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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
Varanese reviews from OpenTable diners
227 reviews since June 23, 2014
Overall Rating4.7
  • Food4.7
    Service4.6
  • Ambiance4.5
    Noise LevelModerate
97% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (153)neighborhood gem (152)fit for foodies (146)romantic (120)great for outdoor dining (109)notable wine list (78)good for groups (70)hot spot (53)vibrant bar scene (26)late-night find (24)scenic view (11)great for brunch (3)great for lunch (3)kid-friendly (2)Show More
  • Great meal
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/18/2014
    First time we've visited since Mother's Day - we were very pleased - great meal from start to finish, our server was first rate. Really no complaints, everything was fantastic and I found the price rage reasonable for what we got, and the whole experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 10/17/2014
    Busy night but we were seated promptly. Great attention to detail. Very welcoming. Chef visits to table are so nice. Very personal touch. You feel like your views matter.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfect food, service and ambiance!
    Kate
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    Thank you for a lovely evening! Really enjoyed the flat iron steak and lentil soup, but everything was perfect.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Our Favorite Joint
    SamK
    Dined on 10/14/2014
    We love coming to Varanese. This is a great place to eat, enjoy and relax. John is a great person and your Chef is super. We love you guys!!!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wow!
    add1more
    Dined on 10/11/2014
    One of the best restaurant's in town, enough said.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nicely done!
    Ple83
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Making the reservations through open table is convenient and easy. I was running a bit late due to traffic and called to let them know of my late arrival. They were very pleasant and accommodating. I had requested a table close to the jazz performance that evening and one that was warm. We did indeed have that table. :). The service was quick and the server friendly, knowledgable . Dinner was delicious and visually pleasing. It was a great experience. I will return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Melanie
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Everything was outstanding. Three of our party ordered the specials and everyone raved about their choice. This is probably my favorite resturant in the city....it never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • May be the Best in Louisville
    Drvill1
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    Yes, there are a lot of great restaurants in Louisville, but Varanese could possibly be the best of the best. The food is excellent - we had a great salad and the Bourbon Pork Chop. Good drink selections too. The prices are reasonable and the portions are just right. The atmosphere is great too. It feels high-energy without looking like it is trying to hard to be a hot spot. It also feels upscale without being stuffy. The jazz band is fun, and if the weather is nice, the front doors are open to the sidewalk patio. To top off the great experience, Mr. Varanese (the owner and chef) came out and checked on us and many of the other parties throughout the evening. I really don't think you can get any better than this!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Pc1029VIP
    Dined on 10/8/2014
    We shared calamari with a soy-type sauce & marinara, & I had the special tomato, mozzarella salad for my dinner. Very nice. Others had fried green tomatoes, flat iron steak, & salmon, always a treat! We also shared a creme brûlée. Nice evening with jazz music entertainment as well.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Visiting Louisville St. James Ct.
    GlassGirl
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    I was in town for the weekend for the St. James Court Art Fair, and because it was my first trip to Louisville I wanted to find a local Mom & Pop dining option. I chose to come to Varanese because of the good reviews and the proximity to my hotel downtown. We ordered a pistachio encrusted goat cheese spinach salad, stuffed grape leaves, baked brie, and another salad. All of the food was delicious, and not only tasted good but was presented beautifully as well. Ambiance was good with live music, (bass, guitar, sax) lighting was nice, fresh flowers on the table. It was a wonderful experience. Service could have been a little better as we waited a long time for our check but other than that it was a lovely place to eat.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    It was very good but compared to other places on Frankfort Ave, it wasn't the best. We try to pick a different place when we go out for a nice meal. THe band was a very nice touch!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Lovely Evening
    BandR88
    Dined on 10/4/2014
    Celebrating birthdays, my husband and I wanted someplace special and new to us. I found Varanese through Louisville Restaurants. Then my friend recommended Varanese. We are so glad we chose you. Lovely evening, top notch waiter and fabulous food. What more could you want.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • chufin
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    The food was wonderful and service was outstanding. We had a very enjoyable evening.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just fantastic!
