Long before there were websites, social networks and consumer reviews to help travelers find a clean hotel and a good meal, AAA inspectors were looking under beds and tasting the meatloaf all along North America’s roads.

The 2024 AAA Four Diamond awards are out, and Vincenzo’s Italian Restaurant (downtown at 150 S. Fifth St.) is the sole Louisville restaurant recipient of this year’s honor.

AAA representatives visit more than 60,000 establishments annually, and only 4.2% of them are designated as Four Diamond properties.

Verily, Vincenzo and Agostino Gabriele are Louisville culinary legends. Two brief excerpts from the profile (linked above) summarize what the brothers from Palermo, by way of The Hill in St. Louis, have brought to our collective area table these many years.

Leave it to co-owner Vincenzo Gabriele to remind us that mercurial celebrity is only a pleasant coincidence when it comes to longevity in the restaurant business. “My father used to say the most important thing in hospitality is sincerity,” he says. “We treat everyone as if they are a guest at our family’s table.”


Today, after a lifetime of achievement, when Agostino Gabriele is asked what is meant by Italian cuisine his answer doesn’t cite recipes; rather, he recalls what he learned from his mother as a boy: “Fresh meat, never frozen; fresh vegetables, cooked fresh, every day—the tomato sauce and stock, fresh every day.”

For the record, these Louisville hotels were also awarded Four Diamond ratings for 2024:

  • 21C Museum Hotel
  • Embassy Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown
  • Hotel Distil, Autograph Collection
  • Louisville Marriott Downtown
  • Omni Louisville Hotel
  • The Brown Hotel
  • Marriott Louisville East (Jeffersontown)