Volare is self-described as a “fine-dining restaurant serving modern Italian cuisine with Southern hospitality.” Now is the time to get fancy – this place has white tablecloths and valet parking. The ambiance is that of a modern interpretation of an Old World European restaurant, the walls adorned with Italian-inspired artwork, floor-to-ceiling wine racks and marble counter tops.
The wine list is impressive and the dessert preparation is beautiful. Of course, the menu is outstanding – veal, steak, roasted duck and exquisite pasta dishes.
Credit: Volare Ristorante
Buck’s is a classic fine-dining establishment that still manages to maintain a modern ambiance that isn’t too stuffy. There are white flowers to complement the white tablecloths and the offerings are served on fine china. Buck’s is like a step back in time to the early 19th century and is appropriately located in historic Old Louisville.
The cuisine is classic American fare, so expect a filet cooked to perfection, or maybe a rack of lamb, fried oysters Rockefeller or a wedge salad.
Credit: Buck’s Restaurant
La Coop is classy, laid-back and serves reasonably-priced French cuisine (but at no detriment to the quality). The Cassoulet comes highly recommended. The wine list is interesting and well-composed and the cocktails are also fantastic.
This is a place that’s not too good to serve a burger, also – come by on Thursdays to check out their imaginative featured burger, which could be anything from a short rib and New York strip burger topped with beer cheese, sauerkraut, sliced apples and mustard aioli on a brioche bun to a burger topped with tempura fried fennel and beet spread.
If you’re craving French cuisine and a modern, trendy environment, La Coop should be your first choice. It’s cozy and the service is friendly and accommodating.
Credit: La Coop: Bistro A Vins
This village-focused, European-style roost is “a Parisian-style bistro meets an English pub.” It offers an award-winning atmosphere featuring chandeliers, brick fireplaces and a charming outdoor patio. It’s a relaxing place to unwind, enjoy a few drinks and inventive menu. The Southern charm of the restaurant’s ambiance extends to its menu.
The Village Anchor will certainly impress, but it’s not so expensive that you’ll be curled up in the fetal position crying over your empty wallet at the end of the night.
Jack Fry’s has been a staple of the Louisville culinary world since the 1930s. The fine dining ambiance is that of a classic American speakeasy piano bar. The menu features what many would call the best filet mignon in the city, lamb chops, pork chops, veal, coq a vin blacn, salmon, escargots, scallops… classic American dining, while still managing to maintain a modern edge.
This is a charming piece of Louisville and American history in the heart of the Highlands.
Credit: Jack Fry’s
Seviche is a white-tablecloth kind of joint in the Highlands. The menu is Latin-inspired, hardly-Americanized, and changes seasonally to create dishes with the freshest, local ingredients and sustainable seafood. This is a great place for a white-tablecloth-candlelit-yet-still-somewhat-casual dinner.
The menu offers creative, health-conscious dishes, from paella to mahi mahi tacos to the roasted vegetable chimichanga. The guacamole is to die for, made fresh at the table and, of course, the ceviche is phenomenal.
Experience a bit of Paris on the left bank in Louisville’s own historic Bowman Field airport terminal. The restaurant offers a kind of 1940s “Casablanca” charm to complement the authentic French cuisine, made with the freshest local ingredients.
Credit: Bistro Le Relais
Award-winning Chef Varanese creates eclectic, contemporary dishes that are a fusion of traditional, old-world recipes and New American Cuisine using local organic products. An extensive wine list in addition to various top-shelf cocktails and beer are also readily available.
A year-round, four seasons patio and live jazz nightly creates the perfect upscale casual dining experience. Varanese offers all the accoutrements for a night out with a special someone.
The Mayan Cafe offers an intimate, sophisticated, modern and cozy atmosphere. This is a Louisville favorite, serving up Latin American cuisine. Their meat is sourced exclusively from local farms and much of the produce as well. The menu offerings are flavorful and creative, and all the city raves about their Tok-Sel Lima Beans. They proudly serve the essential ingredients and flavors of Mayan cooking – dishes rich with smoked chilies, pumpkins seeds, lime, oil infusions & roasted meats sourced exclusively from local farms. The menu offers an array of colorful dishes ranging from Scallop Ceviche, to slow-roasted pork to pumpkin seed dip.
The menu features many vegetarian options as well as safe bets like burgers, in addition to rabbit and exotic takes on
Credit: The Mayan Cafe
Featured Image Credit: aggiecarrie