Category Archives: Chefs

News & Notes on Chefs.

Summer in December: South American Wine Dinner

Join the Varanese  crew —  executive chef / proprietor John Varanese, chef de cuisine Erik Abraham, sous chef Callie Critchelow — and guest speaker James Kaiser from Excelsior Wines on Tuesday, December 19 for  “Summer in December,” a South American wine experience.

This wine dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and will be $65 per person (plus tax and gratuity.) There is also a $40 per person “food only” option. Reservations must be made in advance with a credit card and can be made in person at 2106 Frankfort Ave, by emailing  or by calling 502-899-9904.

First Course

Amado Sur, Torrontes

Grilled avocado tostada with chipotle aioli,

tomatillo salsa and queso fresco

Second Course

Marques de Casa Concha, Chardonnay

Crispy fried shrimp over a green cabbage, lime and jalapeno slaw

topped with a habanero jam

Third Course

Casillero del Diablo, Pinot Noir

Smoked chorizo and potato hash topped with a soft cooked egg

finished with a cilantro hollandaise

Forth Course

Trivento Golden Reserve, Malbec

Slow braised pork ropa vieja

served with long grain rice and a black bean puree

Fifth Course

Don Melchor, Cabernet Sauvignon

Roasted leg of lamb served over white sweet potato puree

topped with salsa verde and charred tomatoes

Sixth Course

Frontera Moonlight, Late Harvest Blend

Mango flan with dried mango and macadamia nut crumble

and dulce leche


Red Herring changes ownership, adds full dinner menu

Red Herring ownership change

One of Louisville’s newest cocktail lounges, Red Herring faced a sudden change recently when co-owner Brett Davis moved to work at a winery in Michigan. Executive chef Jacob Coronado and bar manager Clay Livingston stepped up to join building owner Mo Deljoo as co-owners.  Coronado is excited to be able make some changes – like expanding their small bites menu into a full dinner menu that will change almost weekly based on visits to farmers markets with his kitchen staff. He said he is most excited that the things he hoped for the most are already happening.

Continue reading Red Herring changes ownership, adds full dinner menu

Anoosh offers December lunch menu in Louisville

Shoppers will have another option for lunch while out in the flurry of holiday errands this year. Anoosh Bistro, 4864 Brownsboro Rd, will be offering lunch service from Tuesday, December 5 through Friday December 22. Lunch will be served Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner will continue Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“We know many folks will have visitors in town for the holidays and work up an appetite shopping at the nearby boutiques and malls,” said executive chef and owner Anoosh Shariatt in his press release. “We welcome all to our tables for a good-for-you, hearty meal.”

The casual restaurant’s menu boasts fresh seafood, pasta, risotto, salads, beef and vegetarian options.

Last year, Shariat only offered dinner, but he decide to listen to customer requests and offer a prix fixe menu which includes a choice of entree with the homemade soup of the day or house salad for $25 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations or more information, call 502-690-6585.

The December lunch menu offers the  following entrees to choose from:

  • Salmon with pomegranate gastrique and seasonal vegetables
  • Rosemary chicken with seasonal vegetables
  • Pork tenderloin with roasted apples, sherry demi-glace and seasonal vegetables
  • House-made pasta with roasted mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and asparagus

Local boy hits it big in NYC restaurant world

Louisville native Akhtar Nawab is one of the featured chefs in the November online feature of Food and Wine magazine in which immigrant chefs celebrate Thanksgiving with their families,  with their own mixture of ethnic and American foods and rituals. The article, found here online, includes a video of Nawab and his mother talking about his life-long interest in making food, and his family’s at first grudging acceptance of his decision to cook for a living. Continue reading Local boy hits it big in NYC restaurant world

Varanese re-creates Beard House dinner

Monday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m., chef/restaurateur John Varanese will recreate the dishes he and his staff prepared for James Beard House dinners in 2012 and 2017. The dinner, served with top wines from Grgich Hills Estates, will be at Varanese’s River House Restaurant and Raw Bar, 3015 River Rd. Continue reading Varanese re-creates Beard House dinner

A Milestone Anniversary for Asiatique

The continuing number of new restaurants to open in the area has been worth remarking on, but so is the fact that so many restaurants have continued to be major players for decades. Asiatique, 1767 Bardstown Rd., is the latest veteran to mark a milestone in the often chancy restaurant business, with their 24th anniversary. Continue reading A Milestone Anniversary for Asiatique

Two restaurant closings

This past week has seen the closing of two area restaurants, Loui Loui’s Detroit-style Pizza, at 10212 Taylorsville Rd, Jeffersontown, has closed, but the business has been sold and will reopen soon as a Bearno’s Pizza. Corbett’s – An American Place, Dean Corbett’s elegant restaurant in the East End, also closed last week. Continue reading Two restaurant closings

Time to plan for special dinners

Two special dinners this week highlight the range of local chefs’ interests and ambitions. Thursday, Nov. 2, Varanese, 2106 Frankfort Ave., will host its second annual Pork and Pinot dinner, pairing wines from around the world made from the pinot noir grape and dishes made with the multifarious possibilities of the meat from happy hogs. Sunday, Nov. 5, Sullivan University’s A Tale of Five Courses pop-up dinner organized by Chef James Moran pays tribute to Creole-Cajun cuisine, the dishes that inspired him to pursue his culinary degree. Continue reading Time to plan for special dinners

Bar Vetti to open Monday at 800 Apartments

As promised to those who check out this site, there is again news of a new restaurant opening, news that appeared less than 24 hours after the most recent posting of new restaurants. Ryan Rogers, of Feast BBQ renown, is scheduled to open Bar Vetti, an Italian restaurant, Monday, Oct. 16  in the 800 Apartments.

Bar Vetti will be the latest new restaurant to feature Italian cuisine, joining ROC, Butchertown Pizza Hall, Lupo and Ciao as the most recent additions to the two dozen or so other Italian restaurants in the area. And, there is still the Germantown restaurant planned by the Gabriele family to anticipate.

Ryan Rogers has made a mark on both sides of the river with his Feast BBQ restaurants, and was an early area proponent of Nashville-style hot chicken with his Royals Hot Chicken in NuLu. His latest venture will try to bring some sophistication to the sort-of-dodgy area south of Broadway between downtown and Old Louisville — inevitably dubbed SoBro – and to add luster to the newly-renovated and upgraded, and already financially strapped  800 Building.

In a Courier-Journal story,  Rogers explained that he named his restaurant after one of the buildings uncovered in the volcano-destroyed city of Pompeii. “Vetti comes from the ruins of Pompeii,” Rogers said. “It’s one of the most well-preserved homes buried in the ash. They uncovered the home and it had these amazing frescos on the walls.” The implicit comparison of Pompeii and the fallen-into-desuetude-but-now-revitalized 800 Building is evocative, if a bit of a stretch.

Rogers and executive chef Andrew McCabe plan an Italian menu that is inspired by local products. Bar Vetti will initially open for dinner service only with a range of house-made pasta, pizzas and shareable plates. Like classic Italian cooking, Bar Vetti’s kitchen will focus on seasonally-available produce (no caprese salads without local tomatoes) and simple preparations to bring out the inherent flavors of ingredients.

The full bar of Bar Vetti will include at least six wines on draft, drawn from a keg, providing quality at moderate pricing. The restaurant hopes to draw customers from nearby downtown businesses, schools and Old Louisville residents.

To keep track of Bar Vetti’s progress, go to or the restaurant’s Facebook page, @barvetti.