Louisville-Skyline

How Hot a Food City is Louisville?

One inquiry says some out-of-towners rate us highly, but Open Table’s listing of the 100 restaurants gives us the snub.

I’ve had the experience myself, a year or so ago, trying to impress a blase New Yorker with details of our fair city’s food scene — plenty of restaurants and cool chefs, Sullivan pumping out young culinary talent, great local farms, fresh lobster in giant tanks, Food & Dining magazine covering it all — but his languid expression indicated he wasn’t all that impressed.

In a recent blog post, Business First writer Caitlin Bowling talked with a few recent arrivals from out of state, who spoke admiringly of how they see Louisville’s involvement with good food, from the perspective of a business person opening a healthful food delivery operation, and the new chef at The Brown hotel.

However, another Business First story reported that one indicator of restaurant popularity, Open Table’s annual “100 Best American Restaurants” list  shut out Louisville in its considerations. (The last local place to make the list was Corbett’s—An American Place in 2011.)

Whether anyone should cry in their beer over this list compiled by an on-line reservation service, its criteria being principally enthusiasm reported to the site by the restaurant’s fans, is a question.  Not to be too snarky, but the list does include restaurants in Langely, Oklahoma, Banner Elk, N.C., Roanoke, Texas, and Billings, Montana—as well as the usual suspects, like The French Laundry, Gramercy Tavern and Per Se.

The three Kentucky restaurants that are on the list are Jonathan at Gratz Park in Lexington, Bouquet Restaurant and Wine Bar in Covington, and Patti’s 1880’s Settlement in Grand Rivers–which is in the northern section of Land Between the Lakes.  (My guess is that just getting to Patti’s makes people very hungry.)