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Edward Lee returns to TV this fall

Posted by on Apr 17, 2014

Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood will star in the upcoming season of the PBS series “The Mind of a Chef.”

Under executive producer Anthony Bourdain, the show’s format,considers, according to PBS’s press material, “what it truly means to cook, think, create and live in the food-obsessed world that is the mind of a chef.”

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Despite what your thermostat says, Spring is here! Farmers markets are open!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014

Although the Bardstown Road farmers market never “closed” all winter, the pickings were pared down to the root crops and hydroponic offerings of James and Kathy Jackson, eggs from several vendors, and prepared foods such as breads and pickles, and open 10 to noon.

But since the first Saturday in April, the oldest continuing farmers market in town, in the parking lot of Bardstown Road Presbyterian Church, at 1711 Bardstown Rd., has been open its regular season hours, 8 a.m. to noon, still with limited offerings, because the spring has been so slow to warm up, but with more choices every week.

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Food trucks and fans gather on Fridays

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014

Phoenix Hill Tavern, on the corner of Baxter and Broadway, is sponsoring a weekly gathering of food trucks from 5-9 p.m. each Friday.

The first event took place April 11, and will continue on the second Friday of each month through September.

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Grind Burger Kitchen to open on Preston

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014

The “natural progression” that Grind food truck owners Liz and Jesse Huot  had been working toward for the last three years will come to fruition when they open Grind Burger Kitchen at 3311 Preston Hwy., near the Kentucky Exposition Center. 

Their peregrinations around the city serving up gourmet burgers have won them a devoted following. Those food truck fans should not despair, though. The Huots plan to continue serving from their mobile kitchen at events around town too.

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Rainbow Blossom to screen “American Meat” documentary

Posted by on Apr 12, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, at 6:4- p.m., Rainbow Blossom Natural Food Store, Gardiner Lane Shopping Center will partner with Slow Food Bluegrass to show the documentary film “American Meat,” about chicken, cattle and hog production in the United States.

Like some other recent documentary investigations, the film contrasts industrial meat production, which uses large-scale feed lots, confined feeding houses and corn-based feeds with raising animals on open pasture, using grass as the main feed source, and thoughtful management of the resources and carrying capacity of the land. Farmer Joel Salatin, a critic of Big Agriculture, will be one focus of the film.

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He’s not just funny–he predicts the future

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014

In the last issue of F&D, humor columnist Jay Foreman expatiated whimsically on food truck ideas he would like to see.  One of his amusing musings suggested that perhaps it was time for a food truck devoted to provisioning pets.

He started this bagatelle with the joking caveat that he had not checked out the listings in New York or Portland, places most likely to actually have come up with such a venture, but it turns out he did not reckon with the entrepreneurial spirit of Texans.

An item on reports on just such a pet food truck operating in Houston.  It serves doggie treats, including ice cream, to pampered pets, and even carries a selection of doggie toys.  The treats are all-natural of course, and a percentage of the profits are donated back to the “pet community.”

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Relish suddenly closes

Posted by on Apr 10, 2014

It has been reported that Susan Seiller closed her River Road restaurant Relish Wednesday, April 9, after the lunch service

Citing costs and other problems that made her “business model” with the restaurant no longer tenable.

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Easter Brunch: A Fine Louisville Tradition

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014

Way back when, Lent was much more rigorous a religious requirement than it is nowadays, but, still, feasting on Easter is a tradition many restaurants are glad to help out with. 

Taking the family out to a sumptuous brunch after Easter church services is a great way to celebrate all the life-renewing aspects of the season.  Here is a list–probably not all-inclusive, but the best info we now have–of restaurants serving brunch Sunday, April 20.

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Passover pastry secrets at 610 Magnolia

Posted by on Apr 8, 2014

Baking for Passover is among the trickier cooking tasks a dedicated baker can confront.  Wheat flour is verboten, no corn product sweeteners either.

But baking tempting desserts for Passover can be done, as Paula Shoyer will demonstrate  Thursday, April 10 at 6:30 p.m. at The Wine Studio @ 610 Magnolia, 621 W. Magnolia Ave., across the street from the restaurant.

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Want a Taste of Derby? Act now!

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014

The first big Derby season social event is fast approaching. 

Taste of Derby will be Wednesday, April 9, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at Louisville Slugger Field, its venue for the past several years.

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Darkstar Tavern sold to BBC; will relocate to Harrods Creek

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014

Longtime Crescent Hill down-market favorite Darkstar Tavern has been sold to the owners of Bluegrass Brewing Co.

Darkstar owners will move into the River Road space that used to be Eva Mae’s.

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East of Chicago joins plethora of pizza joints

Posted by on Apr 5, 2014

 It seems we may be in a race to see what saturates the market first–hookah cafés or pizza places.

The newest addition to the ever-expanding choices of pizza restaurants is East of Chicago, the first Kentucky location of an Ohio-based chain, which has just opened at 12416 Shelbyville Road, across from the Kroger shopping center in Middletown.

The new dispensary of “Chicago-style” pies makes them just for delivery and take-away, but owners Greg Wilson and Sean O’Connell have dreams of expanding their local franchise operation with up to four more stores, some of which will be dine-in.

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Tired of Lenten Fish Fries? Try St. James’ Pasta Fridays

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014

Back in the Middle Ages, Christians were prohibited from eating any meat at all during Lent.

Fish was permitted, regarded, somehow, as equivalent to fasting (go figure).  Thus the now quaint and largely disregarded modern notion of having to abstain from eating meat on Fridays, which became the day for fish sticks in Catholic school cafeterias.

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Upcoming wine dinners offer great way to explore menus and wines

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014

We have long held that the special wine dinners various restaurants offer are among the best entertainment values in town.

Chefs try out dishes not on their regular menus that pair best with the range of wines that visiting wine reps offer, along with knowledgeable discussions of vineyards, varietals and vintages.

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It must be spring: restaurants are popping up all over. Here’s the lowdown on the 4 most recent arrivals

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014

After the long, hard winter, new life is beginning to blossom.  News of new restaurants is coming in fast.

More pizza choices will arrive with Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, a build-your-own artisanal pizza chain, expected to open later in 2014; Bar Code 1758 by Osaka is making renovations at the old Maido site on Frankfort Ave., and Pujols Mexican Restaurant has opened on Linn Station. Rd. as has Gara Empanadas out in Crestwood.

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Fast-food choices to expand with opening of Noodles & Company

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014

The 16-outlet Indianapolis-based chain will expand substantially, if plans and hopes materialize.  The first outlets will likely be in Middletown, and near U of L, but no definite sites have been announced yet, according to a recent Business First story.

Noodles & Company ( offers an international, eclectic range of high-carb choices: mac and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, pad Thai, Japanese udon and Indonesian rice noodles with spicy peanut sauce.

There will also be salads, soups and sandwiches.




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Mesh moves forward with naming of Anoosh Shariat as chef

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014

It’s still just a bare razed patch on Brownsboro Rd. near Chenoweth, but the plans are that by fall of 2014, the spot that once housed Bauer’s Restaurant, then La Paloma, and then Azalea, will be Mesh, a 330-seat restaurant to be run by Cunningham Restaurant Group of Indianapolis, which has 6 restaurant concepts in Indy, Cincinnati and Lexington, a total of 14 properties altogether.

Recently, CRG named Anoosh Shariat as executive chef of the new restaurant.  Widely known in Louisville as the owner of the now-defunct Sharit’s and Browning’s, Shariat has been working as a restaurant industry consultant, and looking for ways to get back into the Louisville food scene, as reported by Insider Louisville.

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Five Whiskies Worth Stealing

Posted by on Mar 30, 2014

The mystery of what happened to all that Pappy Van Winkle whiskey–95 bottles of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle, and nine bottles of 13-year-old rye reserve–, stolen from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort last October remains unsolved, despite the $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the thieves.

Apparently that much-ballyhooed crime was the inspiration for a rare tasting event  Tuesday, April 8, 7-9 p.m. at Bourbons Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Ave.  Tom Fischer, founder of, the first and only online TV show and content site dedicated to bourbon, will join with Bourbons Bistro owner Jason Brauner to lead a tasting of five rare, limited release and small batch bourbon and rye whiskies.

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Are you ready to try barley wine?

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014

Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co., Maker of Kentucky Bourbon Barrel ale, stout and pumpkin ale, is set to release a new seasonal brew, . Since it is made from grain, and not fruit, barley wine is really an ale, but it shares wine’s relatively high alcohol content–8 to 12 %.

The American-style Barley Wine is aged for six weeks in freshly decanted Kentucky Bourbon barrels. This style of aging provides a rich range of flavor elements–a malty backbone,  a citrusy hoppiness, and vanilla and caramel notes.

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de la Torres sold; Louvino wine bar to take over space

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014

The 25-year run of Miguel and Maggie de la Torres will end April 11, when they will turn over the keys to their eponymous Spanish restaurant (and adjoining tapas bar, La Bodega) to the owners Chad and Lauren Coulter.

