Tag Archives: Louisville Restaurant

Profile: Seafood Lady

[Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine]

Nichelle Thurston never set out to become the Seafood Lady. In fact, she was close to graduating from Ivy Tech with a nursing degree when it all started. In 2015, Thurston prepared a seafood feast for her husband and three children. Even then she had a habit of cooking for 30 when she only needed food for five. Her family was so used to it that they stopped using plates, preferring to eat straight from the serving dishes. Continue reading Profile: Seafood Lady

Casual, Chic & Inviting — Ciao Ristorante makes its mark

[Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine]

On the shady corner of Payne and Cooper Streets in Louisville’s Irish Hill neighborhood, a new dining spot has revamped the space once occupied by Baxter Station. Unlike its predecessor, Ciao now adds a jaunty modern element to the quiet residential area with a steel and glass entryway and glowing orange against muted black and burnt umber walls. One enters a stylish setting not easily categorized — steel and iron, beautiful wood, whimsical lighting fixtures — but which suggests “Relax, this is a playful place.” Continue reading Casual, Chic & Inviting — Ciao Ristorante makes its mark

Comings & Goings — A comprehensive update on the local restaurant scene

[Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine]

The past three months have seen much activity in the local restaurant world but not at the higher end of the economic range. All of the fine dining establishments seem to be holding their own with no newcomers to that market and no casualties. Of the 27 restaurants that have opened since the last issue of F&D in May, at least 8 serve ethnic cuisine ranging from Turkish to Somali to Vietnamese. Another nine serve familiar American cuisine — or 12, if you include pizza along with burgers, wings and BBQ as quintessentially American food. A few outliers complete the list of new food businesses — a vegan café, a cereal restaurant, and a chef’s performance/demonstration space. Fifteen restaurants have closed for good, and two other businesses — Louis’s the Ton and Me Gusta Latin Kitchen — didn’t so much close as change their identities in mid stride, to The Butchertown Social and El Barrio Tequila & Whiskey Bar, respectively. And eight multi-outlet businesses closed one or more locations, but they are still serving elsewhere. Continue reading Comings & Goings — A comprehensive update on the local restaurant scene

Comings & Goings

[Originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of Food & Dining Magazine]

Just following the numbers makes clear that Louisville’s restaurant scene continues to thrive. In this rundown, we’re listing 27 new dining choices — 16 new businesses and 11 new locations for existing companies — while removing only 11 listings, three of which are multiple location businesses closing one location each. Continue reading Comings & Goings

STAFF PICKS

At Food & Dining we are often asked: “What is your favorite dish?”

We have the pleasure of covering one of the most robust restaurant cities in all of America with more than 1,200 restaurants at last count. It’s like asking Mother Goose’s “the old woman in a shoe” who her favorite child is.

We decided to focus on four dishes that everyone eats at least occasionally, and almost everyone has an opinion about. Not fancy preparations or exotic ingredients, but those standard dishes we can all relate to, and debate about: a good bar burger, chicken wings, a fried fish sandwich and a Hot Brown.

The Food & Dining staff got together, tossed around their ideas and, after some lively debate, came up with our choices for these four dishes. Let’s see how they stack up against your list. Continue reading STAFF PICKS

Profile: The Hub — Doing a lot of good things well in one place

Louisville is a city of neighborhoods with distinct characters and residential charm. And many, like Clifton, Butchertown, Germantown and Portland, are experiencing renaissances as a younger generation chooses walkable urban neighborhoods with restaurants, services and retail outlets over commuting to outlying suburbs.

This new urbanism draws people with a modern sensibility of innovation and creativity, and they are transforming the sometimes old into something decidedly new. The Hub on Frankfort Avenue is a great example of this contemporary tide flowing back in and invigorating the cityscape. Continue reading Profile: The Hub — Doing a lot of good things well in one place

Profile: Pho Ba Luu

Saigon Memories

Pho Ba Luu owners Jessica Mach and Stewart Davis bring Saigon street food to NuLu with a little touch of motherly love
Banh mi sandwich with house-made pâté and house-baked French baguette.
Banh mi sandwich with house-made pâté and house-baked French baguette.

Saigon and Louisville are 9,000 miles apart, but Jessica Mach has found a way to merge the two cities. In July, she and partner Stewart Davis opened Pho Ba Luu at 1019 E. Main St., on the edge of the Nulu and Butchertown neighborhoods. Pho Ba Luu’s menu is built around banh mi sandwiches and pho, a combination of broth, rice noodles (“bánh phï”), herbs and meat. Mach refers to this as “Vietnamese comfort food,” and being around it every day makes her feel Louisville is a little closer to her homeland. Continue reading Profile: Pho Ba Luu

River House Restaurant and Raw Bar — A dream deferred

We live in a microwave world where most people expect to get what they want immediately. But Chef John Varanese is proof that a little delayed gratification can be just as sweet. Varanese fell in love 15 years ago, not with a person but with a location. It took 15 years for him to get what he wanted, but in March the River House Restaurant and Raw Bar opened on the very spot that Varanese had coveted. That story, from love at first sight to grand opening, had enough twists and turns to fill a romance novel. Continue reading River House Restaurant and Raw Bar — A dream deferred