Monday, March 28, 2016

Road Trip-Louisville, KY: Rye

The family headed down to Louisville recently for my friend and hairdresser’s grand opening of her new space there. My daughter really wanted to go to this all ages party and I of course, jumped at the opportunity to eat somewhere new. We needed somewhere the kids would be welcome and ideally close to the party. We settled on Rye.

It was a great choice that everyone ended up being very pleased with. Hubby had a killer Old Fashioned to start and I had a glass of wine. The kids loved their blood orange agua frescas (they were seriously delicious).

To start, we had a cheese board ($15) because if my kids see a fancy cheese board, they are going to be ordering it. It was a very good one. There was a nice variety on it, including some hard cheeses, a soft cheese, a blue, and a nice array of accompaniments as well. Olive tapenade, honey, pickled veggies and jam. Also, perfectly toasted slices of Blue Dog Bakery baguette, which is awesome. 

They also bring you a basket of their own housemade rolls with your meal—they’re called “Sally Lunn” rolls and after eating the soft warm roll with salted butter, my daughter promptly ordered another (they’re $1 each after the free basket). Quite delicious.

We also shared the arancini (or risotto balls) ($14) to go along with the cheese. These were a second choice after they told us they were out of the shrimp dumplings, but I’m glad we ended up with them because they were so good. The fried rice balls were sitting on top of a pesto made from mustard greens and were topped with Parmesan, fresno chilies and pepitas. That pesto was delicious and I can’t say that I have ever had mustard green pesto, but it is something I am interested in making now. Sometimes these types of dishes tend to be one dimensional, but this one was not at all.

We all shared several entrees as well, and the star of the night was probably the whole-wheat mezzaluna pasta that my daughter chose. It was handmade pasta filled with ricotta and Gruyere and topped with toasted farro. It had a hint of nutmeg as well. It was just such a simple dish in a way, but with such depth from the nuttiness of the cheese and farro. It had a light butter sauce and was just delicious. We probably should have gotten two of these.

The duck confit ($30) was also really tasty, although a little on the smaller side then we expected. It was just one smallish leg/thigh piece but the flavor was great, even if it wasn’t super meaty. Loved the sunny egg on top as well as the cherry gastrique giving it a touch of sweetness as well as acid. Duck pairs so nicely with a bit of fruit.

The last thing (and ok, I am the one who chose it) was the mushroom toast ($14) and it was my least favorite dish. It was a hearty piece of bread topped with ricotta, thyme, mushrooms, and shaved lardo (which is just thin pork fat). I don’t know, but while I like all these things, it just didn’t come together for me, the mushrooms were almost too big and hard to eat and the lardo was a little overwhelming.

We also had a side of triple cooked fries ($6). They were served with a a chili-lime aioli. This stuff had some kick for sure. The fries were nice and crisp, but I tend to like mine a little thinner.

All in all a great little place with a hip attitude to enjoy an easy dinner in Louisville. I would happily go again and try the seasonally changing menu. I would love to see the offerings for spring and summer. And I appreciate that they treated my kids with respect and made them fancy drinks.

900 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40206

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