Going Beyond Bourbon with Fred Minnick

Bourbon historian and journalist Fred Minnick stops by the studio to talk about his role in September’s Bourbon and Beyond Festival, which features a lineup of master distillers, chefs and musicians that makes the second festival one of the best in the country. Minnick is the author of seven books, mostly about drinking, and is the curator of all things bourbon at the upcoming fest.

Carolyn and Rick were inspired by last week’s appearance on the show by Anoosh Shariat to make our Eat of the Week choices at his two establishments. Carolyn and friends spent a night at Anoosh Bistro, and she raved about the Shrimp Scampi. Across the parking lot, Rick broke free, sort of, from his diet to try a veggie pizza at Noosh Nosh.

We noticed the LEO Weekly story on restaurant noise, and agreed that some of our local hotspots are just too darn loud. Out in the East End, we learned that a favorite haunt, Brownie’s the Shed, is shutting down. Carolyn talked with the owner, who said Brownie’s will continue in the East End, but wouldn’t reveal the location.

Our sponsor, Fourth Street Live!, is revving up for a big concert this weekend, and for the June 30 Family Fun Day, when you’re encouraged to bring your pet to the entertainment venue. Thanks for listening, and check our site out anytime at www.EatDrinkTalk.net.

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

 

Uniquely the ‘Ville with Kevin Gibson – and We’re Giving Away Russell Dickerson tickets

We’re continuing to eat and drink our way through the city, and talking about her on the city’s only podcast devoted to the ‘Ville’s culinary scene. And this week, listen to the show to learn how to get FREE, yes, FREE, tickets to the Russell Dickerson concert at Fourth Street Live!

Our guest this week is an expert on the city’s unique eateries. In fact, Kevin Gibson wrote a book about it. In the studio, he talks about some of his old favorites, like Ollie’s Trolley, and a new one, Oskar’s. Then there’s Rick’s old haunt, Angilo’s Pizza on Berry Boulevard. Kevin has three books about Louisville to his credit, and writes frequently about food and beer for Insider Louisville, LEO Weekly and others.

Our Eat of the Week segement includes Carolyn’s visit to the Kentucky Taco Co., near the U of L campus, where she and her husband tried one of about everything on the menu. Rick got special treatment at Hull and Hi

Eat of the Week – El Taco Luchador

gh Water in New Albany for a blackened grouper, a dish that fits with his healthy diet.

Around town, there’s plenty going on, including the opening of 80/20 Kaelin’s, and a steak and sushi spot on Brownsboro. And we let you know where a restaurant called Fort Knockers, not kidding, is going to be. For bourbon lovers, the Kentucky Bourbon Affair has events scheduled all around town this week, and the opening of the Old Forester Distillery downtown is just around the corner.

Remember to listen to the show to learn how to get your FREE tickets to Russell Dickerson. Join us for more at EatDrinkTalk.net, on Twitter (@eatdrinktalklou) and on Facebook at eatdrinktalk.

 

Here for the Beer at Fest of Ale, plus our Eats of the Week

Come on in and listen to another tasty episode of Louisville’s only podcast devoted to dining and drinking. We start off with a great interview with Tisha Gainey, the queen of local beer festivals, and Courtney Lewis, who has helped organized this year’s 13th annual Fest of Ale on the New Albany riverfront.

While Carolyn missed the interview, she was out west sampling a delicious meal from the Fat Ox in Scottsdale, Arizona. That was her Eat of the Week contribution, while Rick sampled fish tacos at Gravely Brewing and Citizen 7.

We were a bit surprised, but excited, about changes coming to one of our favorite local spots – Jack’s Lounge and Equus. Legendary owner Dean Corbett sold the business to Jared Matthews, but will stay on as Executive Chef. Matthews, who has had success down the street with Cafe Lou Lou, promises a revamped menu featuring more seafood and reasonable pricing.

Local politicians have a knack for sticking their noses where they don’t belong – and that’s true at the Metro Council this week. By a 13-11 vote, the Council passed an ordinance requiring restaurants to offer healthy menus for kids, if they have a kids menu. One dissenting Council member said we’ve gone too far when we tell parents what to feed their kids.

We’re looking forward to the next Hot Country Nights show at Fourth Street Live! It’s Russell Dickerson on the 16th. But this weekend, we’re kicking it at the Denim and Diamonds benefit Friday, then going to Fest of Ale in New Albany on Saturday. Thanks for listening to EatDrinkTalk, and catch us online at EatDrinkTalk.net.