    MaximusForealius
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    My wife and I decided to celebrate our 21st anniversary here and we were well-pleased with our choice! We initially made our choice due to the live jazz trio, but were very impressed with our dining options. My wife shared her mushroom risotto with me and I became an instant fan, but I did not have much room due to my superb pork chop (that resembled no other pork chop I have ever had!) and artisan side of potatoes Au-gratin. We finished the night by splitting bread-pudding which was one of the few things that could follow the excellence of the main course. Have dinner here, you will not be disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Simply excellent!
    tuttleman2
    Dined on 10/3/2014
    This is now one of my favorite restaurants in Louisville, great food, excellent service! I don't have very many favorites in Louisville but I will be back Varanese! My complements to the Chef! Excellent wild boar and crab stuffed avacado was one of the best I have ever had. Thank you!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great ambience but read on..,
    Jmccall
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    We had a great experience for a birthday with kids but as a seasoned home chef, I'd love to give some pointers.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Terrific
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/30/2014
    Joey was an excellent waiter. He had a wide knowledge if the menu. Offered some very nice bourbon selections. The mussels appetizer, pork chop and beef tip tortellini for dinner was tasty and filling. If you are ever in Louisville you must go.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • enjoyable
    Foodie
    Dined on 9/26/2014
    i've always enjoyed Varanese. good food, service and atmosphere. a favorite for a fun and festive night!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • High Quality Throughout
    AllAboutFood
    Dined on 9/22/2014
    Chef John combines a great menu with fantastic special offerings that will please everyone. The food is always excellent. That combined with the personable staff, the live music and the character of the place, results in Varanese being one of the best dining experiences in Louisville, a city becoming known for its food culture.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu
    eddieemailVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2014
    Nice menu with some interesting choices that you don't see every day.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Perfect night out
    willys47
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    This was our first experience here and it was wonderful. Food was awesome very well prepared and delicious. Atmosphere was great live music while we dined but not to load to carry on our conversation. Will be back again.
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Another Great Experience
    JRSREALTOR
    Dined on 9/18/2014
    This is our second time within a month to dine at Varanese. We again had Kristy as our server and she is so attentive and on top of things, but never hovering. Just when you need something she is there to deliver whatever it may be. This evening they had the doors open so it was as if you were dining outside, but still covered from any potential elements. Great place to go whenever, seeing as this was our fifth anniversary and it couldn't have been made any better.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Veranese
    maturediner
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The food is excellent, the atmosphere cozy, and the service very attentive but not intrusive. Overall a great experience that I plan to encounter many more times.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • noname
    Dined on 9/15/2014
    Have always enjoyed so much in past. Chef is very personable and like the fact that he always greets guests. But the last 2 times we have gone the food just has not been as good. Best parts of meal were salad, bread and coffee. The complimentary amuse bouche was soggy and uneatable and everything else seemed to be missing a beat. Hate this..but we won't be returning.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • special experience
    dinesalot
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Great food and dining experience. Menu items were upscale and entrees that you will not find at "normal" restaurants. All 4 of us had different entrees an all were superb. The jazz 3 piece combo that played the whole night was great, but if you were in the same room, they were a little loud for normal conversation. I would certainly dine there again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Best in Louisville
    LocalinLouisville
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I love Varanese. I have been there more than a handful of times in the last 2 years and each dining experience was near perfect. The jazz music accompanied by the dim lit dining area is very romantic, yet you can go with a group as well and get an awesome experience as well. Louisville is filled with wonderful restaurants and great chefs, but Varanese is the best in my opinion.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Cream cheese grits!
