Varanese’s “Billy’s Burger Bash” to pay tribute to Lamont Gillispie

For the 29th year Billy Rapaport, who has been NBC-TV’s freelance field producer of Derby coverage, will host his late night Derby Night  Burger Bash. For the 8th year, Varanese, will be the venue for the raucous party the packs the house at 2106 Frankfort Ave., starting at 11 p.m. Anyone who has energy left after a long day of celebrating the 141th running of the Kentucky Derby is welcome to join in the festivities. Continue reading Varanese’s “Billy’s Burger Bash” to pay tribute to Lamont Gillispie

Drink beer and watch the Great Steamboat Race

Wednesday, April 29, 6-10 p.m. American Founders Bank will host the Kentucky Derby Festival’s BeerFest. At the same time, more or less, the Great Steamboat Race, one of the perennial Derby Festival events, one with much hoopla but not a lot to actually see, will be taking place. The happy coincidence gives avid Steamboat Race fans something to do while waiting for the boats to go upriver, turn around and come back.

The BeerFest will take place at Kroger’s Fest-A-Ville at Waterfront Park. There, dozens of national and regional craft brewers will have samples of their craft to taste, and the Kentucky Beef Council will be grilling up the official 2015 Derby Burger. Continue reading Drink beer and watch the Great Steamboat Race

Another Taste of Derby to feature chefs from around the country

For six years now a second Derby event called Taste of Derby has been added to the panorama of festivities. The first Taste of Derby, for two decades now sponsored by and benefitting Dare to Care, and highlighting local chefs and food producers, was April 22 at Slugger Field. On Thursday, April 30, at the North Wing Lobby of the Kentucky Exposition Center, the newcomer Taste of Derby, sponsored by Stella Artois beer will highlighting chefs from restaurants all over the country, most of which are in cities that also have race tracks. Continue reading Another Taste of Derby to feature chefs from around the country

KFC Eleven: a noble experiment bites the dust

A most singular item in the mix of Louisville restaurants is no more. The only KFC Eleven store in the world, at 1004 Bardstown Rd. in the Highlands, has closed suddenly without notice.

It seemed like more than the reported two years that it has been in operation there in the triangle where Baxter Ave. and Bardstown Rd. divide. The uniquely-styled building held KFC Corp.’s only “fast casual” concept store that, when opened, was heralded as a vision of things to come. The menu included such unfamiliar-to-KFC-fans fare as  flatbreads, salads and rice bowls with flavors including Sweet Orange Ginger. Continue reading KFC Eleven: a noble experiment bites the dust

Pimento cheese and Bourbon cocktails–now that’s a Kentucky party

Pimento cheese has a special place in the hearts and taste buds of Kentucky ladies who lunch, a place perhaps co-equal with Benedictine. Both sandwich spreads are often found offered together at genteel receptions, church socials and lunch menus of tea shops.

But if you want to see what pimento cheese inspires in the devious minds of contemporary chefs, you will want to check in at The 4th annual Pimento Cheese Social which will take place at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery, 3860 Fitzgerald Rd. on Wednesday, April 29. Continue reading Pimento cheese and Bourbon cocktails–now that’s a Kentucky party

Get your Derby bet at Bourbons Bistro

Monday of Derby week isn’t too soon to get your Derby bets down. You can get insight into the best picks April 27 when handicapper Marty McGee returns to Bourbon’s Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Ave. to host his annual handicapping dinner. McGee will elucidate the arcana behind picking winners, and let you play the role of track cognoscente as you explain the Racing Form listings to your pals.

The meal will begin at 6:30 p.m. and cost $65. Call 894-8838.

French food writer Patricia Wells to collaborate on dinner at Decca

Sunday, April 26, 6 p.m., Chef Annie Pettry of Decca. 812 E. Market St., will host author and cooking instructor Patricia Wells to present a collaborative 5-course dinner, with wine pairings. The dishes will be chosen from Wells’s several cookbooks.

The menu will include scallop carpaccio with lemon and vanilla; salad of spring vegetables with blue cheese and buttermilk dressing; pan-roasted duck with olives; and honey-lavender ice cream sandwiches with lemon cookie and cashew. Each course will be paired with wine, including one of Wells’s own Clos Chanteduc Côtes du Rhône. Following dinner, Patricia will host a cookbook signing for guests.

The dinner and wine pairings will be $100. For reservations call  (502) 749-8128 or click here

Brasserie Provence pops off with Derby specials

You’ve heard about it–how to open a champagne bottle with a saber! On Monday of Derby week, April 27, 5-7 p.m., at Brasserie Provence, G.H. Mumm Ambassador Jean De Castelnau will demonstrate exactly how that is done, so you can have time to practice before you try it in front of friends when you hit the Derby winner. Continue reading Brasserie Provence pops off with Derby specials

Give an easy Derby party–let The Bristol do the cooking

After all that decorating–finding the Derby glasses, polishing the mint julep cups, cutting up all those little slips with the horses’ names for the guests to pull out of a hat–making a meal can seem just too much. Luckily, this year Bristol Catering is offering pre-ordered to-go meals for Kentucky Derby gatherings. All you’ll have to do is pick up the meal. Continue reading Give an easy Derby party–let The Bristol do the cooking

Pieology ups the number of pizza choices

Surely some numbers cruncher in the sociology department at one of the universities must be doing a study of how many pizza joints per 100,000 population any one city can support. Surely Louisville is a prime candidate for such a study, with the F&D listing for Pizza growing every issue. The latest to join the fray is Pieology, a California-based chain, open now at 2043 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy. Continue reading Pieology ups the number of pizza choices