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  • Varanese

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  • Address:
    2106 Frankfort Ave.
    Louisville, KY 40206
    Downtown Louisville
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

Varanese Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.varanese.com
  • Phone: (502) 899-9904
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: John Varanese
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Smoking Area, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Catering: Catering is offered depending on Chef Varanese's availability. Call to inquire.
  • Private Party Facilities: With the addition of two new private dining room spaces, Varanese can accommodate groups of up to 80 people. Minimum sales requirement for each room applies. Call 502-899-9904 or email letsdine@varanese.com to inquire.
  • Private Party Contact: John Varanese (502) 899-9904
  • Entertainment: Live jazz seven nights from the Jeff Sherman band 6-10pm.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Sunday is Service Industry Night. Enjoy 1/2 price appetizers and drink specials starting at 8:30.
    Every Monday, enjoy a free Flambé Dessert with the purchase of any entrée.
    Wine Down Wednesday – Half price bottles of wine all night. Choose from our extensive wine list.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Vernon
  • Public Transit: Varanese has a TARC stop in front along with a Frankfort Ave. Trolly Hop Stop.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Varanese provides on-premise parking along with additional parking across the street at Nancy's Bagel Grounds along with street parking.
A word from Varanese
Varanese settled in Louisville because of its successful independent dining scene, and he believes that the people of Louisville will appreciate fresh ingredients, prepared with a creative flair and a culturally diverse menu. Varanese’s eclectic menu boasts an array of options from stuffed grape leaves, and fried green tomato salad, to new signature entrées: the seared boneless pork chop, and caramelized orange salmon. Finish with a fried banana accompanied by a house-made oatmeal cookie dough ice cream dessert. This New American style restaurant will comfortably seat 150 guests between its bar, dining room and four seasons patio. The four seasons patio of Varanese is an addition to the building, which has a dramatic 20-foot slate water wall. The space is enclosed by a serpentine of glass doors, which retract to offer an outdoor dining experience. Varanese is located at 2106 Frankfort Ave. in the Historic Clifton neighborhood Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Diner Reviews
  • "This was my first visit there, but I loved it. There was quiet music in the background. Service was excellent and the chef came out to see how our experience was. I would definitely go back the next time in Louisville."
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "My best friend and I like to go on "dates" and we like trying new places and Varanese was on both of our lists. We went on a Sunday afternoon and the place was not busy at all so we had a great conversation at a reasonable level. The waitress was helpful with wine paring for the meal I picked and very knowledgeable about the menu options. The food came out very well prepared and the plate looked wonderful. I think we will both be back!"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "My husband and I chose Varanese for our anniversary dinner, and we were not disappointed. From the appetizer to dessert, we found the food prepared to perfection. Ed, our waiter, was very attentive, but not pushy or intrusive. He made several useful recommendations. The live jazz was a nice touch, as well. We were very pleased to spend a couple of hours dining in such a classy setting."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • " I picked this restaurant from an online site. Got there an hour early and was offered a table right away. Chose to go to the bar first. A great bar but could use a few more choices for draft beer. The wine and liquor selection was great. Dinner was fantastic, the sirloin was almost fork tender and tasted great. As we were finishing dinner the head chef came to our table and was truly interested in what we thought of the food. The entire experience was very enjoyable and was very fairly priced."
    Dined on 8/22/2014
  • "Had a wonder Mother/Daughter night out eating here. We were seated right next to the music duo loved it. We felt like we were in our own little world. The salmon I had was outstanding! Choose a nice Pinot to go with it."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "We've been in Louisville for many years and can't believe we haven't been here. We dine out @ 3-4 times per week and Varanese has moved to the top of our "excellent dinning" list."