    HollyS
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Yes, cream cheese grits. They are the most amazing, creamy grits ever and anywhere. And the salmon that came on top of them was melt-in-the-mouth citrus-y good. This is the place to go for a wonderful "patio" area and with some live jazz music to go along with your meal. The music is never too loud for conversation. The avocado appetizer is amazingly good...we also enjoyed cups of the menu special Shrimp Bisque and wanted more. One member nearly ordered a second helping until we reminded him of the bread pudding dessert he could have. Another enjoyed a special braised leg of lamb that was a plentiful serving and so we all felt good about demanding a taste. Yummy! Varanese NEVER disappoints!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great experience!
    HoosierVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    It's our new go-to dinner spot. Great food awesome jazz trio and a great time.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, scenic view, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent
    BridgetMo
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    My husband and I chose Varanese upon the recommendation of a friend. The food was amazing, our table was romantic, and the outdoor seating set the mood. We are looking forward to our next visit!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very Nice Evening
    SenorRexVIP
    Dined on 9/9/2014
    Service was very special, despite a large wine tasting group the same evening. Food was very good as well. Touring the Mid-West in search of fine eateries. Visiting from Berkeley, CA's Gourmet Ghetto...
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Varanese
    Lougirl
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Enjoyed the outdoor seating. Sometimes while jazz band plays, it's so loud you can barely converse. Food was very good. Service was very good as well.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • LouisvilleBob
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Food was excellent. Service was attentive but not overbearing. The owner takes the time to visit each table. One of the better restaurants in Louisville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Glad we came
    Bostonfoodie
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    From the moment we walked in the door, we were greeted & seated by friendly staff. Our waiter was attentive & informative about the menu. We had the crab/cream cheese stuffed squash blossoms as an appetizer & they were excellent. My entree of corvina had a nice pecan coating & the veggies that came with it were fresh & not over cooked. Looking forward to trying other things on the menu on future visits.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Favorite Louisville Restaurant
    KirkVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    This place is consistently awesome! Great food, cool location, and quality service. John the owner has also said hello at our dinners here. Very reasonable on price for great food. A little slow on speed of service but why hurry a terrific dinner?
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a winner!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    Varanese is one of our favorite restaurants. Elegant atmosphere with live music and consistently tasty food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Still a go-To
    Prplehaze
    Dined on 9/4/2014
    Varanese has long been one of my go-to restaurants for taking out of town guests or observing birthdays or the like. This time, it was both and as usual, the folks at the restaurant mostly came through for us. The food was outstanding. Among the three of us were two salmons and one Covina and each piece of fish came out cooked exactly as ordered arranged beautifully on a plate of grits (salmon) or honeyed mashed sweet potatoes (Covina) each of which was superb. I also had the fried Brussels sprouts which I could easily eat once or twice a week and not tire of. Service,was fine, once our server arrived after a 20 minute wait to have our orders taken.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great place for dinner
    SandyleeVIP
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    Great service wonderful food and they are always friendly
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Spears
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    It's nice to have several favorite entrees that are always on the menu as well as 2 or 3 special entrees and a couple of salads or appetizers that offer unique choices, unusual preparation and ingredients all at reasonable prices. The butter-fish special was the favorite choice that night and everyone loved it. Even with a group of 7 people, the service was excellent and the server both knowledgeable and pleasant. The cocktails were promptly served and well-prepared and the food courses were brought out at just the right pace. It is our favorite full-menu, gourmet dining venue in east Louisville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • A Great anniversary
    fjayr
    Dined on 9/2/2014
    We count on Veranese for those special evenings and, again, Veranese did not disappoint. The service was outstanding, helpful and prompt, the small jazz band was outstanding, and every dish from the curried empanadas through the entrees was well prepared and delicious. The staff were aware that this was our anniversary and there were nice touches throughout the meal. This restaurant always makes us feel valued and comfortable while providing us as lovely a dinner and wine service as you are going to find in the great restaurant town of Louisville.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/1/2014
    Planned a surprise for my sister for her birthday. Staff was overly accommodating and friendly. The service was outstanding as was the food. Would definitely recommend.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.