A Candid Conversation with Anoosh Shariat, And Special Eats of the Week

On the EatDrinkTalk podcast, join us for a candid, heartfelt conversation with culinary legend Anoosh Shariat about his battle with Cancer and what that means for his restaurants and staff.

Shariat said his main concern is making sure his staff at both restaurants (Anoosh Bistro and Noosh Nosh) understand that even though he’s undergoing treatment, the restaurants are operating and their jobs are safe. In fact, he recently brought in Chef Mark Ford to help continue his culinary tradition, with an emphasis on healthy eating.

Carolyn nearly forgot her Eat of the Week choice, but came through to describe some delish dishes at Naive. Rick ventured west to Porkland, a community restaurant that’s making new in Portland.

It’s a bit of a slow news week, but we noticed the new bar in Butchertown, ALEX&NDER, in the Copper & Kings building. We also  speculate about the chances of the region’s 2nd Ax-Throwing concept, opening soon in Clarksville.

We’ve got more tickets to the Russell Dickerson show coming Friday to Fourth Street Live!, so listen in to learn how to win.

 

Anoosh with his beloved oven, Maria

at Porkland, in Portland

 

Lunch service ending Friday at Anoosh Bistro

Lunch service at Anoosh Bistro will end after this Friday’s midday service. According to a news release, chef and co-owner Anoosh Shariat wants to give additional focus to his dinner service while migrating some the Bistro’s lunch favorites to the menu at Noosh Nosh. That concept, also owned by Shairat and his wife, Paula Barmore, is located across the parking lot at Brownsboro Road Shopping Center. Lunch there is offered Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

During a busy November lunch at Noosh Nosh, Shariat told me he was considering the change at Anoosh Bistro, but at the time his decision wasn’t final.

“Lunch in this neighborhood is very casual, and I think people see Bistro as a bit more upscale,” he said then. Looking around the packed restaurant, he added, “Everybody’s here. There’s no one age group. And you’ll see this at the other restaurants around here. (Noosh Nosh) has become a really good lunch place, so we might just let it have that business.”

Shady Lane Café is another lunch option in the shopping center, and across the street is Panera Bread Co. Two blocks away are multiple restaurants located in and around Holiday Manor Shopping Center.

Red Hog-Ready with Bob Hancock; Anoosh Has Nosh Down, Plus Roux and Silver Dollar

EDT welcomes Steve back from his siesta at Siesta Key, Fla. To no one’s surprise, the news about independent restaurants took no vacation. First up we talk about the closing at Roux in the Highlands, the first of Dustin Staggers’ five restaurants. While Staggers’ concepts got plenty of attention in the local dining scene, none was successful for long. Roux lasted exactly two years. Rick was surprised that the Courier-Journal replaced its restaurant critic, given its record of seizing on the opportunity to eliminate positions when reporters leave the paper. We’re both skeptical about what will happen with the new hire, and we have an update on former critic Nancy Miller. Plus, there’s a chef change at the Silver Dollar worth noting.

Both Rick and Steve spent some time with Bob Hancock at the brand-new Red Hog on Frankfort Avenue, and talked about our appreciation for his passion for the proper preparation of meats, and using the whole animal. Steve’s interview took place a few weeks before the Red Hog opened, which occurred with little fanfare, but it’s already created a stir there.

Four months into Anoosh Shariat’s latest venture, Noosh Nosh, he seems to be living the restaurateur’s dream — overseeing two successful eateries just across a parking lot from each other. Anoosh recently hired Allan Rosenberg to oversee all things culinary there and at Anoosh Bistro. The sister companies employ nearly 100 people. During Rick’s interview, Shariat talks about how much he loves his spectacular red-tiled, gas-flame-fired pizza oven, Maria.

Speaking of Maria, our favorites segment leads with a BBQ Chicken pizza Anoosh whipped up for Rick — with just the right combination of barbecue sauce and chicken, on a superb crust. While he was in Florida, Steve enjoyed some grouper and mahi mahi fresh from the ocean, and pronounced them delicious. He also came upon and shared a rare bourbon in the Sunshine State, while Rick’s fave drink was served in a tilted glass at SuperChefs.  There’s plenty more great eating and drinking news at our web site, www.EatDrinkTalk.net.

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Duncan Painter, Jay Denham and Bob Hancock at Red Hog

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Anoosh Shariat at Noosh Nosh

Peripatetic chef Rosenberg leaves Citizen 7, lands at Anoosh Bistro

Here’s one of the toughest parts of a journalist’s job: Knowing information that sources won’t confirm or deny, and rolling the dice on whether to publish that info anyway or wait.

