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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This AAA four-diamond restaurant is located within the extravagant Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. Guests can rest assured they are being served the finest quality ingredients prepared by world class chefs. Many of the meals, such as the Hot Brown (a gourmet open-faced roasted turkey, parmesan, bacon, and tomato sandwich), reflect local Louisville traditions. In fact, the Brown Hotel was the first to begin serving these Kentucky favorites. Diners have the choice of the restaurant's over 200 variety wine list. Please note that dress code is observed and reservations are required to dine here.
One of the most popular restaurants in town, bar Vetti is a fabulous place to dine with family and friends. The elevated cuisine is dynamic but features pizzas, pastas and mains. Beef Tartares, Spaghetti Carbonara and Four Cheese Pizzas is a must try. You can be sure of delicious goodness at this cozy and minimalist restaurant. Complement your meal with wine or cocktail. Expect a memorable dining experience in bar Vetti.
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.
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.
Milkwood is not just other Momofuku cuisine restaurant in town. Milkwood carries a character and a personality of its own and its chef Edward Lee has a pivotal role to play in this joint's style and inspiration. At this Southern cuisine restaurant, do not expect the portions to be quite healthy or filling but the flavors are just right and mix well. Chicken waffles at this restaurant come with a picquant Asian twist and are simply delicious. Chef Edward Lee knows best how to present Southern cuisine with a tinge of Asian spicy flavors and ingredients.
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.