Posts Tagged ‘Louisville’

Travelogue: MilkWood restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky

Toy Tiger cocktail at MilkWood restaurant

Toy Tiger cocktail at MilkWood restaurant

When I saw Chef Edward Lee on “Top Chef: Texas” cut his hand, pull on a glove and keep cooking while the blood pooled in it, I thought, now that’s a badass. So when I last visited my husband’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, I knew I had to see if Lee’s food tasted as powerful as he cooked on the show. So of course I had dinner at MilkWood restaurant.

Lee’s MilkWood restaurant, located on the lower level of the Actors Theatre of Louisville, recently celebrated its second anniversary. I visited last spring, and the menu, a melange of Southern and Asian influences with some classic French thrown in for good measure, has helped to elevate the local restaurant scene, which has lately experienced a boom in artisanal cuisine.

A Brooklyn native of Korean descent, Lee also owns 610 Magnolia, an upscale contemporary Southern restaurant. Together with Chef Kevin Ashworth, Lee has taken his more refined tastes found at 610 Magnolia and punched them up with bolder flavors at MilkWood.

The pork burger on a pretzel bun, with napa kimchi, cracklins, havarti cheese, remoulade and cilantro, is just an example — rich and flavorful.

MilkWood pork burger

MilkWood pork burger

The seasonal fish and pork dishes I tried, as well as a spicy preparation of sunchokes, were also bold in flavor. MilkWood is not a place for the faint of heart.

MilkWood sunchokes

MilkWood sunchokes

The cocktail menu is equally forward. The Toy Tiger, with Old Forrester bourbon, vermouth and bitter orange, is a potent take on the traditional Manhattan — just how I like my drinks.

I look forward to going back to MilkWood restaurant, this time for the bowls of ramen. The one featuring pork belly and country ham follows Lee’s lead, but the Mazeman Ramen with egg yolk, parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, pancetta and uni butter is the one that intrigues me more. I hope Lee keeps doing what he’s doing.

Further reading:

Fork in the Road: A Top Chef’s Next Course by Garden & Gun


03 2015

Travelogue: Louisville, Kentucky

I’ve been to Louisville before and have even been to the Kentucky Derby. But on this last trip, I tried a bunch of new food, some at old-but-new-to-me places and some at places that have opened since my last trip nearly eight years ago.

First off, I was told that I needed to go to Graeter’s, which specializes in French pot ice cream (dense, custard style). I had both the Bourbon Ball and Black Raspberry Chip flavors, and surprisingly, I liked the Black Raspberry Chip better. Perhaps the best part of this ice cream is the chocolate chips, which are created by pouring melted chocolate into the pot and letting the paddle break up the then-hardened candy into various sizes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a big piece of chocolate in one of your bites. Since visiting this store, I’ve found Graeter’s ice cream at my local Ralphs, though not all flavors are carried there. They do carry Chocolate Coconut Almond Chip, my new favorite flavor. How can you go wrong with chocolate ice cream dotted with coconut and almond pieces surrounded by those special chocolate chips?

Graeter's Black Raspberry Chip ice cream

Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream

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08 2012

Special edition: Kentucky Derby

2004 Kentucky Derby. From photog1966 (Flickr).

2004 Kentucky Derby. From photog1966 (Flickr).

I went to the Kentucky Derby four years ago. It was…an experience. Of course, my friends and I chose to go the cheap route and watched the race from Churchill Downs’ infield, which is nothing like what you see on TV. There are no rich people in oversize hats with mint juleps. The infield has mint juleps, too, but it’s more like Mardi Gras meets Nascar. But I digress. For those of you who are actually going to be in the Bluegrass State for this Saturday’s Derby race, here are some of my recommendations for where to shop, eat and sleep in Louisville.

  • Sustain (Vogue Shopping Center, 3724 Frankfort Ave.) This boutique sells eco-friendly, sustainable and chemical-free products for you and your kids, pets and home. I have my eye on the phthalate-, BPA- and lead-free Laptop Lunch Bento Box.
  • The Green Building (732 E. Market St.) The owners of this mixed-use building, a 110-year-old former dry goods store, are striving for LEED platinum certification. Housed within is 732 Social, a cafe from brothers Steven and Michael Ton who also own the James Beard Foundation Award-nominated Basa in Louisville. There’s also art gallery space, which is currently hosting work from Brooklyn’s Steve Keene.

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05 2009