It’s one of the greatest combinations that life has to offer; dinner and a show. Before your night out takes you to a tour de force in the performance arts, you have to treat yourself to a meal of comparable quality. We explore a few delectable options from some locally famous restaurants.
BOB’S STEAK & CHOP HOUSE
400 S 2nd Street, Louisville, KY 40202
What began in 1993 with the original Dal- las location has grown into a string of restaurants across the country, while maintaining a true Texas steakhouse vibe. Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Louisville combines that Texas authenticity with decor that celebrates our city by featuring Kentucky thoroughbred racing, the bourbon industry, and The Greatest - Muhammad Ali. Bob’s is the perfect place to bring out-of-town guests before enjoying one of downtown’s many enertainment options.
Located in the luxurious new Omni Louisville Hotel, Bob’s Steak & Chop House is just steps away from nationally-recognized Actors Theatre of Louisville and Fourth Street Live! Mingle with hotel guests and local Louisvillians at the bar or cozy up in a more intimate dark wood booth. Dress code is business casual and reservations are recommended, ensuring a seamless, top-notch culinary and mixological experience.
Bob’s Steak & Chop House prides itself on Texas-sized cuts of the best meat available; but don’t sleep on the appetizers, such as their tower of thick Onion Rings or Smoked Salmon on toast points with chopped egg, onion, and capers. In addition to an award-winning wine selection, Bob’s offers a full complement of signature cocktails. “We promise the drinks are stout and the pours are generous.”
350 W Chestnut Street, Louisville, KY 40502
Looking to dazzle a date with a perfect combination of stunning ambiance, craft cocktails, and delectable bites? 8UP Elevated Drinkery & Kitchen fits the bill with three different experiences: an all glass indoor lounge, a knockout open-air rooftop bar, and a sophisticated dining room. The open kitchens allow a behind-the-scenes peek at the creation of American favorite dishes from local, sustainably-sourced ingredients.
The Lounge Menu offers at least seven starters to choose from, including a Charcuterie Board of Spanish chorizo, prosciutto, capicola, Kenny’s cheeses, and fig apple jam. Or you may wish to try their Food Network award-winning Dry Rub Wings with chipotle lime ranch for dipping. Instagram-worthy views call for an Instagram-worthy cocktail in the foreground. Enjoy the Gin Jockey with Castle & Key Restoration Gin, East India Tonic Syrup, soda, juniper berries, rosemary, and lemon or a next-level Bourbon & Coke using Wathen’s 8UP Private Select, a Mexican Coke reduction, and cherry bark vanilla bitters.
Located on the top floor of the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown, 8UP is within easy walking distance of Louisville Palace Theatre and Mercury Ballroom. With convenient garage and valet parking options, you can leave the car for a complete head-in-the-clouds, feet-on-the-ground evening in the city.
316 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40502
(502) 584- 6455
Not only is it The Restaurant at the acclaimed Actors Theatre of Louisville, MilkWood is conveniently located across the street from the KFC
Yum! Center and just a block and a half from The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Founded and still owned by four-time James Beard Best Chef: Southeast Award nominee Edward Lee, Milk- Wood’s Korean-Southern fusion cuisine is now in the capable hands of Executive Chef Ryan Fuquay.
The MilkWood kitchen staff creates themed menus tailored to the plays at Actors and musicals and operas at The Kentucky Center. For example, with the touring production of the Broadway sensation Hamilton in town earlier this summer, they served a special Founding Fathers Menu. Likewise, the popular Actors show Ring of Fire:The Music of Johnny Cash inspired its own prix-fixe menu.
For Starters, MilkWood’s Smoked Chicken Wings with chili lime sauce, scallions, and white BBQ are a can’t-miss, having landed on Thrillist’s 21 Best Chicken Wings in America. There’s a further selection of entrees that include pan seared salmon, pork shoulder, eggplant BBQ, or your choice of a beef or pork burger if you’re in a less adventurous mood. Drown in Louisville nostalgia with a bitter but balanced Toy Tiger cocktail; or toast to the Bluegrass State with Kentucky Morning and the Lettice & Lovage.
PROOF ON MAIN
702 W. Main Street, Louisville, KY 40502
A destination in and of itself, Proof on Main in the 21C Museum Hotel and its proximity to Louisville’s Museum Row on Main turns date night into a completely cultural experience. In addition to the art in the glass and on the plate, Proof features rotating exhibits of contemporary art. (See their website for more details on current exhibits.)
Proof bartender Juan Calderon draws inspiration from his island home in the Caribbean, including an award-winning twist on the Negroni he calls Soñando con Puerto Rico made with Castle & Key Gin, toasted coconut, Dolin Rouge, salt, Campari, and papaya. Prefer single spirits or wine? Good luck deciding with lists among the most comprehensive the city has to offer. Proof on Main’s Kentucky bourbon offerings alone number over 120, including exclusives by the bottle and barrelful.
Executive Chef Jonathan Searle and team “let the ingredients do the talking” and are involved with Slow Food Bluegrass, Kentucky Proud, and a deep local network of local purveyors. Chef Jonathan’s Bar Menu boasts Cured Meats and Artisan Cheese platters in two sizes, among other appetizers. Might sound simple for such a swanky local hotspot, but the Proof Burger and Fries are fairly famous and not to be missed.
PORCH KITCHEN & BAR
280 W. JEFFERSON STREET #1432 LOUISVILLE, KY 40202
Thoughtfully named to evoke a spirit of community, Porch Kitchen & Bar at Louisville Marriott Downtown welcomes locals and hotel guests with a genuine connection and down- home comfort food. Or as Restaurant Assistant General Manager Katie Stoppert says, “We are not your typical hotel restaurant.” The location is ideal for grabbing a drink and a bite before moseying across the street to an event at the Kentucky International Convention Center or a couple of blocks to the KFC Yum! Center.
Proudly serving craft cocktails with the freshest ingredients and food with a decidedly Southern flair, Porch’s warm yet energetic staff create a memorable experience in an atmosphere both comfortable and modern. A meal could be made from Starters such as Lump Crab Hush Puppies with sweet corn, jalapeno, pepper jack, and citrus aioli and Sticky Brussel Sprouts with apple bacon caramel, smoked almonds, and crushed red pepper. The Loaded BBQ Pulled Pork Nachos are offered in two sizes and receive rave reviews.
In addition to an all-American wine list, Crafts on Draft, and local beers, Porch bartenders pour swoon-worthy Crafted Cocktails.Their Old Fashioned contains Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, vanilla demerara, and black walnut bitters. Shots Fired is Patron Tequila, lime, agave, house-made grapefruit poblano soda, and chili-lime infused sea salt. Cheers to that!