- 335 W. Broadway, Louisville, KY, 40202
- (502) 583-1234
- Overall User Rating:
- (0 ratings)
- 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
- Official Web Site:
It's directly across from the entrance to the Brown Hotel's famed English Grill.
Thoroughbred (as the former Thoroughbred Lounge is now known) has a shorter menu than the main restaurant, with several dishes priced under $15. It also features the Hot Brown, that casserole/hot sandwich the hotel chef invented as a late-night snack in the 1930s.
And diners who might feel they need to dress up for the English Grill are encouraged to dress casually, a convenience for hotel guests wrung out after a day of travel and business meetings as well for locals who discover the pleasures of stopping in at the Brown for a drink and dinner on Casual Friday.
A friend and I went to the Brown the other evening to check out the reworked Thoroughbred menu and see if the service matched that in the English Grill. The food had all the hallmarks of excellence that Louisville diners have come to know from Chef Joe Castro and his staff.
But the service, while certainly not bad, was a bit more distracted than the high level found across the hall.
Service started out well, with a quick greeting after we'd been seated and a request for drink orders. A Woodford Reserve Manhattan ($9) and a well gin and tonic ($7) arrived in a timely manner, and we sipped while perusing the menu.
The food was certainly four-star. We started by sharing the smoked salmon appetizer ($9), which was portioned onto two plates, a nice touch that saved passing a common one back and forth. Slices of savory fish had been arranged to look like roses, each resting on a toast point. It seemed almost a shame to ruin the dish by eating it. But the salmon was melt-in-the-mouth wonderful. Capers, red onion and dill vinaigrette were served as accompaniments.
There are a half-dozen entrees on the menu. Guests may also order from the English Grill menu. And when a wine list is requested, it's the English Grill's.
In addition to the Hot Brown, there's a vegetable pasta made with linguine and extra virgin olive oil, a fillet of salmon and a grilled beef tenderloin with veal jus and cabernet sauvignon and black pepper sauce. We ordered Father's Pasta ($12.50) and the grilled breast of chicken ($16).
It was at this stage of the meal that our server's attention started to wander. He didn't ask if we wished to see a wine list, so we requested one. The Chateau Potelle sauvignon blanc ($35) arrived shortly before our entrees. After our plates were delivered, our server vanished for most of the remainder of the meal, leaving us to top off our wine.
If the restaurant had been busy, this might have been understandable. But ours was one of only two occupied tables, and the English Grill wasn't very busy either. Perhaps he'd been pressed into room-service duty.
We had few quibbles with our food, however. The pasta was a wonderful fusion of regional and international flavors. Noodles had been tossed with large pieces of country ham, spinach, pine nuts and shiitake mushrooms in a light Alfredo sauce. A large (probably too large) mound of freshly grated Parmesan topped the pasta, almost overwhelming the delicate Alfredo, but the freshness of all the ingredients guaranteed that their flavors won out.
The chicken was flawless. The sliced meat, cooked with skin on, was fork tender. It was finished with tomato, butter and thyme and served with mashed potatoes, red cabbage, mushrooms and a baby carrot.
When our server finally returned, he informed us that the homemade ice creams and sorbets of the evening ($5) were black cherry and pineapple. We shared the icy scoops of sorbet, loaded with fruit. They made a find ending, along with cups of rich, freshly brewed coffee ($2.50 each).