Butchertown Grocery, the newest project of Bobby Benjamin (of The Oakroom and La Coop fame), was one of the biggest, most talked-about restaurant debuts in 2015, and we’re happy to report it has lived up to expectations. Local Louisville lawyer Jon Salomon and My Morning Jacket drummer Patrick Hallahan are partners in the multifaceted endeavor, which, in addition to the main dining room and a chef’s table, boasts a late-night bar and performance venue, where acts picked by Hallahan keep the party going well past dinner.
Can we eat every meal at Galaxie? This NuLu haunt gives off a casual neighborhood bar vibe, but foregoes the typical pub fare like nachos and wings for absolutely addictive dishes, like the Across the Universe platter, with house-made bread and an abundance of dips, including hummus, spinach saag, roasted tomato harissa, whipped feta, and cucumber labneh. Everything just happens to pair perfectly with margaritas (go for the spicy), and makes for an ideal late-night snack after taking in a show in the adjoining event space, aptly named OUTERspace, where local bands and DJ’s often play.
The only thing missing from the Highlands’ varied food scene was a refined French bistro, and La Chasse filled that void upon opening just one year ago, breathing life back into the space vacated by Palermo Viejo. Classic dishes like steak frites are given a decadent spin: wagyu flank steak dressed in brown sugar and cumin, and served with herbed Reggiano french fries. Let us be the first to say happy birthday, La Chasse!
Chicken is somewhat of an obsession for Ryan Rogers, chef and owner of Royals Hot Chicken. His NuLu restaurant has perfected the craft of dousing a perfectly crisped piece of chicken in a fiery house-made sauce, something locals have obviously taken notice of, as the wait time rivals that of a few other fine Louisville establishments. But of course, this place takes it up a notch, adding Champagne, pimento cheese grits, and both vanilla & chocolate soft serve to the menu, which only ensures that it's a perfect fit for Louisville’s hippest dining row.
Less than a year old, The Hub is settling in to the Frankfort Avenue dining scene quite well, boasting a large bar, formal dining room, pool tables, and a patio ideal for brunching. A dinner menu of small plates offers some creative dishes, such as quail saltimbocca, fried crab claws, and pimento cheese with bacon pudding. After dinner, the space transitions to more of a club-like vibe, and Saturday nights just got cooler with the addition of The Pit, the restaurant’s new dance floor. Add to that some expertly crafted cocktails, curated by master bartender and co-owner Eric Wentworth, and you've got a great newcomer to the Avenue.
The same culinary crew behind two of Louisville's beloved restaurants, Hammerheads and Game, have opened the latest (and perhaps greatest) dining establishment in the Douglass Loop corridor of the Highlands. The build-your-own tacos are the name of the game at Migo, but don’t expect the same old toppings. Divided into turf, surf, and vegetarian, diners select their preferred meat of choice (think: tongue, wagyu chorizo, and fried lobster) and one of five taco styles ranging from BBQ to Korean to Mexican. Don’t miss out on the small plates, especially the yucca tots. And one more thing: You are not to leave without dessert. The churros are simply out of this world.
There are a lot of things the newly redesigned Speed got right, and enlisting acclaimed Louisville restaurateur Susan Hershberg to head the food and beverage program is at the top of the list. Susan recruited the incredibly talented Coby Ming (formerly of Harvest) to craft the menu for the lunch café, with local and seasonal ingredients a menu priority, as it is with each Wiltshire restaurant. Make sure you visit the museum on an empty stomach because the mushroom bisque is just as worthy of your attention as the art.
Given the beautiful, red tile-adorned wood-fired oven, and the rainbow of pastel pizza peels decorating one full wall of the restaurant, it's hard to miss the fact that pizza is Noosh Nosh’s specialty. However the menu of veteran Louisville chef Anoosh Shariat’s newest restaurant doesn’t stop there. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Noosh Nosh offers an eclectic mix of sandwiches, flatbreads (we like the braised brisket with goat cheese), salads, and pasta, all served in a casual environment which is proving to be a perfect addition to the Brownsboro Rd area.
The opening of Pho Ba Luu was highly anticipated, and it is proving to be a welcome addition to the increasingly popular Butchertown neighborhood. This fast-casual spot specializes in the street food of Saigon, like banh mi sandwiches, noodle bowls, and piping-hot pho. A full bar is on offer as well, standing just adjacent to the back patio -- a cozy spot to enjoy your noodles when the weather permits.
Louisville’s newest BBQ joint, located in Lyndon, comes to us courtesy of the Olé Restaurant Group, the same culinary minds behind Guaca Mole, Artesano, Mussel and Burger Bar, and Mercato Italiano. The mac & cheese hand pies, bourbon-glazed ribs, and country ham-wrapped pork chop are early favorites, though the yard bird, Red Barn Kitchen’s take on fried chicken, is the big winner on the menu.
The Oakroom, located at the Seelbach Hotel, has long been considered one of the city’s finest restaurants, the gilded dining room a place visited on the most celebratory occasions. In an effort to keep up with Louisville’s current culinary landscape, The Oakroom closed over the summer, taking time to revamp both the dining room and the menu, which now features a variety of small plates like pastrami spiced bison tartare and Kentucky silver carp sashimi in addition to highbrow classics like rack of lamb and prime beef filet. While still upscale, the small plates range from $10-$20, making The Oakroom more accessible than ever before.
Craft House debuted its Crescent Hill location in 2014 and quickly became a popular spot in the neighborhood. Hopes are high that Germantown locals will feel the same about the restaurant’s recently opened second location. The odds are good -- after all, this place features 40 local brews, a menu highlighted by local ingredients, and a beautiful dining space, including an airy outdoor patio. We’re particularly fond of the beer-battered cheese curds and the craft house burger, which is anchored by a Marksbury Farm ground steak patty.
The Seafood Lady is one of those hidden-gem restaurants that locals find and can’t wait to spread the word about, while simultaneously wanting to keep it a secret, for fear of ruining the magic. Like it or not, the word is out on the Seafood Lady, a tiny Old Louisville restaurant specializing in -- you guessed it -- seafood. Snow crab, peel-and-eat shrimp, fried filets, and lobster tails are just a handful of the spiced seafood cooked to order by the Seafood Lady. It's only open three days a week -- Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, from 11am-9pm -- so you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a line stretching out the door. However, the overwhelming consensus is that the Seafood Lady’s fish is well worth the wait.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a story quite as inspiring as Darnell Ferguson’s. He’s overcome addiction, homelessness and, most recently, a tragic fire that destroyed his restaurant, SuperChefs. His spirit proves to be unbreakable, however, and he reopened his breakfast and brunch hotspot in the Highlands over the summer. Along with the new location comes the addition of dinner service and a full bar, and the over-the-top breakfast favorites remain, like the triple threat strawberry waffles with strawberry compote and fresh strawberries.