Since opening in June inside the massive Bardstown Bourbon Company distillery, Bottle & Bond Kitchen & Bar has been serving up its slant on Southern fare and fine cocktails to tourists on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, Bardstown residents and everyone else from near and far looking for a great meal at a decent price.
Insider stopped by during a media event this month and found the menu both accessible and affordable — attuned to all budgets from big to small. The food was top-notch as well, from fancy — tuna tartare tacos and glazed Brussels sprouts — to fun — grilled cheese sticks and mac & cheese.
If you’re making the trip south to Bardstown and looking for a nice meal, they’ve got a New York strip for $49, baby back ribs for $18, and grilled salmon for $23, among several other entrees. But if you’re just dropping in for lunch or a quick bite, you might want to try the brisket sandwich for $15, a farm beef burger for $15, or even munch on the numerous appetizers, charcuterie options and salads.
The grilled cheese sticks we mentioned came with a bowl of tomato soup and would have made a fine meal in itself for a mere $9. And the mac & cheese, at $9 as well, was deliciously creamy, featuring a four-cheese blend and a baked herb crust.
The shrimp & grits, at $15, also was a hit at the table with several plump red Gulf shrimp atop a mound of Southern-style cheddar grits.
Naturally, if you’re dining at a distillery, you’ll need a cocktail to accompany your meal, and Bottle & Bond’s renowned bar program serves the spirits side of the experience as well. The cocktail menu features about 10 originals and classics, a tiki section if rum is your thing, wine, draft and bottled beer, and boozie milkshakes that sound absolutely amazing.
An interesting part of the bar’s concept is the fact that it serves products and brands from surrounding distilleries and competitors, and also boasts a vintage whiskey collection of more than 400 choices (curated by the bourbon author and expert Fred Minnick).
We inquired about this unique feature, and the friendly bartender informed us that Bottle & Bond is meant to be a neutral zone where all brands and spirits are represented not just BBCo’s own products.
As with most successful restaurants, the professional team behind the menus is the key to its success, and Bottle & Bond is no different. Since opening, Executive Chef Felix Mosso, formerly of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort, has led the charge, merging his vision with what the consumers demand.
And Dan Callaway, director of beverage operations, has taken Mosso’s same energy and flare for innovation and applied it to the cocktail program. His name may ring a bell, as he once served as the general manager at Decca.
In fact, just about everyone on staff has vast industry knowledge and experience, including General Manager Susan Seiller — yes, that Susan Seiller who ran Jack Fry’s for years and opened several restaurants since. Seiller is allusive by choice, but we’re happy to report she’s still on her feet, clocking thousands of steps daily, and making sure everyone has a quality meal.
At the moment, there are no public tours of Bardstown Bourbon Company, but that should change in the near future after a few more months of construction. But you do get complimentary tastes of some of the distillery’s products at the bar, and you get a wonderful view of the massive copper still as you drive into the facility.
Bottle & Bond is located right when you walk through those doors, with ceiling-to-floor glass everywhere and an open kitchen concept — reinforcing the company’s dedication to industry transparency.
The restaurant is located at 1500 Parkway Drive in Bardstown. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s closed on Mondays.