The couple now operate two Uptown Art  franchises, on Bardstown Rd. and in downtown New Albany. There, customers take art lessons while they sip wine. Chad Coulter said the success of both businesses opened their eyes to an underserved niche.

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It’s starting to look a lot like Derby

Posted by on Mar 27, 2014

Perhaps the cold weather will have retarded the blossoming of the  dogwoods enough so that that mystical concurrence, Derby and dogwoods in bloom, might actually happen this year.

As we wait to see, Derby Festival events are getting under way.  On Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m., Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host the 3rd annual Tale of the Horse cocktail competition.

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Gaze into your crystal (basket)ball and win pizzas for a year

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014

We all know Friday will be crazy throughout the state.  UK and U of L go head to head in the NCAA basketball tournament; the winner advancing to the Elite 8.  To celebrate the craziness, Boombozz Pizza and Taphouse  is offering a prize of a year’s worth of free pizzas to anyone who correctly predicts the score of the game.

To enter the contest fans go to The deadline to enter is March 28, 2014 9 p.m.

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It’s lobster season at Eddie Merlot’s

Posted by on Mar 25, 2014

Eddie Merlot’s (455 South Fourth Street, Suite 102) has from the start been known for its seafood as well as its steaks.  Now through April 18,  the handsome downtown eatery has added several lobster specials to the menu, at attractive price points. 

Executive Chef Anthony Lusiak has concocted several dishes to highlight the Lobster Madness menu.  You can start the meal with a Lobster Bisque ($8) , choose two pasta and lobster dishes–Lobster with Pappardelle Pasta ($26) in a cream sauce, or individual servings of the Eddie Merlot’s signature Lobster Macaroni & Cheese ($12).

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A profile of Fernando Martinez — whose The Place Downstairs opens this week

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014

Fernando Martinez has the golden touch with restaurants. Here’s why 2014 will be his biggest year yet.

It’s December 2013, and Fernando Martinez is weeks away from opening two new restaurants: a taqueria in the Highlands and a fine-dining establishment in Jeffersontown. That’s on top of his two hugely popular East End dining spots, Guaca Mole and Mussel & Burger Bar, which opened in 2012 and 2013, respectively. It’s been a lively couple of years.

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Local “Celebrity Chef” to Cook for Winston’s Fundraiser

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014

Instead of looking to out-of-town chefs, as they sometimes have in the past for their “celebrity chef” fundraising dinner, Winston’s Restaurant has asked Josh Bettis, executive chef of the Brown Hotel to present a five-course dining event on April 17.

Ticket sales for the dinner will be donated to the Sullivan University Foundation, to be used for scholarships for culinary students.

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First, counterfeit Gucci bags. Now, counterfeit basmati rice.

Posted by on Mar 22, 2014

The eco-news aggregator Grist is reporting on a troubling growing trend—counterfeiting of premium food products.

Food fraud is not new, as anyone who has followed the Italian olive oil scandals knows. 

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Sam’s Food & Spirits to open in Clarksville

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014

 The fire that destroyed Sam’s Food & Spirits in New Albany late last year put a pall over the restaurant’s many fans, but owner Sam Anderson is plugging on.

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Eiderdown plans expansion

Posted by on Mar 20, 2014

The Courier-Journal reported recently on plans by Heather Burks and James Gunnoe, owners of Eiderdown, the popular Germantown restaurant on Goss Ave., to expand into adjacent properties—if the Zoning Board will approve a change from non-conforming residential to commercial.

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Cary, Lee are in finals for Best Chef in Southeast award

Posted by on Mar 19, 2014

Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia and MilkWood, and Kathy Cary of Lilly’s, have both been named finalists in this year’s James Beard Foundation awards in the category of Best Chef in the Southeast.  There are three others finalists from restaurants in other cities in the Southeast vying for the distinction.

The Southeast category includes restaurants in Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Louisville is the only city in that category with two nominees.

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That Place Downstairs opens in lower level of Mussels & Burgers Bar

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014

It has been a busy couple of years for Fernando martinez, his wife Cristina, and his ever-growing crew.  His fourth new restaurant, That Place Downstairs,is set to open next Thursday (March 27th).

Martinez, who started Havana Rumba and Mojitos, then left Louisville to pursue other projects, and to continue his culinary studies. Since his return to town, he has opened GuacaMole, Mussels and Burgers Bar, El Taco Luchador, and now, a fine dining restaurant, That Place Downstairs, on the lower level of Mussels and Burgers Bar, Taylorsville Rd.