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "Five of us dined at Varanese on a Thursday night. A two-person jazz combo played in the corner, providing a nice ambiance. The sound-absorbing panels on the ceiling have helped the noise level, but conversation is still a little tricky. The food, however, is excellent. My caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes was luscious. Three of us had the signature pork chop with au gratin potatoes, and it was very good. But the prize went to my husband's choice of the flat iron steak (cooked medium rare) which was tender enough to cut with a regular knife, and melted in your mouth. Once again, Varanese sits at the top our list for favorite Louisville restaurants!"
    Dined on 8/21/2014
  • "First time I have been there. My friend Jeff Groves suggested we eat there. He was correct, your place was just what we were looking for and I plan on coming back. Jeff is the Owner of Groves Construction in Madisonville, Ky. and as I understand comes there frequently."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "Have been coming to Varanese since it opened. This was by far the worst experience in all the years of eating here. The noise level was deafening. At a table for 6 you could not hear the person across the table speak. The food was not up to par this time either. Food has always been perfect but this time, entrees were cold to lukewarm. I hope this was a fluke."
    Dined on 8/20/2014
  • "We had a reservation and were seated promptly. Our waitress was fantastic, very friendly and her service was great. Food always is great....never been disappointed here. Menu has a nice range of options, as does the wine list."
    Dined on 8/19/2014
  • "Friendly, nice staff!! Waiter was great and recommended nice choices. Pretty loud atmosphere on a Sunday evening plus train directly behind building. Enjoyed the little music playing there I could hear over the people chatting loudly. Food was very tasty and good. The front door of restaurant remained open so there were a few flies surrounding my food and landing on the complimentary bread. I would try it again on a different day to see if I could get a better experience of the place."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "This is one of the best, if not THE BEST restaurants my husband and I have ever eaten at. We will go back. We don't live in Louisville. We drove there for the weekend to enjoy what the city has to offer, especially in regards to fine dining. Varanese was awesome! We will be back whenever we visit the city again. Loved the live jazz music too."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Varanese is one of the best, most consistent spots in Louisville. The fried green tomato salad and bourbon barrel pork hop is my favorite meal in Louisville! Food, beverage, wine list and ambiance are all excellent!"
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Lovely dinner. Excellent chicken ravioli entree. Great band, acoustic jazz guitar."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "It was all around wonderful except it was a tad loud for my grandparents. It was hard to hear them and vice versa."
    Dined on 8/15/2014
  • "Best restaurant experience I have ever had! I reserved a table to celebrate my girlfriends birthday. These guys hooked me up! The table was in a great location and an assortment of rose peddles were placed on it. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. Even the manager came out and wished my girl friend a happy birthday. I didn't feel like I was being talked down to or didn't belong because I am younger. Food was delicious and prices were very reasonable. They brought out a little dessert trey with some ice cream and cookies after dinner for her. I didn't ask or any special treatment because it was her birthday. The resturaunt did it on their own. It was a great experience and friendly environment. Way above expectations!"
    Dined on 8/12/2014
  • "Varanese is walking distance from our home so we go there quite often. We've never had a bad meal. Service is always excellent."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "Nice restaurant and very well themed and very romantic setting."
    Dined on 8/9/2014
  • "What an incredible find! A vibrant romantic atmosphere! Great jazz music contributes to the atmosphere. The restaurant has a bar that is busy and gives a good feeling of being somewhere special. The food outstanding. Good choices on the menu and everything is very delicious! Excellent service...pleasant ,professional staff,! Highly recommending this little gem in the East End!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "We were in Louisville for PGA and found this restaurant on Open Table. Highly recommend it. Food was outstanding. Several Chef's Specials to choose from. Great dining experience."
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "This is a great restaurant with outstanding food, service and ambience. It was vibrant and packed Thursday night - not many restaurants can say that for a week night. Owner/Chef John Varanese and his staff have done an outstanding job making this restaurant a standout."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Varanese will be on our list next time we are in town! Fabulous service - excellent menu - and just the perfect music! We enjoyed every moment. Thank you."
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "Our meal was delicious. The chef prepared a vegetarian dinner for me which I can honestly say was one of the best I have ever had. The garden fresh vegetables were prepared to perfection!"
