We try not to go all snob on Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse

Guy Fieri has brought his brand to town, and local foodies are all atwitter. The jokes just write themselves, and you can find them all over social media.

I’ve been trying to stay above the fray by ignoring it. I sent regrets on an invitation to a public relations extravaganza at the new Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse in Fourth Street Live. Apparently, if my colleague Michael Powell is to be believed, that soiree attracted a deplorable pack of food writers and bloggers with noses uniformly raised and pinkies delicately extended. Continue reading We try not to go all snob on Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse

Brooklyn or New Albany? Brooklyn and the Butcher blurs the line

The other night, as we rolled across the Sherman Minton Bridge to New Albany for an evening at Brooklyn and the Butcher, it crossed my mind that New Albany is actually a little bit like Brooklyn.

New Albany, like Brooklyn, is a city across a river from a larger city, long ignored by its neighbors, but suddenly awash with excellent new places to dine, drink and have a good time. And as with Brooklyn, crowds are starting to make their way over to check it out. Continue reading Brooklyn or New Albany? Brooklyn and the Butcher blurs the line

Shaker Village shakes things up, but it’s still a lovable getaway

Kentucky’s beautiful Shakertown at Pleasant Hill is one of my favorite places anywhere. Nestled in the shady lanes and meadows of a Mercer County hilltop, this 200-year-old restored Shaker village is both a living museum and a peaceful and serene getaway.

And, completing the lure, it also boasts an excellent dining room, with first-rate upscale bistro fare served by black-clad servers in the elegant beauty of the Shaker Trustees’ House, a redbrick hostelry that dates back to the early 1800s. Continue reading Shaker Village shakes things up, but it’s still a lovable getaway

Mercato brings Italian style to Norton Commons

Some of Louisville’s top chefs, such as Anoosh Shariat and Bim Deitrich, have built their reputation on a string of restaurants spread over decades, making every one a success.

And then there’s Fernando Martinez, who does restaurant entrepreneurship a whole ‘nother way. With his wife, Cristina, and cousin Yaniel Martinez, Fernando keeps adding more and more restaurants to a growing squadron of fine eateries that all run simultaneously. This is no cookie-cutter chain either, but a variety of excellent restaurants, all different in style and even national origin. Continue reading Mercato brings Italian style to Norton Commons

Eiderdown in Germantown makes us happy

I won’t deny that being a restaurant critic is fun, but it’s hard work also. And there is one truly significant downside: When duty calls you to eat out someplace new every week, it’s not easy to return to dine casually at places that make you happy.

Nevertheless, there’s a handful, or maybe two, of local eateries that please me enough – and, frankly, are affordable enough – that I’m likely to drop in now and then even when I’m not wearing my food-critic’s chapeau.

One of those is Eiderdown. Continue reading Eiderdown in Germantown makes us happy

Finn’s pot roast is a feast for all seasons

In case you hadn’t noticed, summer has clamped down on us fully now. It’s 95 outside as I write this, and the central air is struggling. The humidity? Don’t even ask. It’s as if the giant evil spaceship in Independence Day: Resurgence is dropping down over the metro, only it’s a giant sponge dripping hot water.

Yuk. Nothing seems very appetizing when the weather is like this.

Wait! How about a big bowl of good old-fashioned pot roast? Continue reading Finn’s pot roast is a feast for all seasons

No dinner without the din

There’s a free-floating stainless steel ring that rests against the rinse sprayer nozzle of a commercial dish-washing machine. The ring is ostensibly there to prevent the nozzle from flailing about when released.

In reality, it’s a sleigh bell.

When a kitchen is really rocking, that little ring jingles and jangles constantly as the dishwasher shakes the nozzle back and forth, rinsing plates and pots. Continue reading No dinner without the din

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