Earlier this year my wife and I decided that, since we didn’t already have enough problems, we should open yet another bakery. But, unlike our other locations, this one would have a secret ingredient to boost the bottom line — booze! We lucked into a prime location in the Garden District on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Being the only writer on the Food & Dining staff not actually based in Louisville, some context might be helpful. Down here we have this thing called Mardi Gras, which is sort of like our version of the Derby. And as the Derby has its buildup of events like Thunder Over Louisville, Pegasus Parade, etc., Mardi Gras builds to a similar crescendo over the three-week period leading up to Fat Tuesday. Continue reading Humor — Our First Mardi Gras
One of the few things that get me out of bed on Saturday mornings is knowing there are several farmers’ markets where I can go to buy freshly picked local fruits and vegetables I crave, while maybe discovering something new I haven’t tried before and getting advice on how to prepare it. But it’s equally motivating to know I’ll get to schmooze with neighbors while getting a cooked-to-order omelet, bowl of grits or biscuit-and-egg sandwich I can eat while shopping. Continue reading Farmers’ Market Guide — Buy local to eat local
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
When winter winds nip at the nose, when the clouds spit snow and puddles freeze – that is the time for comforting meals of stew in steaming bowls accompanied by chunks of crusty bread.
Stews are an elemental food, harkening back to dim times when a single earthen pot simmered over a fire, the repository for whatever was hunted and gathered that day. Most cultures that eventually coalesced from our first ancestors kept this primordial food memory, and at the heart of most cuisines are many and varied stews, whether they are called pot au feu, goulash or râgout, boeuf bourguignon, bigos or burgoo, cassoulet, cholent or cioppino, feijoada, hasenpfeffer or hot pot.
The practical value of the stew concept is neatly summarized by The Oxford Companion To Food, with a description that cuts to the heart of the ubiquity of stew in so many cultures: “The mixture of ingredients in a thick and opaque sauce casts a veil of uncertainty over the proportions of expensive ingredients to cheap ones.” Stews stretch what is available to sate many stomachs; the flexibility of the concept allows for the satisfying of varying tastes; and the use of available native ingredients permits endless variations on a theme.
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
HopCat is a beer bar like the Rolling Stones are a rock band and LeBron James is a basketball player. Simple descriptions don’t always tell the whole story.
In fact, HopCat is a craft beer conundrum. It’s a growing Midwestern company boasting 12 regional locations, with more to come, and yet each one generally has more locally brewed beers on tap than nearby “indie” craft beer bars.
Uniquely tailored to their chosen neighborhoods, HopCat locations consciously seek to be as much a part of their community as the mom-and-pop joint right down the street.
HopCat garners national praise, but it soft-pedals superlatives, modestly describing itself as “a home for craft beer lovers,” as well as promoting recycling and sustainability, engaging with local breweries and beer geeks, and serving food “like mom would make if she loved craft beer.” That is, if your mom had room for an eye-popping 132 draft beers, which is HopCat’s signature.
Well, the restaurant growth in the Louisville area continues apace. Since the last issue in August, Food & Dining this issue is adding 33 new restaurants to its listings, a dozen of which are additional outlets of existing businesses. Only 15 restaurants have closed, or have announced that they will do so; three of those closings are businesses that are folding one of multiple locations. So, polish up those charge cards and get ready to try some new dining spots. Continue reading Coming & Goings
The local restaurant scene continues to be on a tear. In this issue, F&D is listing 30 restaurants that have opened in the last three months (or are scheduled to open by the fall) – 23 new concepts and seven new locations for businesses that have decided now is the time to open additional outlets. Continue reading Comings & Goings — Fall 2016
It is a deceptively simple notion to modify the flavor of beer by aging it in Bourbon barrels. Just as char and time transform simpler corn-based spirits into a sipper’s elixir, so a barrel’s second use with beer can create a characterful hybrid, balancing the chosen base beer with notes of vanilla and spices.
This principle holds true when using barrels previously filled with other liquors or wine, and to a more subtle extent, by exposing beer to various types of wood (most often oak) through chips or spirals. Continue reading HIP HOPS— Goodwood Brewing Co.
People who know me won’t be surprised by the analogy that came to mind as I sat down to sample Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey, a new product from a veteran of the local distilling industry. What jumped into my head was the rabbit-duck illusion, an ambiguous 19th-century German drawing depicting a rabbit that, if you look again, looks like a duck, or a duck, if you blink, that resembles a rabbit. Which creature is it? Continue reading Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey