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“Best bartender”
Review of Varanese

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Ranked #24 of 2,015 Restaurants in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$28
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Romantic, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Private Dining, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Vernon
Transit: Varanese has a TARC stop in front along with a Frankfort Ave. Trolly Hop Stop.
Description: Varanese Restaurant is located in the historic Clifton neighborhood and features an eclectic menu of New American Cuisine using local organic products, prepared by Owner/Chef John Varanese. The restaurant opened in 2007 and has recently completed a renovation and can comfortably seat 150 guests between its bar, dining room and four seasons patio. Open 7 days a week - Sunday through Thursday from 5:00pm to 11:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm to midnight.
Reviewed May 24, 2017 via mobile

Returned to the bar at Varanese after a few months and had a great experience. Even though it was Wednesday half price wine bottles, I really wanted a nice cocktail - Martini. Absolutely delicious! Plus, the bartender is so talented on all drinks and easy going. Live Jazz in the background and excellent snacks. Lobster ravioli and meatballs are excellent. Frankfort Ave is a nice area.

Date of visit: May 2017
Thank TVail
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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41 - 45 of 321 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2017 via mobile

My husband and I visited Varanese for our wedding anniversary. We loved it!
Sat outside on the covered patio and enjoyed some live music. We had the Brie appetizer and it was so good! When we return in the future I want to try some other appetizers because they had so many that looked good. I have the fried green tomatoe salad which was phenomenal. Chose the Sea Bass for my entree and it was very good too. Husband had steak and he was very happy with his selection too. Took home the bread pudding for desert (was too full to have it at the restaurant). It's still in my fridge but I'll be eating it soon, looks just as good as everything else we had :)
Cocktail list was great, many options for all different types of spirits. I would definitely recommend Varanese!

Date of visit: May 2017
Thank Andria_Reynolds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 18, 2017 via mobile

We will definitely come back if we ever come back to Louisville, Kentucky. Food was delicious with southern taste!

Date of visit: May 2017
1  Thank PokharaRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 13, 2017

Our group was in Louisville for Derby Week, and as is the case at all of Louisville's finer restaurants, Veranese had a "Derby menu" with 4 courses price fixe $125 -- Note: This meal was truly superb, & worth it!! Each course had 4-7 delectable choices, enough to please any dinning preference. This 2017 Derby Menu featured several Varanese dinner classics, & some "specials". The menu is inventive, gourmet New American good (w/ very strong Southern cooking influences).
The restaurant is warm & inviting, and the seating comfortable and not overly crowded (even during Derby Week). Complimentary valet parking is available (and very helpful in this part of town). Our waitress was friendly & helpful (Note: There was one service "glitch" during our visit -- after the entrees, our dessert course seemed to have inexplicably gotten "lost" -- the management apologized for this 40 minute delay and deducted the estimated dessert cost from our bill).
As for the meal, we enjoyed the following:
Old fashioned & Manhattan cocktails - superbly crafted
Wine by-the-glass - great choices of reds
Burrata appetizer - creamy & delicious, w/ balsamic reduction
Lump crab cake appetizer - unique grain mustard vinagrette flavors
Fried green tomato salad w/ bibb lettuce & buttermilk dressing -- MUST TRY classic!!
Goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, mixed baby green salad - delicious
Ribeye steak - 120-day dry aged & perfectly grilled -- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Pan-seaed scallops w/ lobster ravioli & baby spinach - superb!
Hawaiian butterfish - succulent pan-seared whitefish entree
Chocolate lava cake dessert - spot-on!
Homemade fried apple turnover a la mode - yummy! (drizzled w/ a sugary cinnamon sauce ... I'd recommend ordering the turnover/ice cream without the heavy cinnamon sauce)
In-town for 5 nights, Varanese (despite a service glitch on a busy night of Derby Week)
was BY FAR the best restaurant meal that we had. The food here measures-up very well to the type of fine dinning encountered on the East & West Coasts -- the meal was absolutely delicious! Varanese is the Louisville restaurant that I'd DEFINITELY return to!!

Date of visit: May 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank byMT305
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 10, 2017

My wife and I dropped in for dinner during Derby Week. Dinner on that Wednesday night included live music, and a "Hats on the Avenue" display by a neighborhood shop. Both of these added enjoyment to the evening.,
While imbibing nicely crafted cocktails, we shared an appetizer of hummus, queso, and tapanade...absolutely large enough to share, with delicious feta queso, roasted garlic hummus, and a sweet onion jam with crostini and toasted pita. The goat cheese spinach salad and pecan salad were both large and tasty.
My wife had a grilled salmon entree, served over cream cheese grits. It looked mouth watering, and she very much enjoyed it. I ordered the wild boar osso buco, which, after two bites, I found to be dry and tough. But, it was then that our waiter, Jeremy, came by to inquire about our meals. Upon hearing my comments, the boar was promptly and courteously whisked away, to be quickly replaced by a (large) pan seared center cut smoked pork chop. We viewed the dessert menu, but being stuffed, elected to defer, and begin our 2+ hour drive home.
Portions were substantial, service was quite good, and meals were nicely done (yes, the boar didn't work for me, but no place is perfect). Parking was easy for us, beginning dinner early on a midweek evening, though it may get more difficult later in night or on weekends. Prices were reasonable.

Date of visit: May 2017
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank PoppaP54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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