- 3941 Chenoweth Square, Louisville, KY
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- Monday-Saturday, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, noon-2:30 p.m. (the retail fish counter is open during all service hours and remains open until 5 p.m. on Sunday).
- Official Web Site:
Adventurous entrepreneurial spirits flourish in every sector of business, but perhaps nowhere more visibly than in the world of independent restaurants.
Consider the interesting case of Superchef’s Breakfast. It’s a new business, run by partners Delmar “Superchef” Ferguson (a graduate of Sullivan University’s culinary program) and Ryan Bryson, both natives of Columbus, Ohio.
They’re cooking up some of the best breakfast dishes in the city (as far as I’m concerned, Ferguson definitely deserves his nickname) — and they’re doing it in kitchens that are parts of other restaurants — specifically, the kitchens of Seafood Connection and Chicago Gyros, with another slated to open soon near the University of Louisville, in the Cardinal Towne restaurant row.
And consider the case of Seafood Connection. Run by Brendan Mullaney, it has been one of the city’s finer fishmongers since 1999. A few years ago, Mullaney decided to add an open kitchen and counter service to his retail trade — offering an extensive lunch menu of impeccably fresh, simply prepared seafood.
This summer, he remodeled, found room for a batch of tables and chairs (as a comfortable adjunct to the counter), and now serves food until 8 p.m. while still offering all the fresh and smoked seafood he was selling before.
How does it work? Pretty darned well. This is casual dining, unpretentious but friendly, and superbly efficient (once you get through the door and place your order, anyway, which can be something of a challenge at busy times).
At Seafood Connection, Ferguson and Mullaney are nearly always in view during their respective hours of service, and both find time to greet and check up on nearly every customer. And don’t be surprised if one of them delivers the food straight from the kitchen to your table.
Superchef’s breakfasts are superb. Ferguson’s take on eggs Benedict ($9.99) ranks as one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve ever tasted. He builds it from the bottom up, starting with a luscious grits cake that’s infused with the full, rich flavor of pureed roasted red peppers. Atop that, he puts a layer of outstanding house-made sausage (a spicy mix of chorizo, ground pork, brown sugar, sage, red pepper and other spices). Then there are a couple of plump and perfect eggs cooked over easy, a layer of silky mornay and a sprinkle of diced bell peppers. It’s a world-class riff on a venerable classic.
If you’re looking for a romantic breakfast, his heart-shaped red velvet pancakes, layered with a rich cream cheese icing, are a dreamy indulgence ($8.99), though I must say the granola-encrusted French toast — airy discs dressed up with strawberry-rhubarb compote, served with candied bacon and that great sausage — is just as good ($9.99).
And instead of the customary breakfast burrito, Ferguson dishes up exemplary breakfast tacos, with creamy scrambled eggs, sausage, cheese, diced tomatoes and Buckeye Salsa (imported from his native Ohio) in crisp corn shells.
By late morning (or noon on Sundays), Superchef makes way for Mullaney, and seafood comes front and center. For about five years, I’ve been a fan of the Seafood Connection lunch counter — which was frustrating, since I’m hardly ever able to get to St. Matthews at lunchtime. Now if I want a salmon Reuben (fresh salmon and brown sugar coleslaw, $7.49), fish tacos ($3.99 each) or a platter of fried cod ($8.99) made from fish plucked right from the ice and cooked right in front of me, I can have it for dinner as well.
Or, I can simply pick something from the retail case and have it prepared to my liking (for the retail price plus a couple more dollars, depending on how elaborate the preparation requested).
Not long ago, I feasted on an enormous lobster roll ($9.99) and some of Mullaney’s fine, New England-style clam chowder ($3.99). Another time, I snacked on crab Rangoon (four neatly folded squares of fried phyllo dough wrapped around Seafood Connection’s admirable spicy crab dip, $1.99).
And it’s worth noting that Seafood Connection has upgraded from baskets, paper and Styrofoam to colorful plastic plates and bowls.
And from what I’m told, somewhere down the road the place might even seek a license to serve some adult beverages. Entrepreneurial spirits indeed!
You can email freelance restaurant critic Marty Rosen at firstname.lastname@example.org.