By Heidi Potter | StyleBlueprint

Louisville is a foodie town, as we all know, and it’s hard to keep up with all the new restaurants opening here in the metro area. Get your toll passes ready folks, because a handful of these restaurants we recommend are in Indiana. Here are 10 new restaurants to put on your “must try” list for 2017.

10 New Restaurants to Try

The Fat Lamb

2011 Grinstead Drive, Louisville, KY 40204 • (502) 409-7499
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday Brunch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Closed Monday

Located in the space that was formerly Fontleroy’s, at the corner of Grinstead Drive and Bardstown Road, this is Chef Dallas McGarrity’s new restaurant. McGarrity was formerly the chef at Theatre Square Marketplace on Fourth Street. The menu reads like a greatest hits, and it is hard to even choose one appetizer off the list, especially with such decisions between the warm bread with eggplant caponata or the pork sausage risotto fritters. The most popular appetizer, according to Chef Dallas, is the Brussels sprouts, which are roasted with salt and pepper, then sautéed, glazed with sweet chili garlic sauce and sprinkled with almonds. The most popular entrée, out of a great selection from a hangar steak to a rack of lamb, is the double cheeseburger.  Made with Black Hawk Farms beef, Duke’s mayo, American cheese, horseradish pickles and a toasted brioche bun, this is a “big, beautiful, slightly messy, diner-style burger.” Sounds like a sure winner to us!

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The double cheeseburger and the Brussels sprouts appetizer are a must-try at The Fat Lamb, according to Chef Dallas McGarrity. Image: The Fat Lambi


1201 Payne St., Louisville, KY 40204 • (502) 690-3532
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Closed Sunday

Housed in the former site of Baxter Station, this space has been completely renovated, and it takes you a minute to get your bearings when you first walk in. There are beautiful custom-made wooden tables and other decorative industrial accents that make you want to stay and look a while. Gone are the plastic lawn chairs in the back of the restaurant; the patio has been walled in and is now a permanent part of the building. This is much more than just a pizza joint. We ordered something from every category on this menu and were impressed by the wide range of offerings. The most popular dish on the menu is the pizza, notably the mushroom and truffle (white sauce, roasted mushrooms, truffle oil and taleggio) and the Il Pollo (grilled chicken, spinach, taleggio, artichokes and red pepper). You can also order pizza by the slice. We loved the slow-baked chicken wings, prepared with lemon brine, basil pesto and parmigiano and also devoured the Italiano chop salad with romaine lettuce, agrodolce, ceci, hot pepper, sweet onion and prosciutto. Also impressive is the panino all meatball (or meatball sandwich) on homemade sourdough bread, which features hearty meatballs covered in provolone with a house-made marinara dipping sauce. Next time we return, we are definitely trying out one of the many specials of the day.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The Il Pollo pizza at Ciao is bursting with savory flavors of grilled chicken, spinach, taleggio, artichokes and red pepper.

Portage House

117 East Riverside Drive, Jeffersonville, IN 47129 • (812) 725-0435
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday.

Cross the bridge into Jeffersonville, on foot or by car, and head to the riverfront, where in a historical building dating back to the 1870s is the hot new restaurant called Portage House. Boasting great views of the river, downtown Louisville and the Big Four Bridge, Portage House is a great place to enjoy a special meal or just come have a drink and an appetizer. Oysters are a hit here, and Chef Paul Skulas serves them raw, char-grilled with chipotle butter and lime (his favorite/most popular) and roasted with parsley shallot butter, Parmesan and lemon. Also popular on the menu is the grilled cheese with a fried egg on top, the whole roasted trout and most importantly, the butterscotch pudding for dessert. Most all of the ingredients on the menu are locally sourced from Kentucky and Indiana. The cocktail, wine and beer list are very impressive and unique.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The most popular dish on the menu at Portage House just happens to be Chef Paul Skulas’ favorite as well: char-grilled oysters with chipotle butter and lime. Image: Jessica Fey

Pho Ba Luu

1019 East Main St., Louisville, KY 40206  • (502) 384-6822
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Closed Sunday

Pho Ba Luu, serving up “Saigon Street Food,” is located in the Butchertown/NuLu area at the “Butcherblock,” which is a stretch of retail shops including Stag + Doe and LouABell. This is a great space with a large industrial garage door as the front of a clean, minimalist interior restaurant. Out back is a lit patio with a fire pit and seating. This is a counter service restaurant with a fast turnaround for order fulfillment. Their most popular dish is the beef pho followed by the noodle bowls. Most all entrées are accompanied by an order of seafood crispy roll or spring roll. Vegetarians flock here for the vast vegetarian options on the menu. Fun fact: ask for the s’mores for your dessert and you receive a bag with graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate to go make your own dessert outside on the fire pit. Don’t forget the cocktails, especially the Butchertown Mule with Copper & Kings Brandy, Butchertown ginger beer and lime juice.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

Beef Pho is one of the most popular entrées on the menu at Pho Ba Luu. Image: Pho Ba Luu

