Varanese
Varanese

Varanese

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.varanese.com/
  • Phone: 5028999904x
  • 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 5028999904x
  • Entertainment: Live jazz seven nights from the Jeff Sherman band 6-10pm.
  • Special Events: 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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
Varanese reviews from OpenTable diners
227 reviews since May 5, 2014
Overall Rating4.6
  • Food4.6
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (152)neighborhood gem (144)fit for foodies (136)great for outdoor dining (133)romantic (114)notable wine list (64)good for groups (59)hot spot (52)vibrant bar scene (21)late-night find (20)great for brunch (12)scenic view (12)great for lunch (6)kid-friendly (3)Show More
  • Perfect Anniversary!
    Kbk11102
    Dined on 8/31/2014
    Food was excellent and service made it even better. We had a great anniversary celebration and we will definitely be back again soon.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • open doors
    foodfan
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Would like to have doors open to give outdoor feel and diminish noise level
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Varnese - a family favorite
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Varnese never fails to please. It is one of our families favorite restaurants. The food is always excellent, as well as the service. Always something new in the specials worth trying, but the standard menu keeps us coming back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent as always
    TimH
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We visit Varanese at least once a month and it has my favorite dinner in Louisville. The Bourbon Barrel Rubbed Porkchop preceded by the Fried Green Tomato Salad is the TOPS!!! Our out of town guests loved everything about this place on their first visit. Bravo Varanese!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Dining Gem
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Great food with terrific service at a reasonable price
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • CJS1VIP
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Decent food. I guess I was expecting more based on the reviews. Sauces on both dishes were very heavy and overpowered the flavor of the base.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Delicious
    JoeML
    Dined on 8/27/2014
    The food is consistently delicious, new dishes & innovative. Never gets boring or predictable!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent place to dine w/friends
    Missy
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Date place
    AppleGuy
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect date-night destination
    502diner
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Pleasantly surprised
    gov58
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Review
    Sussie
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hot Spot
    Joeeatswell
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Most Excellent!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • disappointed
    Bomb
    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.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always great food
    sportwife
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Nice place
    EnjoyGreatMusicandFood
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Love Varanese!
    PJ3180
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent, consistent restaurant
    TimH
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Vibrant
    Mike
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Lovely dinner. Excellent chicken ravioli entree. Great band, acoustic jazz guitar.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • exceeds expectation
    jaydub
    Dined on 8/12/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never a bad meal
    Tristan0917VIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Varanese is walking distance from our home so we go there quite often. We've never had a bad meal. Service is always excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • willbeback
    willbeback
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Nice restaurant and very well themed and very romantic setting.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What A Gem
    CDLL
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Diner722VIP
    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.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Varanese for Great Times!
    NaiNai
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Louisville find!
    Winendine
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    FrontierSister
    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!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful
    Marshalljay
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • hello betty!
    Bragadaccio
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Fun and good food but the train is more than a bit noisy!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • What a great restaurant!
    shedish
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Superior in all ways!
    luckydiner
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    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.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Value
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Always fresh, very reasonable prices. Live music open air dining.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • oldfolkseatearly
    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.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mark
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    Great music from Jeff Sherman and great food from John Varanese! Our favorite place to eat in Louisville area!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Perfect
    RSDerby
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Had a wonderful evening at Varanese with friends. Food was wonderful as always!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Exquisite dining
    MommaGrams
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, scenic view, hot spot, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Jazz
    JazzItUp
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    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!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic