A pairing served at last year's summer beer dinner at Harvest.

A pairing served at last year’s summer beer dinner at Harvest.

We do all we can to track every move—massive to minuscule—in the Louisville restaurant scene, and yet we can’t cover it all.

That means it’s next to impossible for our readers who have non-tracking-every-restaurant-industry-move jobs, people with real responsibilities who have no hope of keeping pace.

So we feel your pain and we want to help.

From time to time, expect Insider Louisville to file a Restaurant Round-Up, a collection of news, gossip and events about the local grub scene whittled down to bits and bites you can glance at quickly and make plans for your leisure time.

Consider it us doing your homework for you without you threatening to punch us and take our lunch money.

What follows below is a list of events happening now, soon or in the very near future, things to fill your Daytimer (does anyone use one of those anymore?), get your mouth watering or just get you talking in anticipation of what’s to come.


Against the Grain beer dinner at Harvest, July 23, 6:30 p.m.: Brewers Jerry Gnagy and Sam Cruz will combine their usual wit and extensive knowledge of wort when they co-host this four course dinner at Harvest.

FWIW, I went to a BBC paired dinner there last summer and it was terrific, and I’m sure you can expect the same from executive chef Coby Ming, a gal who knows how to cook, alongside the suds. Click here to see the menu or just cut to the chase and call 502-384-9090 to make reservations. It’s $45 per person (tax and gratuity not included), so why question it?

Bourbon Review’s 5th Anniversary Gala at St. Charles Exchange, July 25, 5:30 p.m.: St. Charles Exchange is hosting The Bourbon Review’s 5th Anniversary Gala. On the menu are classy finger foods and $5 bourbon flights of Buffalo Trace, Blanton’s, Woodford Reserve, Maker’s Mark, Four Roses, Michter’s and Town Branch—top shelf, baby! Even more top-shelfy: Expect rare bourbon pours from 6-7 p.m. from two bottles of Single Oak Project at Buffalo Trace Distillery (barrels #5 and #50). Click here and save $5 on the $50 door price for tickets to this private event. A portion of the evening’s proceeds also will benefit APRON, the restaurant employee relief fund, so you’ll be sipping for a good cause.

The venerable St. Charles Exchange.

The venerable St. Charles Exchange.

Volare hosting James Beard House re-creation dinner, July 25, 7 p.m.: NOPE, TOO LATE, SOLD OUT. As a testament to the surging popularity of Volare, its James Beard House Re-Creation Dinner has sold out. Executive chef and operating partner, Josh Moore, and his culinary team are reproducing the sell-out dinner they served in the Big Apple last Tuesday night. At $120 per person (wine included), all 80—then 100, then 104, until Moore said, “STOP TAKING RESERVATIONS OR SOMEONE’S GETTING CUT!”—seats were gone. (FYI, a $12,500 sales night is a dandy for an independent restaurant.)

Uncork the Uplands, a celebration of Indiana wines, wineries and food, July 27, 6-9 p.m., Bloomington, Indiana, Monroe County Convention Center: No, this isn’t Louisville, but it’s regional, And the short drive to Bloomington is a pretty one to a cool college town with lots of good restaurants (we recommend Farm for fancy eatin’ table grub, and Aver’s Pizza for knock-out gourmet pies). This is a multi-event festival covering lots of Indiana craft providers, even beer and cheese folks, of which there’s no shortage in the Hoosier State. Click here and see what we mean. Could make a great Saturday road trip.

Bits and Bites

Havana Rumba Express, a new spot located in the Douglass Loop, is now open for lunch.

The grilled cheese and soup masters at Tom + Chee are opening a second location in St. Matthews, sharing the same building as Spinelli’s Pizza. (That’s a whole lotta cheese goin’ on!)

Martinez trio: December the target for The Place Downstairs: Here’s a case of a tame name meets wild food … Fernando, Christina and Yaniel Martinez, partners in the red-hot Guaca Mole and Mussel & Burger Bar restaurants will open a third location—in the basement of MBB—called The Place Downstairs. The Martinez men (who are cousins) have proven themselves some of the town’s most clever cooks, and now they’re planning a bit more upscale option to their casual concepts. Here’s a look at the developing menu from their Facebook page.

Fernando Martinez cooking at always crowded Mussel & Burger Bar.

Fernando Martinez cooking at always crowded Mussel & Burger Bar.

  • Spanish Iberico ham, served with traditional pan de tomate.
  • Tuna tartare with spicy kumquat marmalade and shrimp chips
  • Foie gras torchon with berry jam, salted Marcona almonds and brioche bread toast points
  • Lobster hotdogs on brioche bread with lobster aioli and crispy potatoes.
  • Octopus terrine, piquillo pepper vinaigrette, Spanish alberquina olive oil, black olive powder, caper berries, Piment D’Espelette and crispy garlic
  • Prime beef slider with truffled Manchego cheese, short rib marmalade, brioche bread slider buns
  • Another side of the menu will be called Jars:
  • Duo of rillettes: duck and pork rillettes server with vanilla confit pineapples and fruit mostarda served with grilled rustic sour dough bread.
  • Smoky egg in a Jar: warm ricotta cheese, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized fennel soubise sauce, crispy Spanish chorizo, smoked egg and toasted French bread.
  • Goat cheese and vegetable conserva: sautéed wild mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cherry vinegar, roasted garlic, in olive oil, all served with grilled rustic sour dough bread.

See what we mean?

Click here to see the full message on the MBB Facebook page. (You’ll have to scroll down some to see it.)