Brewery, 401 E. Main St.  Brewery Owner and General Manager Andrew Ott will be on hand discuss the pairings and how they enhance the meal.

At the reception, Brettish Bulldog Old Ale with be served.  The first course beer will be Bay and Pepper your Bretts Saison Ale, to accompany Low Country beer boil with shrimp, corn on the cob and house-made sausage. 

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August is Lobster Month at Limestone

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014

Continuing their summer monthly menu specials, Limestone, 10001 Forest Green Blvd., will offer a special lobster celebration Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through the end of August.

The dinner will include a cup of lobster bisque, a deconstructed 1 1/2 pound Maine lobster (that means the meat has been removed from the shell), served with whipped potatoes and corn on the cob and a broiled shrimp, with Key lime pie with cream and berries for dessert.

The meal will be $36.95.  Phone reservations only can be accepted; call (502) 426-7477.


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National accolades for El Camino, Comfy Cow and Mussel and Burger Bar

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014

Three national publications, one analog print and two digital, have recognized three Louisville restaurants in a “Best of” category. The South’s premier upscale slick, Garden & Gun, listed El Camino, 1314 Bardstown Rd. in a recent story about “The South’s Best Breakfast Joints.”  BuzzFeed’s recent post, “27 Ice Cream Shops You Need To Visit Before You Die,” gave second place to Comfy Cow, and Yahootravel’s site ran a piece entitled “Restaurants Worth Waiting For,” rating Mussel & Burger Bar, 9200 Taylorsville Rd. number two on the list.

The brunch dishes conceived by El Camino chef Brian Enyart were the focus of the listing, which cited the enchiladas with sesame pipián, buttered chayote squash, and Chihuahua cheese; and the house chilaquiles, described as “a hearty scramble of eggs, grass-fed beef chorizo, and corn tortilla chips with lashings of crema.” 

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Bring your dog to brunch

Posted by on Aug 1, 2014

Saturday, Aug. 2, 7:30-9:30 a.m.,The Café, 712 Brent St., will host the first Bark Brunch, described as “a fun event for food and pet lovers.” The first 25 dogs to accompany their owners will get a special doggie bag with a Max doggie bandana and other goodies, put together by co-sponsors radio station 102.3 The Max and The Flea Off Market.

Other sponsors of the brunch event are Southern Indiana Animal Rescue, Duffy’s Dog Training Center and Bluegrass Kennels. The event will take place on the patio of the Café. Sensing the pent-up demand for such a dog-friendly event, The Café suggests that reservations are advised.  Call 589-9191.


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Not really a review, just a personal note

Posted by on Jul 31, 2014

My wife and I had the pleasure of wandering up the street where we live to Louvino, 1060 Bardstown Rd., last Tuesday, to check out the new neighborhood joint on its opening night. We were plenty pleased with what we experienced.

We had enjoyed Maggie and Miguel de la Torres and their Spanish restaurant, and their adjoining tapas place, La Bodega, and, while certainly understanding, regretted their decision to retire after a solid 25-year run.

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Ramsi Kamar to be feted as Food Hero

Posted by on Jul 30, 2014

Ramsi Kamar, who is owner, along with his wife, of Ramsi Cafe on the World, Bardstown Rd., is one of three farmers to be honored as Local Food Heroes of 2013 at a Farm to Table dinner Aug. 18 at Ramsi’s restaurant.

Kamar and his wife own a farm on the Jefferson-Shelby County line where they grow much of the produce they use int heir restaurant.  Kamar has been working with the UK Agriculture Department to devise more economical and ecologically sound ways to abate weeds, keep crops watered, and encourage longer growing seasons.

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Puccini’s Smiling Teeth closes only Louisville store

Posted by on Jul 29, 2014

A 7-year run for the fast casual Italian restaurant Puccini’s Smiling Teeth has come to an end as the home office of the chain closed its Shelbyville Road Plaza location at 4600 Shelbyville Road.

The Indianapolis-based Italian restaurant chain served pastas, salads and pizza, including one with a gluten-free crust.

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A noble tradition continues: Winston’s annual tomato dinner

Posted by on Jul 28, 2014

Tomatoes garden grown, warm from the vine, waiting on the kitchen windowsill for dinner, is the quintessential image of summer that I take from my childhood. That must be why I look forward to the announcement of Winston’s tomato dinner every August.

Diners can indulge in a four-course tomato extravaganza Friday or Saturday, Aug. 8 or 9, 6:30 p.m. at Winston’s Restaurant, on the Sullivan University campus,. 3101 Bardstown Rd. Wines chosen to complement the flavors of each dish will be available for an extra charge.

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Restaurant news tid-bits–July edition

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014

1. Mark’s Feed Store upended the normal cycle and introduced its own food truck last weekend. Usually food trucks are efforts by fledgling chefs to establish their bona fides with a rolling kitchen, with the dream of settling down between stable walls soon rather than later.  But the recent Forecastle Festival saw the rollout of a food truck dispensing the familiar delights of long-established BBQ favorite Mark’s Feed Store.

