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Old 07-29-2008, 05:54 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,112 times
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My husband and I are headed to Louisville next month for the Ironman. We've got a handful of folks coming with us and we're looking for a good, preferably local, Italian restaurant to dine at the night before the big race. Does anyone have any recommendations? We'd prefer to avoid a national chain like Olive Garden and would like to make reservations now.

We'd also like to keep it at a reasonable price...say $10-25 a plate.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've found a few places online, but I know it's best to ask the folks who live there!

I'd sincerely appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!!
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:22 PM
 
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
11,099 posts, read 23,004,943 times
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I've heard Vincincos downtown is really good, but I don't eat out that much
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:01 PM
 
6,992 posts, read 15,127,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunningJayhawk View Post
My husband and I are headed to Louisville next month for the Ironman. We've got a handful of folks coming with us and we're looking for a good, preferably local, Italian restaurant to dine at the night before the big race. Does anyone have any recommendations? We'd prefer to avoid a national chain like Olive Garden and would like to make reservations now.

We'd also like to keep it at a reasonable price...say $10-25 a plate.

Anyone have any suggestions? I've found a few places online, but I know it's best to ask the folks who live there!

I'd sincerely appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!!
This is the wrong place to ask that. You need to join the forum here:

LouisvilleHotBytes.com

Ask them and they will be glad to help. Louisville is one of teh only cities its size with such an advanced dining scene and active foodie community, and I think that site proves it.

There are TONS of great local restaurants here, including Italian. Please, please don't eat at the chains. No need!
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Old 07-30-2008, 06:20 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 20,887,899 times
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I thought the Old Spaghetti Factory was fun!
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Old 07-30-2008, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
1,448 posts, read 4,533,552 times
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I haven't been there yet, but some friends are raving about:

Varanese
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:09 AM
 
54 posts, read 220,965 times
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I'm guessing you are looking for pasta, which Vincenzo's isn't big on. Also, Varanese is not really Italian. For big bowls of pasta, try Mellilo's on E. Market or La Gallo Rosso (which is kind of hard to find) tucked away on Bardstown Rd. Also, The Comeback Inn serves up big bowls of pasta as well. Rocky's, across the river, is o.k., but if it's a nice night, you can't beat their outside seating (right on the river across from downtown).

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:21 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,112 times
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Oh wow! Thank you so much for the feedback and the lead on the HotBytes forums.

I'll definitely be looking into your suggestions.


...and of course, thanks for letting a boatload of triathletes take over your town for a few days. We sincerely appreciate it!!
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:37 PM
 
2,766 posts, read 6,828,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missymomof3 View Post
I thought the Old Spaghetti Factory was fun!
It's a chain though, and not saying the food isn't good at some chain restaurants including the Old Spaghetti Factory, but I think people should support their local and mom & pop restaurants more. The chains certainly aren't hurting for money with the amount of business they do and all the locations they have, but the local restaurants need our business to thrive.
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:58 PM
 
6,992 posts, read 15,127,071 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j760 View Post
It's a chain though, and not saying the food isn't good at some chain restaurants including the Old Spaghetti Factory, but I think people should support their local and mom & pop restaurants more. The chains certainly aren't hurting for money with the amount of business they do and all the locations they have, but the local restaurants need our business to thrive.
Agreed, but that is not the only reason to suport locals. The main reason is 99% of the time they are better!! Why? The owner is also often the chef or supervising things. At Olive Garden or Spaghetti Factory you have some young guy making 8 dollars an hour as a "cook" who really just does it for the money. Having a chef and owner in house and not having to conform to corporate, cookie cutting techniques really makes its a difference. It is the art to eating!

That said, the primo Italian spot in the city right now is Volare.

For years it had been porcini and vincenzo's, but Volare is the clear upscale Italian foodie favorite. And it really isnt that expensive honestly:

Volare Italian Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky


Also downtown, Primo is worth it for the atmosphere and especially wonderful Italian style wood fired pizzas (and great entrees).

http://www.primorestaurant.net/

If you are looking for more downscale, red sauce Italian American fare, I agree with Eman's recs. Come Back Inn is cheap and reminds me of corner places I used to frequent in Chicago. The Fried ravioli (actually a local specialty brought by Italian immigrants from Saint Louis, where fried raviloi originated 100 years ago on "the Hill") and Amatraciana is to die for.

HOME


Avoid Spaghetti factory at all costs. Downtown, try this place owned by Italian American New Jersey transplants (good people)

Melillo's Italian Dining

While you are at it, explore the gentrifying east market area a bit.

Of course while you are in Louisville you must experience the Highlands. A great representation of its eccentricty is the lovable Le Gallo Russo.

Louisville Restaurants Forum • View topic - Le Gallo Russo -- quick review


This site, while cheesy, catalogues fairly well the restaurants and bars in the city:

http://louisville.metromix.com/

It is part of a national chain of metromix guides for many major cities. The best way to expore this city, as with many, is to eat your way around!
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Old 07-31-2008, 03:58 PM
 
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 20,887,899 times
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Ok this is going to sound sad but I didn't realize that it is a chain
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