Getting the Lowdown on the Rabbit Hole with Michael Motamedi

It’s another mouth-watering episode of the city’s only podcast devoted to Eatin’ and Drinkin’, and there’s a lot to say.

First we welcome Michael Motamedi to the studio from Rabbit Hole Distillery, where this week in NuLu the boutique bourbonists are preparing their first batch of product from the shiny new distillery, which just had its ribbon-cutting last month. Motamedi is a former chef who describes his trek to Louisville as a serendipitous journey.

Rick and Carolyn offer up a new segment – Eat of the Week. Carolyn describes her rendezvous with Asian-inspired chicken at Chick”n & Mi on Brownsboro Road. Rick ventured into Butchertown for a date with Naive, the new healthy food spot.

In the news, there’s a bar with a view making its debut at Copper & Kings, a happy result of the Kentucky legislature’s decision to allow distillery’s to serve their product on premises, a law that also affects our new friends at Rabbit Hole. We peaked at a list that showed 41 restaurants have opened since the beginning of the year, and 34 are on the way. That includes, we hope, the new Big Woods restaurant and brewery rumored to be in the works at Waterfront Park.
Our sponsor, Fourth Street Live, is bringing the Average White Band to town as it continues to bring quality concerts downtown.

There’s plenty more to do in our bustling city, and you can see details at EatDrinkTalk.net in addition to listening to this great podcast. Please tell your friends and catch us on iTunes.

Michael Motadeti with Rick at the Louisville.am studio

EDT Welcomes Chef David Danielson in New Podcast

The return of the Eat Drink Talk podcast features the renowned Churchill Downs chef, David Danielson, who joined Carolyn and Rick at the Louisville.am studios. Danielson is a busy man always, but especially now as he has just six weeks or so to prepare for the crush of 160,000 hungry horseracing fans on the first Saturday in May. He’s also promoting his new book, written with Tim Laird,The Bourbon Country Cookbook: New Southern Entertaining: 95 Recipes and More from a Modern Kentucky Kitchen is being published just in time for the Derby, and Chef Danielson will be making several appearances around town to promote it.

As for the rest of the show, Rick and Carolyn speculate on the reasons behind the Galt House’s $80 million renovation, and conclude the reason is simple – competition. Rick’s looking forward to the new healthy option in NuLu, while Carolyn has a story about her experience at a New Jersey spot featuring ACAI.  She’s making plans to check out the Omni on her L.A. (Louisville Area) spring break, and Rick recounts his ride around the Skystar Wheel on the Waterfront. At a Maker’s Mark distillery tour, Rick learned what makes Maker’s 46 so special.

We’re both ready for warmer weather and $3 tacos at the upcoming, and first-ever, Taco Festival at Fourth Street Live!. Please tell your friends about the podcast, and join us every week as we dive into the dives, reminisce about the restaurants, and chat with the chefs that make Louisville so special. Find us on Twitter at @EatDrinkTalkLou, hit us up on our Eat Drink Talk Louisville Facebook page, and follow us daily at EatDrinkTalk.net.

Local Takes with Damaris Phillips; Talking Hogs with Barry Yates

We’re in the home stretch headed toward the beginning of Derby Week, so as the city’s best restaurant and bar podcasters, we’re here to fill you in on how restaurateurs here are preparing to host thousands of out-of-town guests. We start with Steve’s explanation of why so many operators are offering prix fixe menus, and as you might guess, part of the answer is staffing.

What new places are planning to open before the big day? Roc in the Highlands has made it, and it appears that the new Red Herring on Frankfort might welcome guests as early as this week. Across the street, we’re glad to see the Hilltop Tavern is back after some plumbing issues forced a weeks-long shutdown. Among Derby events to look forward to, the Jill’s Wish bash at Bowman Field is a deal at $65. But we’re not all about the fancy — we tell you about some excellent food at great prices in neighborhood spots the Back Door and Kern’s Korner. We also fill you in with more details on the big Bourbon & Beyond event, which has started a billboard campaign around town.

In the Copper & Kings Favorites segment, Steve picked a Kentucky Cuban sandwich at Monnik Brewing in Germantown, while Rick opted for the Hung Jury, a tasty burger at Sidebar during the post-Neil Diamond concert rush. At the Back Door, Steve selected an Old Forrester barrel pick, a bargain at $5.50 a pour. While at the Pints and Parkinson’s event at Fourth Street Live!, Rick sampled a Birra Sour at Birracibo, featuring Bulleit Bourbon, a Shock Top brew, lemon juice and orange bitters.

Our first guest, Damaris Phillips, has a bunch of TV projects in the works with the Food Network, but loves the restaurants and coffee shops in her hometown. Steve’s guest is Franklin County hog farmer Barry Yates, who will be providing the pig at this week’s Chef’s Table at Harvest.

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Barry Yates

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Damaris Phillips. Photo by Bill Brymer

Pints for Parkinson’s Set to Take Over Fourth Street Live April 19

If you’re a regular at Fourth Street Live!, you know that a band playing on a stage in the street is a regular occurrence. But the party coming up April 19 marks a milestone event, as the third-annual Pints for Parkinson’s party spreads out over the entire complex.

Jason Smith, the general manager at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, started Pints for Parkinson’s at the 4SL spot shortly after he was diagnosed with an early onset form of the debilitating and potentially deadly disease. (If you’re not familiar with it, it’s the affliction borne by Muhammad Ali for many years.) Smith got involved in the fight against the disease by donating proceeds from one of the restaurant’s Pint Nights to the Parkinson’s Support Center of Kentuckiana. The larger party evolved from there.

Last year, at the second event, Smith’s work to promote the party resulted in one of the largest crowds in the restaurant’s history, so much that he said he couldn’t have squeezed another person inside or out onto its patio space.

“We were busting the restaurant at the seams,” said Smith, who is able to manage his disease with medication, though he suffers from occasional tremors. “We took the fence down and went out into the street.”

The party attracted the attention of Cordish executive Ed Hartless, who engordonbierschgaged in meetings with Smith to plan this year’s event, which will now encompass all of the entertainment complex. Ten percent of proceeds from sales at Fourth Street Live! restaurants, and all beer sales from a tent at the south end of the complex, will go to the cause.

Smith said he raised $3,500 the first year, $10,000 in the second and hopes to break $20,000 this year.

“Jason’s story is a great one, and when we heard about it, I said we would jump in in any way we could,” said Hartless.

Smith is especially excited about the band at the top of the bill — national chart-topping Country-Americana band Jericho Woods. The trio of Breckenridge County natives was selected by the readers of Kentucky Living Magazine as the Commonwealth’s Favorite Performing Band last year.

If you’ve been before, you can expect the return of the traditional tapping of the Maibok keg from Gordon Biersch as well.
Ed Hartless

Ed Hartless

“What Jason has been able to do in promoting Pints for Parkinson’s is amazing,” said Hartless. “Instead of having the crowd squeeze into one restaurant, we will be able call attention to a great cause in a much larger space.”

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, but Smith’s passion for the cause isn’t limited to four weeks. He’s organized pint nights in Bowling Green and Evansville, and partners with other local breweries to raise awareness. He’s even formed a 501-C-3 foundation to help distribute the funds raised.

While Gordon Biersch is a national chain with 32 locations, Smith said the success of the Louisville store can be traced to its involvement in local events and causes. Every month, the restaurant hosts a Pint Night when all beer proceeds go to a local non-profit organization. He said the restaurant raised $80,000 for a dozen charities last year,  and members of his team volunteered 200 service hours to community service projects.

“Fourth Street Live has become more family friendly and community oriented, and being a part of the community has really helped our business,” said Smith.

The Pints for Parkinson’s Charity Fundraiser is Wednesday, April 19, starting at 6 p.m.  at Fourth Street Live!

The Surprising Fourth Street Live! Strategy — Going Local

For all its success as a dining and nightspot destination, a significant number of locals still refuse to frequent the bars and restaurants at Fourth Street Live!, dismissing the 13-year-old entertainment district as a place for out-of-towners.

Cordish, the Baltimore company that owns and manages the complex, has adopted a purposeful strategy to change all that and bring locals to its 11 restaurants and seven bars. Part of that strategy has been to recruit local owners and operators, including its big win with the recent announcement that Chef Edward Lee will open Whiskey Dry in the spring.

About a year ago, Cordish hired Ed Hartless as its top local executive, who says he spent much of his first year getting to know Lee and helping convince him to open in the complex.

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Ed Hartless at Fourth Street Live!

“I think the second week I was here I met Ed Lee. We started talking about the possibility of him bringing a restaurant to Fourth Street Live! and our direction, which was to try to get somebody local,” Hartless said in a recent EatDrinkTalk podcast interview. “His personality was fantastic and we became friends. It took us a while to find something that would work. We’re glad that at the end of it we came to an agreement.”