General manager Gary Dean reported reasonably encouraging customer response, saying that the Forecastle Festival was the perfect opportunity to try out the new endeavor. Mark’s re;portedly invested $175,000 in the food truck, which was purchased new from Mag Specialty Vehicles.

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BBQ the focus of Limestone’s July menu special

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014

Each month during the summer, Limestone, 10001 Forest Green Blvd., adds a seasonally-themed special three-course prix-fixe menu option, available for dinner on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

July’s special will be fresh tomato gazpacho with a garlic crouton and sour cream, BBQ baby back ribs with cole slaw and roasted corn on the cob, and grilled fresh pineapple on butter rum sponge cake for dessert.

The special menu will be $18.95.  Call (502) 426-7477.

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Roux to replace La Gallo Rosso

Posted by on Jul 23, 2014

Long-time Highlands stalwart La Gallo Rosso,1325 Bardstown Rd. will close on July 26, the business sold to Dustin Staggers, chef at The Monkey Wrench. Staggers will begin renovation of the space, shooting for a fall opening of Roux, where he will serve “classic New Orleans food.”

Staggers said that he wants to pay homage to “some of those classic places in New Orleans…We’re going to have smoked duck and smoked chicken gumbo, very classic BBQ shrimp.”

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Cena to replace The Place Downstairs

Posted by on Jul 22, 2014

New brooms sweep clean, they say, and newly appointed executive chef at The Place Downstairs Allan Rosenberg has swept away owner Fernando Martinez’s original fine dining concept, and with Martinez’s blessing will inaugurate the space below Mussel and Burger Bar later this summer as Cena, an Italian concept.

“Cena”, which means dinner in Italian, will be a slightly more casual Italian restaurant. Rosenberg’s experience has been largely with Italian food, and he and his staff are already working on the new menu, which is likely to have shareable sized portions.

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Brasserie Provence – Traditional southern French brasserie lands in Louisville

Posted by on Jul 17, 2014

When he was just a 16-year-old serving tourists on the beach in his home city of Cannes, Guy Genoud knew that one day, he would open his own restaurant.

He could envision every detail: It would be a warm and welcoming place where the service was professional but not stuffy, with a large menu of good food at affordable prices. Of course, he never imagined that it would be located in a strip shopping center in Louisville, Kentucky. But as the French say, “C’est la vie.”

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French Wine Tasting at Bristol–Jeffersonville

Posted by on Jul 16, 2014

Thursday, July 17,  from 6:30-7:30 p.m., Bristol Bar & Grille’s Scott Harper, Master Sommelier, and GM of the Jeffersonville, Ind., restaurant, 700 W. Riverside Dr., will lead a tasting of French wines. This will be a “walk-around” tasting, a sampling of five wines that Harper has chosen for the expression of their characteristic grape varieties, and their value.

That evening, the Bristol Jeffersonville menu will offer a special menu of French foods and wines for those wishing to stay, dine, and continue their immersion in French wines.

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Shariat and Mesh part ways; unclear future for both

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014

Noted Louisville restaurateur, Anoosh Shariat, who, was slated to be executive chef at Mesh when it opened in the fall in the site of the old Azalea (and older La Paloma. And old, old site of Bauer’s) on Brownsboro Rd., has now left the Cunningham Restaurant Group, where he had been training to take the helm of the new restaurant.

For the past several months, Shariat has worked in restaurants owned by Mesh’s Indianapolis-based parent company in preparation for his role as executive chef at Mesh.

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“Orphan whiskey”: Should you jump on the latest booze bandwagon?

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014

I admit it:  I am a sucker for almost any wine labeled “Old Vine.” Grapes from old vines have to be better, don’t they? And the same goes for whiskey, no?  If it’s been in the barrel for 20 years or more, it’s got to be dynamite, for sure.

Well, the answer won’t be much of a spoiler:  No, not necessarily, and Maybe, but probably not.

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TripAdvisor named Mussel & Burger Bar among the America’s Best Burger Joints

Posted by on Jul 11, 2014

The praise keeps rolling in for Louisville restaurants, and this time ace restaurateur Fernando Martinez’s Mussel & Burger Bar, 9200 Taylorsville Rd., gets a major nod.

TripAdvisor (self-proclaimed as the world’s largest travel site) announced it’s 10 best burger restaurants in the United States and M&BB made the list at No. 7.

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First, learn to make Bourbon. Then, learn to make Bourbon cocktails

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014

Although there are federal laws that discourage you from making Bourbon in your back yard (or up in the holler near your great-uncle’s cabin), there is nothing that prevents you from learning the basic concepts of Bourbon making, and that is what Moonshine University will off  Friday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in their Bourbon Making Workshop.

Aspiring craft distillers–or those just wanting to spend a very educational summer day–can attend classroom presentations, hands-on spirits making, on-site distillation and a full sensory evaluation. Attendees will have the chance to be distillers for a day when they mill and cook grains, run it through a still, and sample the newly-made spirit.

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Varanese beer dinner to feature Bell’s brews

Posted by on Jul 9, 2014

Thursday, July 10, 7-9 p.m., Varanese. 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host a four-course dinner with dishes paired with beers from Michigan-based Bell’s Brewery.  Brewery rep Greg Pilch will be on hand to discuss his choices for the beer pairings.

