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Winner of the coveted AAA five-diamond award, the Seelbach Hilton's Oakroom provides its guests the same service F. Scott Fitzgerald and John F. Kennedy enjoyed during their visits. The menu draws its inspiration from the local traditions of Kentucky and it aims to preserve the native dishes unique to this region. The restaurant highlights entrees that have Kentucky bourbon, local foie gras, Denham Farm's mountain ham and other seasonal delights. Of course, the bar has an extensive selection of classic bourbon labels as well as more unknown 'small batch' ones.
Manny & Merle's fuses a touch of the Old West in the kitchen (with tacos, guacamole and flat-iron steak as quintessential examples) alongside strong select bourbons you could only find in a Kentucky bar. This honky-tonk spot has everything, from amazing Southwestern-inspired food to live bands and even a nice selection of tequilas. Throughout the week, the bar/restaurant hosts live music and though many of the bands are local, on occasion a national or international star will make his/her appearance.
Established in 2011, Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse is an ideal place to quaff microbrews and delicious food. Managed by a group of friends (Jerry, Adam, Sam and Andrew), this is the first traditional brewpub in the city. Against The Grain takes pride in brewing a vast variety of beers, from classic ales to flavor infusions alongside the hops are available here. Their menu features a delightful range of burgers, sandwiches, ribs and chicken that will complement your beer. Located on the grounds of Louisville Slugger Field, you can enjoy a drink and meal here before or after a game.
Harvest prides itself on its farm-to-fork ingredients and they purport obtaining at least 80% from within a 100-mile radius. But it's not just the food that's local because the decor incorporates reclaimed materials from all over the city as well. The menus change regularly, but you can almost always find the hugely popular buttermilk fried chicken with peppercorn gravy and bread pudding. Definitely a top-notch choice in the entire state of Kentucky.
Louisville isn't synonymous with culinary capitals around the country like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles or San Francisco, yet this town can hold its own when it comes to innovative, cutting-edge restaurants. And though Decca may be housed in an old building from 1870, it uses fresh, farm-to-table goods like duck liver terrine or free-range chicken. Other highlights include live music in a limestone cellar, an outdoor courtyard and an excellent wine list. Overall, a nice addition to 'New Louisville' or known more affectionately (or not) as NuLu in the East Market District of Louisville.
Being inspired by the location of his restaurant in Old Louisville and the bounty of farm raised foodstuffs in the Kentucky region, chef/owner Edward Lee knows his way around the Southern kitchen. Here at 610 Magnolia, he serves Southern dishes that often defy even that particular description. Each dish has complex, yet familiar flavors and almost all of the items and produce come from within the state or from nearby Indiana. Since the menu changes often due to Ed's constant adherence to seasonal products, there is always something new and fresh on the menu.
Emerging from the alcoholic waves of post-Prohibition activity, Jack Fry's tavern opened up way back in 1933. Mr. Fry closed the original incarnation of the restaurant in 1972 and it changed hands for a few years until it re-opened with the same moniker in 1987. The new owner (a former waitress at old Jack's) still pays homage to the man with his old horse racing pictures and other sports memorabilia hanging on the walls. The menu features a slate of elegant classics such as veal tenderloin and foie gras; it's open for lunch and dinner.
Lilly's proudly serves local, farm-to-fork food that is so fresh, some dishes include produce from the garden that had been in the ground an hour previously. This wholesome, win-win situation benefits everyone involved, from farmer to consumer. The constantly-changing menu is rooted in traditional Southern fare, but chef and owner Kathy Cary explores whatever inspires her. Lilly's associated catering company, La Pêche, caters events for up to 500 guests and is one of the most respected caterers in the city.
Varenese is a chic and modern restaurant and is known for their New American and Mediterranean cuisines. The restaurant is passionate about the concept of farms to table and you will find only the freshest local ingredients used in the food. Their four seasons patio is a beautiful extension of the building and has a breathtaking 20-foot slate water wall. It is enclosed by winding glass doors which can be retracted to give you a great outdoor dining experience. You will just relish their signature dishes like stuffed crab avocado, curried lamb and lentil soup, a flat-iron steak with mushroom and Parmesan risotto, and the bourbon barrel-smoked pork chop. Chef’s specials are really amazing, and there three or four each evening. Their yummylicious Tres leches cake and the toffee-marshmallow bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream makes choosing a tussle. Veranese has a good list of wine and special cocktail lists to go with the menu. You will surely be pampered by their great customer service, food, live entertainment, and making it into an amazing dining experience.
Equus & Jack's Lounge is located east of downtown in the neighborhood of St. Matthews and it serves an amalgam of upscale pub-grub. Where else will you find tater-tots made with a truffle aioli alongside Maple Leaf Farms duck breast? The menu is customized for casual dining and it features food as diverse as fried calamari and osso bucco to pot roast and diver scallops. It also changes often as they only use fresh, seasonal produce in the kitchen.