Buck’s Restaurant and Bar, Louisville, 4/1/23

exterior – 425 W Ormsby Ave, Louisville, KY 40203

Buck’s Restaurant is in the heart of Old Louisville in the historic Mayflower building.  Established in 1992 they wanted to create a “moon garden” and filled the restaurant and bar with white flowers against the dark green walls.  The continental menu is served on artfully mismatched china and nightly live piano music adds to the ambiance.  The medium-sized place felt very retro with a large bar dividing the 2 rooms.  The tables were covered with white clothes and set with black napkins.  The lighting was lowered, the bar is decorated with liquor bottles, the crowd was a bit more casual and there is a dedicated parking lot.  Service was super friendly but in all honesty we were thrilled to have the young chef from our B & B be our server for the evening. Continue reading

Frank’s Deli, Louisville, 4/1/23

exterior – 3342 Preston Hwy, Louisville, KY 40213

Frank’s Deli also sells meat and produce.  They offer a selection of made-from-scratch food choices, with sandwiches made while you wait.  Frank has been in business over 40 years.  His background was in butchering so he started the store with meat and produce in the late 70s.  The corner building offers an array of produce, meats, sauces, chips and snacks – as much locally sourced as possible.  Most of the folks in there were in the line to order food to go.  There is no seating inside or out but we were fine to eat in the car.  The line moved quickly and the person taking my order was nice enough to suggest the spicy mustard instead of regular with the corned beef.  The sandwiches were well stuffed and I bet if I lived in town I’d be there all the time getting something to bring home or eat in the car.   They do have a good-sized parking lot. Continue reading

610 Magnolia, Louisville, 3/31/23

exterior –610 W Magnolia Ave, Louisville, KY 40208

610 Magnolia was in a 125-year-old carriage house in Old Louisville – the creation of Chef Edward Lee.  In 2003 he wanted a modern take on the Southern Table and so offers a 5-course tasting menu with 2 options on 4 of the courses.  Wine pairings are available as well as a full bar.  Since there were 2 of us we decided to each order one of the options so we could try the whole menu.  The menu focuses on seasonality and locally sourced produce including their own greenhouse and farm.  It’s a medium-sized place with rock music in the background.  A large bar filled one area but it did not have seats.  The nice-sized tables were bare wood set with white cloth napkins and windows to the outside helped with the otherwise dim lighting.  They do 2 seatings a night and reservations must be made by calling.  We were in the early seating and as such the noise level was good at first but then became difficult as the later crowd arrived and more drink was consumed.  The food was mixed but Chef Lee was in the house and did come around to visit with guests.  We tried their pairings which were okay and small pours. Continue reading

J. Graham’s Cafe, Louisville, 3/31/23

entrance to restaurant – The Brown Hotel, 335 West Broadway, Louisville, KY, 40202

J. Graham’s Cafe is in the Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville.   One of several restaurants in the hotel they are the ‘light and airy’ one.  They are famous for the “Hot Brown” which was invented there in 1926 and has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NBC’s Today Show and many other media outlets.  In the 1920s The Brown Hotel regularly had over 1,200 guests every evening for its dinner dance. As the guests grew tired and hungry they wanted something glamorous to eat and Chef Fred Schmidt created the open-face turkey sandwich he called the Hot Brown. The Cafe is on the first floor of the hotel and if you dine there you are given 2 hours free valet parking, which is nice in the busy downtown.  The room had windows looking out to the street which provided much natural light, bare wood tables, carpet, walls decorated with poster art and nicely padded seats and benches.  A full bar is available. Service was a tad pushy, trying to upsell a bit and not particularly attentive but there were enough service people you didn’t get forgotten.  The sandwich is an icon so I had to try it. Continue reading

Jack Fry’s, Louisville, 3/30/23

exterior – 1007 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY, 40204

Jack Fry’s is celebrating 90 years in business.  Jack and Flossie Fry opened in 1933 and the restaurant was mostly a sportsman hangout due to his love of horse racing and boxing.  He closed the business in 1972 and then the space served Mexican food until it was re-established as Jack Fry’s in 1982.  Susan Seiller bought the restaurant in 1987, the year Jack died.  She transformed the restaurant into fine dining and then sold it to Stephanie Meeks in 1996, who started working there in 1996.  She further upgraded the dining area and bar as well as adding climate-controlled wine storage.  The place has won many awards and is filled with photos of its history, including the photo of Jack with the winning Derby ticket that made it possible to purchase the restaurant.  It’s a cozy medium-sized darkly lit place with a small parking lot adjacent to one side.  The white tablecloths, tin ceiling and full bar are complimented by the lovely live piano music.  Service was friendly and helpful and I would heartily recommend this place if you find yourself in Louisville. Continue reading