    Dined on 8/7/2014
  • "From the moment we had to call for a reservation change, then calling twice for directions, and then the complete dining experience, this is my favorite restaurant. If we lived closer to Louisville, it would become a regular for us. The service and attention of the hostess, server, and manager was a very important part of our evening. Not to mention that the food is excellent. The signature pork chop that my husband ordered is out of this world! I had the chicken and mushroom ravioli which could have only been made better by being hotter. The homemade salad dressings are delicious. The bread pudding dessert was a great end to the delicious meal. Thank you, Varanese."
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Fun and good food but the train is more than a bit noisy!"
    Dined on 8/6/2014
  • "Louisville has so many wonderful restaurants from which to choose and I'm so happy that I chose Varanese to take my out-of-town family. The food was amazing. It was a big hit!"
    Dined on 8/5/2014
  • "The Renaissance artist Varanese wowed Venice with his deliciously painted canvases. The Louisville Varanese does the same, and after dining there recently, it will become my new favorite Louisville restaurant."
    Dined on 8/3/2014
  • "Always fresh, very reasonable prices. Live music open air dining."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "We had a wonderful evening. Our table was situated in the outdoor area and the evening was perfect to enjoy it! Our wine and appetizers were great and our meals were delicious! Out server, Liz, was awesome..with her recommendations and so pleasant in her interaction and attentiveness toward us. She even brought us a complimentary dessert as an anniversary treat and took our picture. We can not wait to return. The 3pc jazz band was just getting started as we were leaving..sounded so good too."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Great music from Jeff Sherman and great food from John Varanese! Our favorite place to eat in Louisville area!"
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "Had a wonderful evening at Varanese with friends. Food was wonderful as always!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "This was our third or fourth visit to Varanese. The food was outstanding (as always), the server was attentive without being invasive, and the wine list was endless. It is a very nice touch that the owner and chef, John Varanese, visits each table during the dining experience and chats with his guests to ensure that everything is OK. I have never been to a restaurant where their "specials list" was as extensive as their menu! We had a tough time selecting as everything sounded wonderful!"
    Dined on 7/30/2014
  • "We come to hear the great jazz and enjoy good food and excellent drinks. On jazz lab nights we are finding ourselves reserving a larger table each time - as word spreads through our social environments more people want to come and those that do want to come back - everyone enjoys it very much!"
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "We enjoyed the food & music, the service started out very good, but slacked off when more guests arrived. Overall it was pretty good."
    Dined on 7/29/2014
  • "Everytime I'm in town I make sure to stop by... The food is stellar, service is outstanding, and the atmosphere is amazing! This is a must go if in town place. Can't say enough good things!"
    Dined on 7/28/2014
  • "The food was very well prepared, the atmosphere was very pleasant with live music and our waitress was pleasantl and professional. We had wine, apps, salad and entres, all for less than 50 each. It was a very good experience."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Varanese is a gem of a restaurant. Our second time (why did it take so long to return) to eat here. Food was fantastic, I had the Grouper special, my wife had the Salmon. Nice wine selection and not overly priced. Our waiter, Liz I think, was spot on with the service and friendly ness. Will return for sure and a big recommendation!"
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "We had a friend in from out of town and wanted her to experience Varanese, as it is one of our favorite restaurants in Louisville. It did not disappoint. Everything from the appetizers all the way to the amazing Baklava dessert was perfect. It is now one of her favorite restaurants and will want to return on her next visit. Thank you again for a wonderful experience!"
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "My wife and I loved celebrating our anniversary here. We went at 6, so there was plenty of space and was pretty quiet before the 7 o'clock rush. The food was fabulous, the service was really great, and the jazz trio added a lot to the ambiance."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "Outstanding service! Waitress was very knowledgeable of menu and gave details of specials. Food was excellent. One of my favorite restaurants in Louisville"
    Dined on 7/26/2014