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maintains a large and diverse menu that entices and satisfies a wide range of diners. Food quality is above average for this kind of restaurant chain, though its namesake cheesecakes are baked in California and North Carolina. $$$ Br L D hpf DECCA 812 E. Market St., 749-8128. Decca’s handsomely re-done 19th-century building, its serene garden, its classy basement bar and breezy second-floor eating balcony are all fun. But chef Anne Pettry’s inventive, locally sourced menu combined with the restaurant’s wine program make it a classy place to dine. Live music in the garden in nice weather. $$$$ D hpfe DOC CROW’S 127 W. Main St., 587-1626. Doc Crow’s solidly anchors the dining choices on Whiskey Row. Oysters from both coasts, raw and fried, fried green tomatoes, pork rinds, shrimp and grits, all served in a handsome renovation of one of Main Street’s classic cast-iron front buildings. $$ L D hp EQUUS 122 Sears Ave., 897-9721. For over 30 years now (a remarkable run in the restaurant biz) chef-owner Dean Corbett’s first restaurant (he is now involved in several others) continues to please locals and out of town visitors with its casual atmosphere and menu focus on clever re-imaginings of comfort foods. This St. Matthews spot remains an enduring and delightful dining choice. $$$ D p FOND 2520 Frankfort Ave., 727-3631. During the day Fond is a grocery handling local food products, and a “mini-café” offering baked goods, coffee and heat-athome meals. On weekend evenings, proprietor Madeleine Dee serves an eclectic rotating seasonal prixfixe menu at her chef’s table. $$$$ Br L D GARY’S ON SPRING 204 Spring St., 584-5533. Chef Harold Baker has been at the helm of this Irish Hill upscale casual spot since the start. His menu features appetizers such as a baby Hot Brown and ahi tuna guacamole, a buffalo mozzarella salad, Bourbon Street scallops and grilled lamb chops. All can be enjoyed in the main room, or in the very pleasant upstairs dining

space, or on the outdoor patio when weather permits. $$$ D phpfe HARVEST 624 E. Market St., 384-9090. Agricultural entrepreneur Ivor Chodkowski’s venture into the restaurant world features seasonal menus — intensely focused on sourcing ingredients within a 100-mile radius — showcasing how much local food producers can do. Patrick Roney oversees dishes such as smoked goat cheese ravioli and buttermilk fried chicken with arugula hoecake, which show what they have in mind. $$$ Br L D hpf J. ALEXANDER’S RESTAURANT 102 Oxmoor Court, 339-2206. This comfortably upscale venue, a Nashvillebased chain, features “contemporary American” fare with a broad menu that ranges from burgers and sandwiches to such upscale eats as grilled tuna or a New York strip steak. $$$ D hp J. HARROD’S 7507 Upper River Rd., 228-4555. For more than 20 years people have driven to Prospect for the well-prepared, old-school menu offerings at J. Harrod’s. Served with aplomb in a quiet, comfortable dining room, the substantial menu includes grilled steaks and chops, pasta, seafood, fried green tomatoes and chicken livers with gravy. $$$ D p MARKETPLACE RESTAURANT 651 S. Fourth St., 6253001. Going to a show downtown? Chow down first at Marketplace. The elegant decor, whether at the circular bar, in the serene dining room, or any of the three outdoor spaces will get you in the mood, and the seasonal Italian-influenced southern cuisine will get you to the curtain well fed indeed. $$ L D hpf MELTING POT 2045 S. Hurstbourne Pkwy., 491-3125. This Florida-based chain brings back pleasant memories of fondue parties of the ’70s. If you can melt it and dip things in it, the Melting Pot probably has it on the menu. $$$ D hp MESH 3612 Brownsboro Rd., 632-4421. The lush modern building and the casual/elegant menu have all but

h = Late Night p = Full Bar f = Outdoor Dining e = Live Music

scotched memories of the previous restaurants that once were located here. Now you can find smoked trout salad, mushroom and goat cheese strudel and and confit fried chicken, all served in an atmosphere of “contemporary elegance and comfort.” Happy hour features a $2 bar menu. $$$ Br L D pf NAPA RIVER GRILL 1211 Herr Ln., 423-5822. You will find an eclectic mix of California-inspired fusion dishes here at lunch, dinner or brunch served in a clean, crisp, informally classy atmosphere. Lunch offerings range from their own take on Hot Browns (Creole roasted turkey on focaccia, with Alfredo sauce) to tacos to pad thai. Dinner choices range from blackened sea bass to prime rib-eye to Vandouvan chicken. With a lovely patio for lazy summer dining. $$$ L D hpf OLD STONE INN 6905 Shelbyville Rd., Simpsonville, KY, (502) 722-8200. For many years diners have happily driven out to Simpsonville to enjoy both the historic building and the traditional Kentucky menu of this dining institution. Those in the know order the fried chicken and country ham. $$$ Br L D pfe PROOF ON MAIN 702 W. Main St. (21c Hotel), 2176360. Executive chef Mike Wadja has kept the bison burger and the charred octopus, favorites from Proof’s start, even as he has put his own stamp on the menu, with dishes such as roasted cauliflower vegetarian entrée, hog chop from the restaurant’s own Woodland Farm, and extensive charcuterie choices. The bar remains one of the hippest in town.$$$ Br L D hpf RIVER HOUSE RESTAURANT & RAW BAR 3015 River Rd., 897-5000. John Varanese realizes his long-held dream of a seafood-oriented place on the river, replete with boat slips and lawn chairs to relax waterside. River House’s menu, inspired by New Orleans and Charleston, emphasizes Southern cuisine leaning toward tastes from the sea. There ‘s a raw bar, but that won’t stop him from grilling oysters topped with smoldering herbs. $$$$ Br L D hpf

www.foodanddine.com Winter 2016 51

Winter 2016 (Vol. 54)  

Nov - Dec - Jan 2016/17