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Dean Corbett and Shawn Ward among four partners overhauling The Brewery

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014

If you like The Brewery, here’s some great news: It’s going to get even better. Way better.

Under the banner of Louisville Eats Good LLC, Dean Corbett (owner of Equus, Jack’s Lounge and Corbett’s: An American Place); Shawn Ward (Jack Fry’s executive chef for 18 years); Nirmesh Agrawal (assistant manager at Corbett’s); and Brian Flowers (former executive chef and partner at Bravo, and former general manager at Ruby Tuesdays) will engage in a makeover of the longtime 426 Baxter Ave. watering hole.

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Main Street Cafe Closes Suddenly

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014

According to their Facebook page and a sign posted on their front door earlier today, Main Street Cafe, 217 E. Main St., has shuttered its doors effective immediately. 

Former Main Street Café manager, Len Stevens, reported on, “The owners of The Ice House building decided to focus their financial resources on the new apartments that they are building,” he added, “the Cafe has been a financial struggle since it’s opening.”

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Brazeiros opens in Fourth Street Live!

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014

Brazeiros Churrascaria, the Brazilian grill house restaurant, has opened in Fourth Street Live.  It is serving its dramatic and entertaining style of wood-grilled meats, served on long skewers and sliced at the table by strolling “gaucho chefs” during its training weeks.  The grand Opening is scheduled tentatively for March 31st.

The high concept restaurant asks patrons to serve themselves at a large salad bar, and then settle in their seats to be entertained and fed.  

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Cake Flour re-opens in Glenview

Posted by on Mar 15, 2014

It took only a long , long night for the owners of Cake Flour to close down its NuLu store and remove all the fixtures, but it has taken over two months to get their new space in the East End up and running.

Claudia Delatorre’s  popular bakery is now located at 2400 Lime Kiln Lane, Suite C, in the Glenview Pointe Shopping Center off Brownsboro Road near Holiday Manor shopping center.

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Grasshoppers is gone; After-party hopes to make debt go away too

Posted by on Mar 14, 2014

An “After-party” to celebrate Grasshoppers Distribution, mourn its passing, and raise funds to retire its debt will take place Monday, March 17, 5-8 p.m. at Harvest, 624 E. Market St.

The effort to connect local farmers more directly with consumers was a terrific effort, started by farmer Ivor Chodkowski, assisted  by a large staff of young, underpaid workers and supported by a food community that cherished what local growers were doing to raise excellent food.  In the last few years, though, it became apparent that the market wanted things that Grasshoppers business plan could not provide: shopping convenience and home delivery among them.

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If you want to run a food truck, the Food Network wants to hear from you

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014

The casting call for Season 5 of “The Great Food Truck Race” on The Food Network is now open.

Louisville seems to be the current darling of food reality TV.  The call is out for participants in the new season of the show that sets off teams of three to race around the country, trying to establish their food truck concept with the public.

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Pick 3 — Bistro 301 Profile

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014

Matt Mershon was an experienced restaurant manager when he was asked to become managing partner at Deke’s Marketplace Grill in 2001.

A veteran of full-service standards such as the Bristol Bar & Grille and Jack Fry’s, Deke’s (named for then-owner John “Deke” DeCamillis, a local lawyer and star basketball guard at Eastern Kentucky University in the mid-1980s), was more of a bar-oriented restaurant, according to Mershon, and long before he and his wife, Molly, bought out their partners in 2003, he was imagining how he’d shift the business’s focus.

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Get in the Derby spirit: create a burger!

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014

The Derby prep races are under way. Futures betting has started.  The C-J has run a story about Derby hats—men’s hats. And now, the third annual Derby Burger Challenge!

The Kentucky Beef Council, always looking for a way to promote Kentucky-raised beef products, has made this event an official entry in Kentucky Derby Festival.  So get creative with ground beef and try for the prize.

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3 wine dinners this week offer special dishes and chance to explore new wines

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014

Louisville diners have an embarrassment of riches this week.  211 Clover Lane, Limestone and Bristol Bar & Grill all are offering special wine dinners, events that are perhaps the best value in local dining.

For wine dinners, chefs concoct a special multi-course menu designed to pair with wines usually, though not always, from one winemaker.  The dinners offer a chance to sample five to six wines, and a chef’s off-the-menu dishes that show off the kitchen’s best efforts, at a price point that is always reasonable and sometimes a bargain.

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White Castle returns to St. Matthews

Posted by on Mar 10, 2014

The new-style White Castle—no longer the gleaming Porcelain Palace of the past, but now with craggy off-white stone tower—is back with its inimitable approximation of food.

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