So long, Artesano. Welcome Steak & Bourbon!

I’m not going to lie about this: I miss Artesano. It was a favorite. This does not mean that I don’t like Steak & Bourbon, its recent successor under the same management. But steakhouses are a dime a dozen around here. Serious Spanish tapas eateries are thin on the ground, so the loss of a favorite is a significant hit.

All my whining won’t bring Artesano back, I know, so let’s move on. We dropped in to Steak & Bourbon with a group of friends the other night and had a fine time. Continue reading So long, Artesano. Welcome Steak & Bourbon!

Milantoni offers fine Italian, the old-fashioned way

Once upon a time, within living memory for many of us, Italian dining meant hearty, red-sauced pasta, garlic bread, maybe a little lasagna, and fake ivy on the ceiling.

Then, just like that, back in the ‘70s, Italian went upscale. Before we knew it we were all gaga about what we called Northern Italian cuisine, with nary a drop of marinara in sight.

But in our hearts we know we still crave the comforting old-school family-style Italian-American fare, don’t we? If you’re suddenly craving some ravioli or chicken parm – and pizza of course – then here’s my advice: Head for Milantoni Italian Restaurant and mangia, mangia, mangia! Continue reading Milantoni offers fine Italian, the old-fashioned way

Shine on, August Moon

“Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.” Yogi Berra purportedly said that, making the aphorism famous even if he didn’t say it first. Now I want to take an unlikely shot at similar fame with this Yogi-style observation: “I go to August Moon so often that I haven’t been there lately.” Continue reading Shine on, August Moon

Simply Thai comforts us with flavor and spice

When you need comfort food, nothing else will do. When you’re feeling down, pulling up to a plate full of comfort may be the best thing you can do for yourself. So it was for me last week when I had to say good-bye to my beloved cat Spike, a ginger-color furball buddy who’d been my special friend and constant companion for more than 17 years. It was either ugly-cry or fill up on comfort food, so I decided to do both.

But here’s the funny thing: When I needed comfort food, I realized that comfort for me does not come from the nurturing culinary memories of a Louisville childhood. No, my culinary comfort needs are filled with the bright, potent flavors of Southern and Southeastern Asia. Make mine Indian, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Thai, and I can feel the tension and sadness quietly draining away.

I hadn’t been to Simply Thai in St. Matthews for quite a while, so it felt like the perfect destination for a bittersweet yet consoling dinner in memory of Spike. Continue reading Simply Thai comforts us with flavor and spice

We are Hooked on Frankfort

For many decades before the first pizza came to Louisville in the 1950s or the first real taquerias arrived in the 1990s, this town has had a love affair with seafood and fish.

It wasn’t long after the Civil War when Mazzoni’s started shipping fresh oysters up from the Gulf in railroad cars filled with ice; fried fish couldn’t have taken much longer in a city with a large Catholic population expected to consume fish on Fridays. Mike Linnig and his family were selling fish sandwiches out of their produce stand on Cane Run Road as early as the late 1920s; the first Kingfish restaurant greeted the dawn of the Baby Boom in 1948.

Nowadays there’s a source of fried fish just about everywhere you look, and the latest entry is a good one, too: Please say hello to Hooked on Frankfort. Continue reading We are Hooked on Frankfort

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