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.

Collaborative Kitchen Concept MESA Coming to New Albany in June

Bobby Bass says that in his new MESA collaborative kitchen in New Albany, he’s trying to eliminate the gap between the kitchen and the dining room.

“Customers don’t often connect a face to their food, and we’re creating an experience in which chefs engage and customers can ask questions,” said Bass, who plans to open the space at 216 Pearl Street in mid-June.

Ysha and Bobby Bass of MESA

Ysha and Bobby Bass of MESA

He said the venue will play host to up to five events per week, featuring chefs he’s personally recruited, plus three to five in-house chefs. That way he can enjoy some of the positives about running a restaurant without the pressures involved in being tied to full-time hours. Bass is a real estate professional, and is opening the business with his wife, Ysha.

Talking about his first venture into the industry, he said he had never been so busy ironing out details and taking care of business issues.

While the space will have room to seat 20, it will also feature space for educational sessions, so that customers can connect with the chefs who prepare their food and see the action as it takes place. Among the chefs already on board for guest appearances at MESA are Scott Dickinson of The Exchange Pub + Kitchen, Darnell Ferguson of SuperChefs, Josh Moore of Volare and Eric Morris of the Gospel Bird.

Bass said the experience will rival that of Chef’s Tables, the popular private affairs that sometimes take place in a small section of the kitchen at high-end restaurants.

In addition, there’s a retail boutique pantry, so that customers can select some of the accessories and ingredients used by the chefs to prepare their meals. He said the space will be equipped with high-end equipment, thanks to special arrangements he’s made with suppliers like Dine Company, Chefs Supply and Bonnycastle Appliances.

For now, MESA’s web site lacks details on scheduling, but that will change soon. For now, those interested can sign up there for a mailing list.