Thrillist has come out with one of their periodic ‘‘best of….” lists, this one entitled “Louisville’s 8 Hottest New Restaurant Openings.” Like all such lists (such as the Saveur story I will get to in a minute), it includes the usual suspects, leaves out somebody’s real favorite (the one that would be included if the writer were really cool), and is sure to please few and irritate many. Here is the Thrillist list of hot new restaurants. (Keep in mind deadline pressures when you write in to say “Why not Fernando’s new Artesano?”)
- Over the 9, Downtown
- Epic Sammich Co., Highlands
- Fontleroy’s, Highlands
- Galaxie Bar, NuLu
- America. The Diner., Highlands
- Joella’s Hot Chicken, Crescent Hill
- Le Moo, Grinstead Drive
- Mesh, Indian Hills
Saveur’s online posting last week about visiting Louisville was too much a listing of the usual suspects too, a real shame, considering Saveur’s new editor, Adam Sachs, is a hometown boy. Keith Pendolfi, the writer of the article, does hyperbolize properly, saying, “After New Orleans, there is, perhaps, no other American city as passionate in its love of food and drink as Louisville, Kentucky.” He then goes on to state what most mid-range to fancy guidebooks might cite, rather than get really cool by finding locals to tell him some inside stuff.
So, he writes about Proof and Harvest, Jack Fry’s and Seviche and Milkwood (fine choices all), and gets funky by extolling Check’s and Shirley Mae’s, and checks off The Oakroom, Decca and Lilly’s, but he never seems to have spoken to anyone (or checked out Food & Dining) to clue him on on the wonders of Fernando Martinez’s growing empire (wouldn’t he have gotten a kick out of Mussel & Burger Bar or El Taco Luchador?), or advise him to check out some of the cool new hot spots that Thrillist at least tries to get the word out on. He got out along Bardstown Rd., but missed out on the fine patio of El Camino and the super-cool surfing movies playing constantly inside. Clifton gets a nod with mentions of The Silver Dollar and Bourbons Bistro in the “Where to Drink” section. But he misses some St. Matthews gems like Superchefs (a different sort of funky attraction to note), and Majid’s, an example of the classy side of Louisville life.
What struck me on the “What to Do” section is that he paid no attention to what seems like the consistently interesting and eclectic music scene, led by Mercury Ballroom, Zanzabar and Headliners, among others. He hit the Urban Bourbon Trail and visited Schimpff’s and Muth’s candy store, but paid no attention to the Waterfront, the Big Four Bridge or to the Parklands of Floyd’s Fork.
Ah, well. they say any publicity if better than no publicity. Though perhaps Rick Pitino would dispute that bit of so-called wisdom.