Jim McArthur’s Downtown Vision; Jason Smith’s Fight Against Parkinson’s

The best bar and restaurant podcast in the ‘Ville is back with more news and conversations sure to tingle your taste buds. We’ve got a report on the new Cuvee Wine Bar, a great new spot in the East End opened by one of the few Master Sommeliers in the region.

And remember that you heard it here first — Tony Palombino will convert the Boombozz Tap House in St. Matthews to a new concept called Waylon’s Feed and Firewater, a close cousin to his Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen downtown. We’re also seeing signs, including one that reads “Now Hiring” at the Mission Barbecue in St. Matthews, one of a projected 50 new restaurants scheduled to open in the city in 2017.

We’re looking forward to the Highlands Beer Fest behind the Mid-City Mall on Saturday. (Did you know it was the first modern-day brewfest in the city?) On Sunday, two of our favorite chefs — Harvest’s Patrick Roney and Jacob Coronado of the Red Herring — will face off in an Iron Chef-like competition at the Louisville Independent Business Association’s Buy Local Fair at the Water Tower.

Steve’s guest this week is Harvest Restaurant co-owner Jim McArthur, who has some unique insight into downtown’s changes, and how good it will be for business, when the Convention Center and other construction projects are complete in 2018. Rick sat down with veteran restaurant operator Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch to talk about one of Jason’s pet projects — the Denim & Diamonds fundraiser for Parkinson’s disease. Smith has early onset Parkinson’s, and talks about how he’s affected by the disease and why he’s so passionate about raising money for treatment.

In our Copper & Kings favorites segment, Steve chose to sample fried oysters at La Chasse, while Rick picked the eggplant Parmesan from the menu at Ciao, where he also enjoyed a memorable Old Fashioned. With many to choose from, Steve selected the Chateau de Puligny he tried during a press event at the new Cuvee Wine Table.


Jason Smith at Gordon Biersch




A Big Eatin’ and Drinkin’ News Week, and the Rest of the Stories

We’re thrilled to have so much news to report this week — at last, movement on the old Lynn’s Paradise Cafe, the long-awaited opening of Angel’s Envy downtown, a highly-anticipated new nightspot in Butchertown and a $5,000 bottle of whiskey. And to think that  a week from now you might be carving a turkey for your family – now you can hear from a guy who’s fixing Thanksgiving dinner for 7,000 people. Check out the David Danielson interview in this week’s EatDrinkTalk podcast.

And this. . .

We Take Credit for the Inspiration: A Black Friday event set for Gerstle’s will benefit Wayside Christian Mission.  Eat.Drink.Donate at Gerstle’s in St. Matthews includes some Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey Drink specials and “Fill your Flask” giveaways. It starts at Noon, and you can feast on leftovers at the bar before all the kids get there.

Going Meatless on Thursday?: LEO Weekly critic Robin Garr provides a list of meat-less options for Turkey Day, not counting Tofurkey, from local spots like Roots, Feast and Le Moo. There’s even a roasted cauliflower entrée from Brooklyn and the Butcher.

Holiday Cocktails: You can impress your friends with your bourbon expertise, if you take notes, tonight at the Whiskey Chicks event at the Liquor Barn. For $25, you’ll get an education in batch cocktails and appetizers. Yes, you get to sample the goods.

How to Do Ham Right: EDT’s own Steve Coomes will help you ham enthusiasts do country ham right with a workshop titled: “Hamcrafted: A Hams-on Workshop for the Country Ham Enthusiast.” It’s Dec. 8 at Cooper and Kings. Your ticket ($35) includes a copy of Steve’s book on the topic. Also sharing info will be veteran ham curers Chris and Steve Makk.

Beer Goes with Anything: Even Yoga, right? Goodwood Brewing invites you to enjoy an hour of free yoga, then cool off with a cold beer. It starts at 5:30 Monday at 636 East Main.

Ciao, on Payne Street

Ciao, on Payne Street

Ciao, Y’all: A new restaurant we gotta check out is Ciao, in the old Baxter Station on Payne Street. As mentioned in our podcast, we think the operators could put more attention into marketing. But early reviews are positive, the interior finishes are impressive, and the menu has traditional Italian (lasagna) along with items like shrimp scampi pizza.


Tavern reopens, Ciao replacing Baxter Station, Pie Kitchen leaves Frankfort

Old Louisville Tavern reopens! Remember that horrible fire at the Old Louisville Tavern nearly two years ago? Well it’s hard to see any scars from it in the pics tied to its reopening about two weeks ago. Figured we’d let you know this great watering hole is reopened. Check out the pics.

Ciao to Baxter Station spot: Business First reported that the weathered and withering Baxter Station location at 1201 Payne St. is being overhauled for a new Italian restaurant named Ciao. Projected opening is in July. The story says Luigi Gelsomini, owner of Luigi’s Pizzeria & Pasta in downtown Louisville, will be the sole operator of the business.

Gelsomini will face a tough time getting recognition for this off the beaten path location. During Baxter Station’s heyday, it was a bit of a destination location in a far less crowded restaurant market. As competition increased, it couldn’t keep pace for multiple reasons—road visibility surely being one of them.

Pie Kitchen leaving Clifton, heading to Dixie: When Homemade Ice Cream & Pie Kitchen announced it would shutter its 2232 Frankfort Ave. site and relocate to a unit on Dixie Highway, owner Adam Burckle noted that the space would be rented to an imported furniture company—and for at a premium. Burkle, the uber-successful founder of Adam Matthews Cheesecakes, regarded it as a good business move, but Robin Garr, owner of LousivilleHotBytes, called it proof Burckle made a bad call. Garr, who generally serves up more snark than actual restaurant news on the site, gave his own take on HICPK’s move, dubbing Burckle’s decision to open three years ago across from The Comfy Cow, not “the greatest idea.”

That yielded a rebuttal from Burckle, who accused Garr of “reveling in our closure.”

He’s not the first to call out Garr for his negativity, though that never seems to slow the stream of bile creeping from the keyboard of long-ago Louisville Times restaurant critic.