Mayan Cafe, as its name suggests, reflects the culinary heritage of the Mayan culture. Chef Bruce Ucán, with Mayan Indian roots himself, showcases a unique style of cooking backed by the ethos of sustainability. This downtown restaurant in the East Market Gallery District offers authentic dishes prepared with farm-to-fork, locavore ingredients. Some of the specialties include Sikil Pak (pumpkin seed dip) and the Yucatec Salbutes which are tiny corn tortillas topped with turkey, chicken, pork, shredded cabbage and/or other various eclectic toppings.
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.
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.
A venture by renowned chef Anthony Lamas of Food Network fame, Seviche is the place to go for not only its namesake dish, but for plenty of Latin flavors. Making use of local ingredients, the chefs at this restaurant serve mouthwatering Ceviche like the signature Old Fashioned which is tuna cooked from the acidity in a bluegrass soy, Kentucky bourbon, orange and pineapple brine. Some of the other dishes include plates from around the world as well, with skirt steak and Chimichurri from Argentina, the traditional Paella dish influenced from Spain and veggie chimichangas that hail from the Mexican kitchen. As the menus constantly change, guests can rest assured that they will eat something novel and innovative.
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.
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.
If you are looking for a taste of the Mediterranean then visit the Safier Mediterranean Deli in Louisville. The eatery specializes in Persian and Lebanese style cuisines and one can enjoy a variety of dishes, the popular ones being hummos, falafel, shawarma and kabob sandwiches, variety of salads like Tabouleh, Fatoush with toasted bits of pita. They serve a few Indian cuisines too and vegetarian food lovers will be happy with the tasty and healthy options offered. Vegan options are also available. After a hearty meal try some creamy masala tea or sweet Baklava.
Brothers Agostino and Vincenzo Gabriele, of Palermo, Italy, were both respected in the culinary field long before they opened Vincenzo's Italian Restaurant. Vincenzo prepared the food for President Reagan's inauguration, was given the key to the city of Louisville, and honored with the city's "Distinguished Citizen Award," while Agostino has almost fifty years kitchen experience and a handful of his own culinary awards. Over the years, Vincenzo's has welcomed countless celebrities - from Billy Crystal to Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. The menu offers a wide selection of traditional Italian fare and an award-winning international wine list. Facilities may be rented for functions of up to 250, and catering is available.
A classy restaurant with numerous beautifully decorated dining spaces, Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse is perfect for a good time with a group. This vibrant restaurant does not limit its menu to steaks, but also has seafood and sushi for you to enjoy. Starting off with crispy duck ravioli and herb grilled oysters, you can gorge on entrées like the signature bone-in filet mignon, steak Collinsworth, diver scallops, steak and lobster and more. An excellent wine list is also on offer.
Located on South Clay Street just a few blocks away from downtown Louisville, Shirley Mae's Cafe is one of the few restaurants in the city that serves authentic slow cooked soul food and southern cuisine since 1988. Housed in a historic three story building, guests are provided with delicious made-to-order meals prepared in their open kitchen. Everything on the menu is prepped and cooked using fresh ingredients, from their popular fried chicken to their desserts. Bring cash, no credit.