I waited just shy of two weeks to report that Allan Rosenberg had left Citizen 7, where he was a consulting chef, to become culinary director at Anoosh Bistro. Both moves followed his June departure from Fontleroy’s, where he was partner and executive chef since last September.

Neither Rosenberg nor Shariat responded to requests for interviews, so I held tight.

And lost the scoop. Business First jumped before I did, convincing Rosenberg to chat and getting a brief interview for the publication’s online edition.

Win some, lose some. Sometimes patience is rewarded, other times not. Though technically not a dollar short, I’m clearly a day late on reporting Rosenberg’s move to rejoin Shariat, the affable and popular chef who mentored Rosenberg at Park Place restaurant. That spot, if you recall, was located on Main Street in the space now used as warehousing for barrel-aged beers at Against the Grain Brewery & Smokehouse. That was an early step in what’s become a lengthy odyssey of Rosenberg starts and brief stays at multiple restaurant companies in Louisville.

Following Rosenberg’s time at Park Place, he opened and closed Danielle’s, a solo venture in Clifton, and Papalino’s, a two-unit pizzeria company he started in the Highlands on Baxter Ave. Rosenberg’s partners in Papalino’s opened a second unit in Springhurst. Rosenberg closed the first pizzeria two years ago and sold his interest in the company to his partners, who operated the Springhurst pizzeria until closing it just weeks ago.

Anoosh Shariat, co-owner of Noosh Nosh and Anoosh Bistro. | Photo by Steve Coomes

Anoosh Shariat, co-owner of Noosh Nosh and Anoosh Bistro. | Photo by Steve Coomes

In 2014, at about the same time he was leaving Papalino’s, Rosenberg became chef de cuisine at The Place Downstairs, the subterranean and short-lived upscale concept operated in the basement of the J-Town Mussel & Burger Bar. A few months later he helped change the concept to Cena, a modestly upscale Italian concept that never caught on and closed 13 months later.

In the wake of that setback, Rosenberg set about creating Fontleroy’s, a modern-Southern casual restaurant in the Highlands that he and chain restaurateur Scott Dennison opened last fall. Yet as of this June, Rosenberg left Fontleroy’s after 10 months to work as a consulting chef at Citizen 7, a Latin-inspired taqueria and tequila bar opened in Norton Commons early this year. Since Citizen 7’s multiple partners prefer to stay off the record when talking to reporters, the connection to that concept and Fontleroy’s is a tad murky, but it’s arguably correct to call Rosenberg’s reassignment an intra-company move.

I talked to him about the change back in July, and discussed further work that he’d do as a consulting chef for Parlour, a pizzeria to be opened late this fall by roughly the same group behind Citizen 7. (It will be located near the Jeffersonville end of the Big Four footbridge.) A self-proclaimed “big fan of pizza”—a large slice is tattooed on Rosenberg’s left arm—he told me he was excited about a return to that crusty, saucy niche.

What he knew at that time that I didn’t was that his return to pizza would happen at Noosh Nosh, not at Parlour.

I found out a couple of months later via a tip from a source who said Rosenberg was on the move again, this time to Shariat’s operations. I requested interviews with both men to confirm or deny the rumor, but got no response. That was unusual for both, since each has shared off-the-record information with me before and, on some occasions, asked that I wait until a proper time to break the news.

Rosenberg's eventual play toy: the pizza oven at Noosh Nosh. | Photo by Steve Coomes

Rosenberg’s eventual play toy: the pizza oven at Noosh Nosh. | Photo by Steve Coomes

Believing it’s best to have a relationship with a source than ruin it in a rush to publish first, I don’t recall a time when I’ve declined that request. So despite hearing nothing but crickets, I kept still while double checking the rumor with other sources, who confirmed Rosenberg’s transition.

So yesterday I saw Business First report the story, and in it Rosenberg confirmed he’d returned to Shariat’s fold, where he’ll be culinary director for the company. I can’t say I was happy, but I can’t say I was terribly mad, either. I stuck to my principles about how I handle confidential information, though it cost me a scoop. (Yeah, we journalists are competitive that way. Petty as it may seem to outsiders, it’s one way we rank our wins.)

I can’t imagine his partner at Fontleroy’s and his contract bosses at Citizen 7 were happy either, though I know they got the news many days before.

I shared my disappointment in a text to Rosenberg and Shariat, and Rosenberg responded with a call. A little late, I told him, but to his defense, he said he was protecting his own interests by keeping quiet overall. I told him I understood that, but I said he should have at least acknowledged I knew the story and asked me to wait. But that’s the risk in my business; his risks are different in his. We agreed professionally that our separate needs simply didn’t align, and we politely maneuvered the discussion toward details of his new post.

