louvino-3

Not really a review, just a personal note

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.

But new owners Chad and Lauren Coulter have redone the interior of the restaurant space quite handsomely, repositioned the bar along the south wall, outfitted the room with spiffy contemporary furniture, and offer a wide-ranging wine list and a very tasty menu devised by chef Tavis Rockwell

The wine list offers 8 different 3-glass flights, 2 ounces each, sort of cutesily-named for local celebrities. The Muhammad Ali flight of three red wines that are “big, strong and pack a punch.” The two Lewis and Clark flights, one red, one white, will take you on “an adventure with fun and unusual wines.”  The Jennifer Lawrence flight is “well-rounded, bubbly and beautiful.”  That sort of thing, but fun, and the wines we sampled–we tried both Lewis and Clark flights–were certainly well chosen, different from one another, and a good value at $9 per flight each.

All wines are by the bottle, of course, and many are by the glass as well, all well-organized by reasonable criteria: “Crisp, Clean, Focused” white wines, a separate category for Chardonnays. Other whites are grouped as “Floral, Full, with a Hint of Spice” or “Fresh, Balanced, with a Touch of Sweetness.”

Reds are described as “Classic, Full-bodied, Broad-Shouldered,” “Fruit Forward and Frisky,” “Interesting and Potentially Funky,” and “Rich, Bold and ‘Intellectually Satisfying’.”  There is also a beer selection, on draft and in bottles or cans, and a small bourbon list.

Chef Rockwell’s small plates menu includes snacks such as loaded baked potato tots, bacon-wrapped dates with Stilton; Land and Aquatic choices, such as confit chicken wings with a hoisin and garlic chili glaze (very rich and satisfying) and a beef slider, which seemed a popular choice the night we were there. My wife chose the shrimp and grit cake, a beautifully spiced dish with two rich and creamy wedges of grits cake and two shrimp. The “Veggies” selections are three salads, including a warm Brussels sprouts salad with chili corn salsa. The short dessert list included an absurdly delicious grilled peach and cream.

Louvino is only two blocks from our home, a distance that is likely to draw us now and again to sample a few more flights, to see if we can find a favorite new wine or two.