- 5700 Captains Quarters Road, Harrods Creek, KY, 40059
- (502) 228-1651
- Overall User Rating:
- (757 ratings)
- 11 a.m.to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.to 11 p.m. Sunday
- Official Web Site:
“You cannot step twice into the same river,” said the Greek philosopher Heraclitus. And certainly the Ohio is a case in point. It changes from day to day, hour to hour. At sunset, on a still night, the surface might look like stained glass. A bit later, wisps of fog haunt the surface, then vanish like ghosts before a gust of wind. Speedboats flex their muscle as they roar past. Massive barges pass with calm, inexorable determination. When a front blows in from the west, sailboats dip their white sails before the wind, and at the point where narrow Harrods Creek drains into the river, there are nearly always a few paddlers setting forth and coming home.
Just there, at the confluence of creek and river, Captain’s Quarters Riverside Grille perches on the bank. And any Louisvillian or visitor who has a crush on the river certainly needs to visit that sprawling, terraced deck at least a couple of times over the course of the year. I may be deceived, but it seems to me that the outdoor dining area grows bigger year by year – and yet, even when the place is so crowded that there’s a half-hour wait, I’ve never found a table that didn’t offer unimpeded, panoramic views of the river.
The river is the attraction here, and everywhere you go in America, waterfront restaurants are notorious for their willingness to compromise quality. Yet, Captain’s Quarters, with table seating for more than 500 guests, plus bars and decks that raise the overall capacity to about a thousand, consistently delivers efficient, accurate service and food that’s well thought out, attractively presented, and furnishes good value for the dollar.
Over time the menu has slowly developed a carefully eclectic slant. These days it includes tandoori-style rotisserie chicken served with lentils and flatbread ($15.95), seared tuna tataki brings Asian flavors to the table with pickled ginger, wasabi, and Sriracha sauce ($10.95), seafood tortellini kicked up with a creamy, herb-flecked sauce based on boursin cheese, and a hummus platter accompanied by garlicky tzatziki, piping hot triangles of pita, and crunchy, peppery flatbread wafers ($8.95)
But most of the dishes have a close-to-home feel that celebrates the spirit of the waterfront – and the cuisine of Louisville. The Hot Brown ($11.95) is nicely engineered. The base of true roast turkey and salty country ham covered with a pleasantly lively Mornay. Then, thoughtfully perched on top are slices of ripe tomato that protect the final ingredient – fresh, crisp slices of bacon – from sinking soggily into the sauce.
A bowl of New England clam chowder ($5.75) was chunky with redskin potatoes, aromatics, and plenty of clams. The generous filets in a fried fish sandwich ($9.95) were suitably crunchy, and asparagus spears, ordered as a side, were pencil thin, crisp, tender, and buttery.
There are plenty of other seafood options: fish tacos ($10.95); Maine lobster ($36 for a 1.5 pounder; $48 for a two pounder). Several burgers tip the register at just under $10. And wine-sauced medallions of beef tenderloin run $26.95.
And even the more delicate preparations are pretty well executed. A big filet of pan-fried flounder ($14.95) served over a bed of boring couscous wasn’t flashy, but a green flash of creamy spinach sauce added an attractive dash of color that looked pretty darned good against a backdrop of flickering candlelight.