One amusing feature of "where to (eat, drink, visit, etc)" books is that they become outdated so quickly. Linda and I met Susan last night while visiting with Mike Veach at Bourbons Bistro, a really impressive restaurant which is just too new (a mere ten weeks old) to have been included in her fine book. You can bet it'll be featured in the next edition, though!!
Owners Jason Brauner and John Morrison have put together a very impressive eatery/drinkery in a building that was once known locally as Rascal's Bar & Grill. They've lavished a lot of attention on the restaurant, located on the neo-trendy Frankfort Avenue strip in Louisville, with chef Chris Howerton's staff creating what they call "upscale down-home" cuisine. But the chief feature for us bourbonheads is the bar, with examples of just about every currently available American whiskey (around 200 bottles), as well as a few bottles of priceless, no-longer-made whiskey that friends and customers have brought in to share. And although its name implies a focus on Bourbon, it's one of the few bars we know that offers multiple brands of rye whiskey, and even two brands of corn whiskey (Mellow Corn and Platte Valley - from a jug!)
But what really makes Bourbons Bistro so notable is that the bartending staff actually understands and appreciates the whiskey they're serving. You'll need to go a long way to find more knowledgeable enthusiasts than Allen or the lovely Margo who served us, and the other bartenders and waiters appear to be just as competent. And just as "down-home" friendly. Notwithstanding the upscale cuisine and admittedly higher-than-might-be-expected prices, the staff doesn't act like snooty "experts", intimidating the customers as can too often happen. Upon entering the front door, the immediate feeling is one of visiting friends who are building a neighborhood bar/restaurant. The owner may have paint on his hands from working on the siding this afternoon. Everyone works as if they're family.
In addition to the ultra-comprehensive selection available, the staff has also made up several interesting pre-selected "tasting flights" that feature samples of whiskeys that relate to one another in different ways. I say "preselected", but some of the "selections" are really lists from which the customer can pick. All together, it seems that one could come to this bar every other week for years and enjoy a completely different tasting experience each time.