Hartless, whose 25-year restaurant career includes opening 22 restaurants in the San Diego airport, acknowledges he’s seen and heard talk about some locals’ aversion to the complex.

“In my short time here, I think a lot of people have that stigma because of the Convention Center,” he said. “There are a lot of out-of-town tourists. A lot of time tourists do want something that’s recognizable and that’s where the chain restaurants do fit.

“We’re also seeing people’s habits changing a little bit in that people who go to cities they’re not accustomed to they do like to search out and find something with local flair. That’s why, with bringing Junior Bridgeman in with Birracibo, and now with Edward Lee, we’re going down that path of bringing in more of the local flair. I think there needs to be a good balance.”

With more than a year left in which the Convention Center will be closed for construction, and with the 2018 opening of the Omni Hotel and other downtown developments, Hartless said he’s discussed with current tenants the importance of appealing to locals, and he’s spearheading an effort to bring more local festivals and events to Fourth Street.

“We definitely are going after locals,” he said. “As downtown starts redeveloping, we’ve got Whiskey Row getting ready, the Omni, NuLu is growing, I can see there could be a resurgence of locals coming back downtown because there’s so much more to offer. In conversations with all of our tenants, we are becoming more strategic when it comes to how we market, going a little more grass roots.”

Hartless believes the business climate for local operators to come downtown is changing, and he’s intent on finding ones that fit in. Certainly there have been plenty of restaurants that have opened and closed there in the past.

“We’re looking. We’re a little bit more choosy,” he said. “We really look for great operators now. You really have to have great operators to keep a restaurant sustainable. And we will leave a space vacant until we find somebody who has a proven track record, like Edward Lee, like Guy Fieri, like Junior Bridgeman, those are the last three we’ve put in.”

To overcome the anticipated decline in convention business, tenants at Fourth Street are turning their focus to locals. Hartless pointed to the upcoming Pints for Parkinson’s charity event as an example. Last year, it was hosted by Gordon Biersch Brewery. This April 19, the event will take over the entire complex, with Gordon Biersch continuing to play host.

On April 1, the complex is partnering with the Louisville Urban League to host a Hospitality Industry Job Fair, with a goal of attracting up to 400 job seekers to fill hospitality openings in downtown restaurants and hotels.

“It’s a way to bring notice that there are jobs to be had in Louisville and we’re opening the doors to let them come in,” said Hartless. “It’s not an online application – it’s going to be face-to-face, I can hire you right now.”

 

 

 

Doug Gossman’s 40-Year Run at Bristol; Ed Hartless Goes Local for Fourth Street Live!

The tastiest podcast in these parts is back with another deep dive into the local dining and drinking scene. We start this week with a few laughs from our afternoon at the Tailspin Ale Fest, where we were pouring plenty of little glasses of great beer. Across the river, we learned the long-awaited Parlour pizzeria will open at the foot of the Big Four Bridge on March 15. Rick talked with Mike Safei last week about the coffee company’s new digs in Shelby Park and some exciting plans being made, including a brewery and bakery. We’re looking forward to a few big events this week — The Ideal Bartender event at Copper & Kings Wednesday, Das Meal in Shelbyville on Thursday, and the 5th Annual Gravy Cup on Saturday.

Steve’s guest is Doug Gossman, who started a business in the Highlands known as the Bristol Bar & Grille four decades ago. The success story was an unlikely one, as Gossman explains that he never expected multiple locations and this kind of longevity. Rick talked with Fourth Street Live! exec Ed Hartless, who is focused on bringing in local restaurants (like the upcoming Whiskey Dry from Edward Lee) and becoming more involved in local events.

In our Favorites segment, Rick chose a Traveler Beer Co. Pineapple Shandy at Tailspin, while Steve picked an as-yet-unnamed concoction involving Green Chartreuse concocted by barkeep Daniel Mahony at The Portage House in Jeffersonville. His favorite bite there was a perfectly prepared whole roasted trout. Rick was amazed at the speed of the service, and the quality of the meal, when he ordered a Buffalo Chicken Salad at Double Dogs in Middletown.

And finally, we want you to make a reservation with our sponsor, Harvest Restaurant, for a special Chef’s Table on Feb. 23. The fantastic meal, led by farmer Judith Schad, features courses accented with Goat Cheese. It’s $85, plus $35 for wine pairings, and you’ll save 10 percent by mentioning EatDrinkTalk when you call 384-9090.

EDT42DougGossman

Doug Gossman

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at Fourth Street Live!, Ed Hartless