The evening will start with the light, crisp Oarsman at the reception. Bell’s Amber Ale will be poured with the first course, Bell’s beer cheese soup, followed by the Oberon with a shrimp salad with fennel, capers and lemon.

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Lamas to cook sustainable seafood dinner at James Beard House

Posted by on Jul 8, 2014

For his sixth outing at New York City’s culinary mecca, the James Beard House, Thursday, July 10, Anthony Lamas of Seviche–A Latin Restaurant, Bardstown Rd., will create a dinner using sustainably-harvested seafood.

For several years now Lamas has been working with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, keeping a weather eye on the ever-changing status of the seafood harvests around the world, and ordering only what current best-information assessments say are fish taken in sustainable methods from stocks that are not being over-fished.

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Allons, enfants de la patrie! There are a lot of choices for your Bastille Day dinner

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014

Following hard on the heels of the Fourth of July is another Independence Day celebration, that of France, on July 14, or, as they say in Paris, le quatorze juilllet. Louisville restaurants know we are always up for another celebration of freedom, even for the French. Here is where you can go o raise a glass to liberté egalité, and fraternité. 

Le diner pour la celebration de la revolution francais will be a couple of days early at Bistro 301, 301 W. Market St., on Saturday, July 12, with two seatings, at 5:30 and 8 p.m. Owner Matt Mershon is marking the 225th anniversary of the storming of the notorious royal prison because, he explains, “My mother was German and my father French and my best friend for life is Irish/Lebanese…”

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Gralehaus schedules summer tasting events

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014

Gralehaus, the popular side addition of the popular Holy Grale bar, at 1001 Baxter Ave., has cooked up a number of amusing and tasty events for those looking for conviviality this summer.

Hot Sünner Nights, will introduce the charming summer drinking custom of Cologne, (or Köln, if you are a German perfectionist). Here is how Gralehaus explains it: “Sünner, the first brewer of ‘Kölsch’ will be served in authentic ‘Kölsch Kranz’ serving trays along with authentic 200 ml (7-ounce) ‘Kölsch Stange’ glassware to replicate the Cologne experience in the US.

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Celebrate the 4th with Winston’s specials

Posted by on Jul 4, 2014

Winston’s, 3010 Bardstown Rd, on the Sullivan U. campus, is celebrating the July 4th holiday weekend with special All-American dishes. John Castro and his kitchen crew will be serving up a patriotic dinner menu on Saturday, July 5, and special brunch menus Saturday and Sunday, July 5 and 6.

At the dinner, you can have both Manhattan and New England style clam chowder, fire cracker shrimp, Maryland crab cakes, fried green tomatoes, a Victory Garden Salad, a “Not Brown” (made with fried green tomatoes, shrimp, bacon and mornay sauce), grilled New York strip steak and All-American apple pie a la mode.

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Asiatique marks 20th anniversary by switching to small-plates menu

Posted by on Jul 3, 2014

To mark their 20th year serving Louisville diners an eclectic East-West cuisine, 1767 Asiatique, Bardstown Rd., is switching to an all small-plates menu.

Today will be the last day serving the current menu.  Tomorrow, July 4, the small plates menu rolls out with special hours, 5-9 p.m. The full menu will be available Saturday, July 5t. Regular dinner hours will be 5-11 p.m., and late night service 11 p.m.-2 a.m.. Call (502) 451-2749.

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Patriotic pig roast at Bistro 1860

Posted by on Jul 2, 2014

The chefs at Bistro 1860 Wine Bar, 1765 Mellwood Ave., want you to get in the American patriotic holiday spirit by joining them for an Hawaiian Garden Party (yes, Hawaii is one of the 50 United States) Thursday, July 3, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

The cynosure of that event will be a pig roast, done in the tradition of Hawaiian luaus. Also on the agenda will be rum and local beer tastings, wine tastings from the portfolio of Bronco wines, cocktails with Jefferson Reserve Bourbon, and other courses and dishes featuring the flavorings of Bourbon Barrel Foods. There will, of course, be live music.

Cost is $65.  Call (502) 618-1745.

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More Cooking Channel celebrity chef invasions of Louisville restaurants

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014

I never watch cooking shows on TV, so I I know nothing of Nadia G or her Bitchin’ Kitchen. But, if you do know about her—and are caught up in “celebrity TV chef” culture—then this news is for you.

Nadia Giosia, who has the Cooking Channel showd, Nadia G’s Bitchin’ Kitchen and Bite This, shot a segment at Harvest, 624 E. Market St., on Monday and will be shooting again Wednesday.

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Rye beer dinner to feature brews of Dauntless Distributing

Posted by on Jun 30, 2014

Tuesday July 1, Rye, 900 E. Market St., will host a 5-course dinner in their private dining room. Each course will be paired with various beers from the catalog of Dauntless Distributing of Louisville.

Head Chef Joe Banet and Sous Chef Andrew McCabe sat down with Michael Minton and the Dauntless Distributing for a tasting, and decided on six unique micro brews from the U.S. and Europe, and then the chefs figured out a menu. Or at least menu concepts.

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