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Located in the heart of downtown Louisville on the ground floor of the 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main has captured the hearts, minds and palates of diners throughout the city. Inside the blend is modern and chic, but upon first glance it looks like an ersatz safari scene, with large sculpted faux animals such as tigers and zebras on the walls. The white tablecloths and elegant, light wooden fixtures and chairs only add to the eclectic mix. The food is just as varied, and though most would classify it as New American, the kitchen tries to transcend any compartmentalization or label. And with dishes such as diver scallops on rice grits or traditional Italian campanelle made with local lamb, it's easy to understand why.
Wiltshire on Market is another hip dining spot in the East Market District of Louisville and a place where many travelers enjoy that one special meal on their trip. Here diners receive fresh, seasonal plates from the mind of executive chef Johnathan Exum. The menus change daily, but some standards remain like the Charcuterie plate as well as the Mezze marinated olives. Since many travelers inevitably visit 'NuLu' (a portmanteau of New Louisville) while in town, Wiltshire on Market is a good way to expend your dining capital.
The giant faux fish at the entrance of Hammerheads is hard to miss while driving in the Germantown neighborhood. This restaurant is popular among locals for its classic American cuisine and laidback vibe. On the menu guests will find burgers, tacos (try the pork belly), sandwiches and hand-cut fries. Their specialties include chicken & waffles, their vegetarian burger called the 'Garcia' and the crispy softshell crab sandwich with jalapeno-sage aioli.
Louisville has some really great neighborhoods, from the West Main Historic District to Old Louisville and Portland, the Germantown area is just another addition to this town. One of the best restaurants in the neighborhood is definitely Eiderdown. Here the kitchen serves innovative plates with creative names like the Mayor of Milk Street which is the grass-fed strip loin, a duck confit and pumpkin risotto masterpiece. The drink and draft beer menus change consistently as well, and though many might consider this spot as a German restaurant because of the Spätzel, pretzels and wurst, it definitely transcends that label.