louisville

Muhammad Ali Center

Turns out I never really knew much about Muhammad Ali outside his boxing career. I learned a ton about him that I never really knew before – extremely arrogant once upon a time, almost went to jail, stands up for his beliefs, generous, etc. This place is definitely worth a visit. There is a lot of interesting art scattered throughout, as well.

hiko-A-mon

Any self-described Modern Japanese Sushi Bar & Fish Market is a place I want to be. Hiko-a-Mon may be confusing to pronounce, but there is nothing confusing about the deliciousness that you are sure to taste here. The dining room is very modern, with a chic wine wall and a bright fish tank. It is an unexpected delight that is nestled in the trendy & thriving Westport Village area. I always have really genuinely nice, smiley servers (probably because they get sushi whenever they want… I’d be grinning like an idiot too).

I insisted that we go here for dinner over the weekend with my parents. Mom dislikes the idea of sushi, but went along when I informed her that they have steak too. Dad & I ordered two sushi rolls to split- the Fire Dragon Roll and the Holiday roll. We each ordered side salads with that crack-infused ginger dressing (you know the one). Everyone was satisfied.

Hiko-A-Mon’s website
Louisville, Kentucky

Note: They have a very worthy happy hour.

Ruth’s Chris

Who – Mi familia
What – Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
Where – Louisville, Kentucky
When – Early summer of 2012
Why – In celebration of my dear old brother’s college graduation

Ruth’s Chris is a very nice restaurant, but I am a vegetarian and thus I cannot really appreciate what everyone raves about this place for – their steak. We had great wine. We had great food. But if I’m completely honest, I don’t even remember what I ordered. So it must not have been that impressive. Everyone else at the table ordered steaks, and were oohing and ahhing over them, so I’ll take that to mean they were satisfied. But I personally didn’t think anything extraordinary of my meal. It was probably top notch, I’m sure.
What I was more excited about was the gorgeous view. At the top of the building, right outside the dining area, you are able to walk around outside on the deck. We were able to watch a beautiful sunset from up here. That is what I liked best about our dinner here. And, in my opinion, that is something worthwhile.

 

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Nancy’s

Also known as Nancy’s Bagel Grounds, this is and has been (& always will be) a favorite of mine since my high school days.

Why? They’re just bagels, you may be thinking.
False.
Nancy’s is marvelous for a variety of reasons.

1. A great gal. Nancy herself is nearly always there, right behind the counter running things. A sure sign that you’re bagels are in good hands.

2. Location. Nestled in a lovely area on Frankfort Avenue, which is in my opinion, the 2nd best street in Louisville, Nancy’s is in a great location. Frankfort Ave is home to a zillion other awesome restaurants that I’ve been eyeing, as well as cute boutiques, pubs, & antique stores. It is also just a short drive or bike ride to the waterfront and the downtown area in general.

2. Nance knows her regulars by name. She’s so friendly that this is completely what you would expect, but only when she gets your name does it actually hit you- Nancy knows me. As if she’s some celeb or something. What an angel.

3. Fond memories. I would sleep over at my friend Katie’s house every Tuesday night during swim season. We would wake up for practice at some ungodly hour, and instead of actually going, we’d skip the horrendous a.m. swim practices & go to Nancy’s instead. Katie’s dad happened to stop by Nancy’s one of these mornings & set us on stealth mode. He completely overlooked us, & we both died laughing.  This is just one of dozens of memories I have of Nancy’s.

4. Tradish. (meaning tradition…) Whenever my friends are back in town from school, we always make a point to go to Nancy’s to catch up & get some bagels. It’s a crime if we omit an invitation to someone. But we wouldn’t dare. Nancy’s is sacred.

5. Art. The main wall in the seating area features work done by local artists. Talented local artists. Usually paintings & drawings. They are consistently impressive pieces of art. It is always a display of some truly talented individual’s work. I love this idea.