Gracious Plenty

9207 U.S. 42, Prospect, KY 40059 • (502) 618-4755
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For years, Gracious Plenty has been the savior of many a meal with their carry-out and catering location on Brownsboro Road. Now they have opened a Prospect location that has a cafe as well. Customers still frequent the Prospect location looking to pick up their favorite turkey tetrazzini and chicken pot pie, but it’s worth taking some time to sit down and enjoy the menu items in the cafe as well. The most popular dish here is the baked chicken salad. We love all the sandwiches and the salads too, especially the apple spinach salad and the Cobb salad. The food is always fresh and there is something on the menu for everyone. Don’t miss the desserts, which are to die for and include lemon cookies, the “outrageous” brownie and, if they are not sold out by morning, the raspberry bars.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The apple spinach salad at Gracious Plenty has spinach, Granny Smith apples, brie, golden raisins, cashews, and house-made apple cider vinaigrette. Image: Gracious Plenty

The Manhattan Project

2101 Frankfort Ave., Louisville, KY 40206 • (502) 749-8925
Hours: Monday and Tuesday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Friday, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

This is an upscale neighborhood bar, with a distinguished bourbon and cocktail selection. More than just a bar however, it boasts a substantial menu of entrées and appetizers. Go for the “Make Your Own” Mac n Chz, which is orecchiette pasta with cheese sauce and garlic sourdough crumb topping. Then, pick from 14 toppings with everything from short ribs, to crab meat, to roasted hatch chiles and meatballs as the toppings. Another popular menu item is the cheese board, which has house-made pimento cheese and burrata. Watch a game on one of the 22 televisions around the establishment, or enjoy a great happy hour.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The Mac N Chz is the signature dish at The Manhattan Project and offered with 14 topping choices. Image: Food and Dining Magazine

The Eagle

1314 Bardstown Road, Louisville, KY 40204 • (502) 498-8420
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.

With locations in Cincinnati, Columbus and Indianapolis, the Eagle has landed in Louisville. Located in the former El Camino on Bardstown Road, The Eagle has Kentucky favorites on the menu, offering burgoo and bourbon punch in addition to fried chicken. They have a large menu, with many options for chicken, plus snacks, sides, sandwiches, soups and salads (we like all that alliteration). You could make a meal out of the sides and snacks, with our favorites being the pickled vegetables (snack) and the collards, succotash and spoonbread sides. Enjoy these on that fabulous patio (when the weather complies) that overlooks Bardstown Road.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

Fried chicken is the headliner of the menu at The Eagle. Image: The Eagle

Naila’s Caribbean Cuisine

1370 Veterans Pkwy., Clarksville IN 47129 • (812) 725-0399
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Closed Sunday and Monday.

Blink and you’ll miss this local restaurant in a strip mall on Veterans Parkway in Clarksville. Located in the midst of many other chain restaurants, Naila’s is owned by Naila Seow, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, who brings her homecooking to the area. This food may be unique to some, as many think that Caribbean food means jerk chicken. Not here. Rice is served with every entrée, just like it is back in her homeland. There are such delicacies as curried goat, lentil soup and stew chicken, beef and pork. Be sure to get the aloo and chana, which is chick peas and potatoes, and the macaroni pie. There’s much more on the menu to explore, and in the dead of winter, a trip to the Caribbean is a great idea, even if it is on Veterans Parkway.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

Stew beef plate with macaroni pie, red beans and rice. Image: Naila’s Caribbean Cuisine

Kim & Bab

3012 Charlestown Crossing Way, New Albany, IN 47150 • (812) 725-9844
Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Touting itself as the first authentic Korean restaurant in Southern Indiana, this restaurant has an interesting story behind their name: it is a mix of the owner’s last name, which is Kim, and the Korean word for rice/food, which is Bab. However, the term kimbab is a traditional Korean food similar to sushi. Go for the typical Korean fare we all know and love, such as bibimbap, bulgogi, kalbi short ribs and of course, kimchi. Treat yourself to some dumplings, known as mandu — both the vegetable and the beef are good here. Definitely go out on a limb and try the kimari, which are noodles wrapped in seaweed and deep fried. Be sure to order a bubble tea to round out your meal.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

This bibimbap is almost too pretty to eat. Image: Kim & Bab

Cafe 157

157 East Main St., New Albany, IN 47150 • (502) 548-9114
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Sunday

Sharing a building with the gift shop and art gallery, Chestnuts and Pearls, Cafe 157 serves breakfast and lunch. Started by Linda Williams, who is a 20-year veteran of the bed and breakfast industry, the menu concentrated mainly on breakfast, but now they have expanded to lunch items, and dinner is coming soon on Valentine’s Week. Everything is made from scratch, from the baked goods (scones, muffins and biscuits), to desserts, to curing their own corned beef for their popular Reuben sandwich. They try to source all their ingredients locally, with local farm eggs and even using local goat cheese for their Cafe 157 grilled cheese, which is a blend of three cheeses.

Ten New Restaurants in Louisville 2017

The Reuben sandwich at Cafe 157 has house-cured corned beef in the sandwich. Image: Cafe 157

That’s 10 new restaurants in and around Louisville to try. Think of it as 10 times you don’t have to cook … Enjoy!