The only time we had discussed this week’s venue was at a girls night some months past. However, on that girls night we made brunch plans that then became the first “Brunch So Hard” post. It seems only right that we circled back around to one of the first recommendations we started with, along with the original crew (plus a few boys we let tag along).
We made reservations for our party of six a little less than a week ahead of time, which was super easy to do on LouVino’s website. The reservations are done through Yelp SeatMe, which is great as you can share the confirmation email with friends and the site also reminds you about your reservation via text and email (in case you’re a touch forgetful, but also handy if you need to cancel last minute). All members of our party arrived at about the same time save one that was unable to attend, but the hostess wasn’t bothered by the change. Our booth-table hybrid in the window was ready and waiting for us right away.
The waitress we had for the morning, Danielle, is generally a manager and did a thoroughly wonderful job advertising the drinks and brunch menu to us. Half the table ordered Bottomless Mimosas with the remainder of us trying their Bloody Mary’s (I got the one with Tito’s vodka and another friend got the Old Forrester version). We had one particular fellow asking about any available mimosa variations, for which the lovely Danielle offered the possibility of a Kir Royale (or champagne with Chambord cocktail).
When the cocktails arrived we were not disappointed. My Bloody Mary was pretty great, I asked for it spicy and while it was, I could have done with a touch more heat. The Bloody Kentucky mixer itself though was quite exceptional in its thick, tomato-y goodness. Danielle told us that this mixer is made with local tomatoes from a recipe passed down through generations. I have to say that the spices and consistency were rather great and I could see how it would make a great addition to chili, as she also recommended we try. The Old Forrester version was surprisingly good as well. I hadn’t expected the flavors to blend as nicely as they did and will certainly be trying this again if I can find that Bloody Kentucky mixer at the grocery store as Danielle said I could. The Kir Royale was not really up my alley, seeming a somewhat light and bubbly version of cough syrup, but the gentlemen who ordered it got several more so to each their own. The Mimosas were pleasantly bubbly with a satisfying amount of orange flavor to compliment, but not overwhelm the champagne. If you are ambitious (and the group I was with certainly was) you can definitely get your money’s worth out of the Bottomless Mimosas.
As we were waiting for our cocktails we had made the slightly bold decison of ordering all eight items on the menu. We do afterall “brunch so hard.” After Danielle had divvied up all the cocktails accordingly and asked if we had any questions we gave her our request of one of everything. She seemed to approve of our choice, and told us she would have them come out when ready so we could dig in and try things right away. This was a great way to experience the menu as it allowed us all a chance to try things when they were hot and fresh without being overwhelmed.
To start the Biscuit n Gravy with Goetta sausage was just so good, frankly one of the best examples of biscuits and gravy I have ever had. The flavor was perfectly savory and satisfying without feeling heavy. The biscuits here and in other dishes were buttery, fluffy pillows of goodness. The gravy though is what brings everything together in a beautiful way; it was creamy with a slight spice and the crisp bits of goetta were pretty fantastic. If you like biscuits and gravy, be sure to give these a try as i don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.
The incredibly golden and scrumptious Croissant BLT Sandwich was a brilliantly composed must try. Each bite came with a nice striation of fried green tomato, bacon and egg. The croissant was soft and flaky inside and had a perfect crunchy exterior. The hint of maple mustard at the end was also a really nice and original touch.
At this point I feel like I should mention that the pace at which dishes arrived was perfect for everyone else at the table. About two dishes at a time in five to ten minute increments allowed everyone a perfect bite at the right temperature. However since I was taking notes dishes seemed to pile up in front of me.
A far as the dishes we sampled go, Lamb and Eggs was a solid though not outstanding fare. The lamb was juicy and tender while the seasoning had an interesting earthy-ness I couldn’t quite place. There was another delightful egg and tasty helping of crispy potato hash browns, that I was happy to have more of.
I am a big fan of the latke-like flavor pairings this Crispy Potato Hash Browns dish was kind of hitting. The relish was fantastically herbal and fresh so that it really brought a wonderful brightness to the plate. I also greatly enjoyed the lovely, smokey lox that were tender and not overwhelming to the palatte. The egg also added some yolky unctious goodness to the party making it a rather delightful treat.
The salty and smoky Pulled Pork and Red Eye Gravy flowed beautifully over another great biscuit. While I found this slightly over salted and strong tasting, it was hubby’s favorite dish.
Maple Eggs Benedict sounded intriguing when I read it and is definietly one of the highlights of the menu after trying it. The maple in the background of the grits cakes is very subtle, and provides just enough sweet to make this dish stand out from standard eggs Benedict offerings. The texture of the grits cakes themselves was also quite pleasant and something I think I’d prefer to most of the English muffins that form eggs Benedict bases. The perfectly poached eggs and a nice Hollandaise round out the dish in a lusious and decadent manner that if you visit you must expereience.
As we started to wind down I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy the Pancake Tacos that had peaked most of my interest on the first read of the menu. Even though we had already worked our way through most of the menu this pair was not outshined or unenjoyed. The great combination of both fluffy cakes atop light and airy scrambled eggs was superb. Crispy bits of bacon topping it added just the right bit of texture contrast and salt to excited my taste buds. I also relished in dipping my bits of taco in alternating sauces. LouVino’s maple syrup seemed to have a lively hint of citrus, which should be sparingly used as to not overwhelm the happy lightness of these tacos, and the sriracha cream sauce was a delectably spicy accompaniment. I could have easily ordered another set of these for myself (and likely regretted the decision in my post-brunch food coma), but we had one more dish to conquer…
The Stuffed French Toast is (as far as I could tell) the only soley sweet plate on the LouVino brunch menu. As I’ve stated many times, sweet stuff isn’t usually high on my priorities so I had no qualms with this, but it seemed unique compared to other menus. Our gracious server had described it as being almost a dessert of the menu, so at her direction we had them bring it out at the end of the meal to top us off. This was probably a very wise choice. This beautifully battered and fried brioche french toast was delightfully custardy on its own, when stuffed with an incredibly sumptuous mascarpone cream it was supremely decadent. Bluberry jam offered a slight tartness to cut through this treat to which I thought maple syrup an unnecessary addition, but if you choose to use it do so sparingly. I also enjoyed the fluffy whip cream that helped to lighten up my bites adequately. There is certainly no way i could have eaten a whole dense and delicious portion to myself.
Danielle was kind enough to let us linger leisurely and even continued to fill our Bottomless Mimosas after we paid the check. As we started to gather our things together to leave the table showed that we had a successful brunch (empty glasses and not a box in sight).
This brunch offered quite an incredible array of dishes, which I can truly speak to as we tried them all. What brought this brunch to next level though was likely the good service and fantastic company that seasoned our meal with easy laughs and conversation. If you’re down on Bardstown looking to enjoy a good boozy brunch with a solid menu, LouVino comes highly recommended from this girl.
I hope that you all enjoyed this long and hopefully thorough post. Until next time keep eating and drinking well in good company.
Today’s Featured Brunch: LouVino, 1606 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY 40205