6. Sun-dried Tomato Bagel. Obviously the bagels are good. Otherwise I wouldn’t be such a fanatic. To be truthful, Nancy’s bagels are the best. I almost always order the sun-dried tomato & herb bagel with cream cheese on the side. No joke I could eat three of these. But I don’t. I eat one. And think about the other two for the rest of the week. Varieties of cream cheeses- fantastic cream cheese (really, I don’t even like cream cheese, but I loveee Nancys’), bagel sandwiches, wraps, salads. All of them delicious. But the sun-dried tom bagel has my heart.

7. Fresh without fail. The bagels are always fresh & usually still warm when they reach my lips. Toasting is often unnecessary. While you wait in line, you can see the minions working in the kitchen because the wall has a peek through. The fact that they let you watch them create your food is something many eateries curiously shy away from.

8. It’s always clean. I’ve never dealt with a vile looking table. Maybe a few crumbs on occasion, but you can merely blow them away. The place is typically spic and span. Which I do appreciate, since they’re serving me food.

Essentially, it’s the most quality bagel joint in the world. At least of the bagel joints I’ve been to so far. I really cannot rave about Nancy’s enough.

If you’re ever in Louisville, the only two musts I declare are to go to Nancy’s & then go to the Muhammad Ali Center. That is all.


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summer bagel

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espresso

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winter bagel

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I’d love to hear about any bagel joints that could perhaps rival Nancy’s. Do you have a favorite?
I hear New York has some baller bagel places.

Ghyslain

Who  –  With my mother
What  –  Chocolatier. But also a restaurant with French Canadian (Quebec) influenced cuisine
Where  –  Louisville, KY (Westport village)
When  –  Post noon of my birthday, since I slept until noon
Why  –  Birthday lunch! Why here? Because I have been seeing the most delicious looking pictures of food from this intriguing place called Ghyslain from several people over the past year or so via instagram. I first saw a post of their hummus plate. After that I was on a mission to find the place they call – Ghyslain.

Ghyslain.

Stream of Consciousness:
Naturally lit space with large windows. None of the harsh lighting that I detest. Ladies on lunch dates scattered about. An open space dining area. Walk in and right up to the counter to order, though it took me a minute to figure that out, since there was no line. Serve yourself glass water pitcher- brilliant and elegant. The Sonic baby cube-ice that I adore. Sit where you please. Fancy salt dish on the table with a dish of 3 fancy different salts (although the salt looked the opposite of fresh to me…) as well as nice olive oils.

An underwhelmingly average order of espresso for me. For mum, the french press hazelnut coffee. Her coffee was significantly better than my espresso, but we shared it anyways so, no matter.

The entire menu is so perfect. Everything sounded amazing, even the meat dishes (I’m a veg). In the end, I had the crepe mistral, a luscious dish involving artichokes, tomatoes, feta, spinach, and what is in my humble opinion, the mother of all mother sauces, béchamel sauce. I honestly don’t know why anyone wouldn’t like this dish. I ordered this crepe and got a “tomato stack” as my side (one of several equally appealing options) which sounds rugged and very much Kentucky-esque. But this thing was regal. I mean thick and beautiful, very in tact tomatoes alternately stacked between slabs of fresh mozzarella with basil and a vinaigrette drizzle. I could have eaten just this tomato stack for lunch and fallen in love with Ghyslain. In case you aren’t picking up on it, am a huge fan of this place and everything about it.

Mum ordered the chicken pot pie & the mac and cheese. I am honestly saying this right now, sans sarcasm or drama, that the mac and cheese I tasted here on this day is the most savory, perfect, well executed dish of mac and cheese that I’ve encountered to date. The chicken pot pie, I am sure was a delight, but I don’t eat meat so that was of no interest to me. I will say that the crust looked nice on it though. It made me wonder if I should have ordered their vegetarian pot pie option, but once I tasted my crepe, I didn’t give it another thought.

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My rating: 9/10
I am in love. I take points off for their espresso game. The lady at the counter was also unpleasant, but I understand how people can be (including myself), and I don’t think that is a direct reflection on the restaurant. And it certainly did not ruin my experience. Their strong points? Pretty much anything food related. It was all delicious, and nicely presented. Bravo, Ghyslain.