Rosenberg said his immediate focus is Anoosh Bistro, an impressive restaurant that I’d call Shariat’s best upscale effort ever in Louisville (much as I loved his namesake restaurant operated long ago in Crescent Hill). Rosenberg said Shariat wants him to review the menu, see what staples need to remain, what dishes can be modernized and what dishes can be replaced in a seasonal rotation. According to some of Rosenberg’s chef peers, refining, perfecting and creating dishes are skills he has in spades.

Rosenberg said to expect more wine- and cocktail-paired menus and the possibility of a nightly prix fixe offering. The return of Kyle Higgins as Bistro’s bartender, will help create these new pairings.

Rosenberg also said he’ll eventually move his focus to Noosh Nosh, which is located conveniently across the Brownsboro Center parking lot from Anoosh Bistro. The move will mark Rosenberg’s return to his beloved pizza, for at the heart of Noosh Nosh throbs an Italian, gas-fired pizza oven cloaked in ruby red tiles. The flaming beast produces some of the city’s best pies, hot breakfast items and caramelized hunks of juicy proteins in its searing-hot bowels. Few kitchen toys excite chefs like one of these.

Rosenberg’s peripatetic record posits the question of how long he’ll stay at Shariat’s side. By his own admission, he’s cursed with an extreme culinary curiosity, one that sends him plunging into the piles of cookbooks stacked at home. It also seems to lead him from restaurant to restaurant in search of fresh stimuli.

Perhaps the return to Team Shariat and giving in once again to the pull of pizza will keep him working in Indian Hills for a good while. Saying that such is my hope is the easy part of my job.

Denim & Diamonds Gala Set for June 3

Provided by Parkinson’s Support Center

Get Ready to Party and Come Hungry
Country Chic – Jeans Attire

Parkinson Support Center’s
Ninth Annual Denim & Diamonds Gala Celebration
Friday, June 3
6PM – 11PM
Historic Locust Grove
561 Blankenbaker Lane

LOUISVILLE, KY–– It’s time to break out your Denim & Bling for the 9th Annual Denim & Diamonds Gala on Friday, June 3rd at Locus Grove; benefiting the Parkinson Support Center of Kentuckiana.

The Parkinson Support Center is a grass roots non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing information, educational programs, support networks and exercise classes to individuals and their families affected by Parkinson’s disease in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.  Our goal is to help individuals with Parkinson’s maintain their independence and stay active in their communities so that they may enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

The Parkinson’s Support Center’s Denim & Diamonds Gala celebration raises money to help fund support groups, exercise programs, and educational sessions all aimed at improving the quality of life among those affected by Parkinson’s disease in our community.  “Denim and Diamonds is our largest annual fundraiser contributing to 40% of our annual budget.  This fundraiser is not only a chance to raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, but it is an opportunity for the community to show support and raise money in a fun way.  The funding from this event is instrumental in enabling the center to provide our programs and services to those navigating life with Parkinson’s and their families.”  Bobbi Cain, Resource Development Coordinator.

Revelers will have a chance to kick back in a country- chic atmosphere with live music with Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown. There will also be unique silent auction items and an array of live auction items. Regardless of budget, Denim & Diamonds Gala provides plenty of opportunities for party-goers to take home something amazing form this country-chic extravaganza!

Gala Activities Include:
·         Signature Appetizers and Main Course provided by Louisville’s finest Chefs: Dean Corbett, Daniel Stage, Ellen Gill McCarty, Jason Smith, Anoosh Shariat, Tommy Hayden, Ray Rameriez, Patrick Roney and Matt Weirich
·         Live Music by Artie Dean Harris & Bourbontown
·         Tasting Tables provided by Ballotin Whiskey and Michter’s Distillery
·         Photo Booth
·         Live and Silent Auction
·         Raise the Paddle
·         50/50

Individual tickets to Denim & Diamonds Gala are $225 and a table of 10 may be purchased by May 27 for $2,000.

A variety of corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available.  All proceeds directly benefit the Parkinson Support Center’s mission to promote a healthier and improved quality of life for those living with Parkinson’s disease in our communities.

Special Thanks to Title Sponsor:  Barbara M. Nichols
Diamond Sponsor: Gordon Biersch
Platinum Sponsors:  US Worldmeds, Michter’s Distillery, Louisville Podiatry

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or purchase tickets, please call the Parkinson Support Center at 502-254-3388, e-mail us at info@parkinsoncenter.org or go to the website (www.parkinsoncenter.org)