We’re celebrating the New Year with another great podcast focused on eating and drinking in Louisville. We start things off with a news scoop — Steve reports that the Meridian Cafe in St. Matthews is the first restaurant closure of the year. But that’s actually good news, because operator Kristin Fults is reopening in Prospect with Melrose Café, and her old spot will become an El Taco Luchador later this year. The big story last week was the closing of Hillbilly Tea downtown, which prompted a post critical of operator Karter Louis on EatDrinkTalk and prompted a deluge of feedback in social media.

We got even more response to Steve’s post about media coverage of the industry, with many nodding their heads about reporters who don’t do the research and learn the details of what they’re writing about. The bottom line, though, is that we can all improve our skills, and the first of the year is a good time to reflect and resolve to do better. The same goes for restaurateurs, who must push to provide better service to keep the city among the nation’s elite restaurant towns.

In our favorites segment, Rick raves about the baked ziti at Silvio’s in St. Matthews, while Steve recommends marinated, pan-seared octopus served at La Chasse. He said the Normandy Jam cocktail there was complex and satisfying, while Rick kept with tradition and sipped champagne at midnight on New Year’s Eve at Loui Loui’s in J-Town.

The show has two great interviews. Mike Wajda, the executive chef at Proof on Main, has made his mark on that legendary restaurant. A genuinely nice guy, he was happy to show off the charcuterie and fermented pepper hot sauce tucked away in the 21C basement. Nicholas Landers, the top brewer at Gordon Biersch at Fourth Street Live!, knows beer. A chemistry major from Cincinnati, Landers played tube in a beer band there before heading to Chicago for beer school. Listen in to hear about the national chain’s involvement in local charities and events.

Mike Wadja
Nicholas Landers
Nicholas Landers