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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
  • Email: letsdine@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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Food
Diner Reviews
  • "Had a fantastic time with friends. Katie was AWESOME! The speaker for Jim Beam was GREAT. Thanks for a GREAT night out with friends!"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We really enjoyed our experience! The food was great. My husband ordered the special seafood dish with a crawfish étouffée and it was outstanding. I ordered the flank steak and it was good. It was not exceptional, but the appetizers, desserts and special ambience still gave us a great experience. The marshmallow toffee bread pudding is our favorite, and we would come here just for that. A nice evening to connect and enjoy time together!"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great food, great service, I can't wait to go back! You know a restaurant is good when you have dreams of a dish you had!"
    Dined on 4/6/2014
  • "Aside from the hostess not telling, as she had promised me, my dining companion that I was there waiting in the bar, the service was the gem of the night. The waitress Christy was always presence but not there always serving but unobtrusive. The food was very good. The bread pudding is definitely the go to dessert. All the staff were very friendly. My drink tab at the bar was transferred to final bill with out me having to cash out one place in order to eat. A special convenience since I spent a half hour in the bar that I did not need to. If you are looking for reliable food in a decent ambience with proper outstanding service this is the place. The jazz ensemble was the proper volume level and musical choice to provide background."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Although most of the food on the menu is not vegetarian or vegan, Chef Varanese will make you a spectacular and delicious veg.meal. This is the best and freshest vegan meal in a Louisville. Even meat-eaters love it! Yum! And, of course the non-veg dishes are great too! Live jazz music is perfect level - provides ambiance while still allowing conversation. We always take our out-of-town guests here."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Really enjoyed the food and service. This place is a gem! Blair took great care of us. We love to visit Varanese!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "The food was excellent, the service was excellent, the ambiance was excellent. Our first experience. We will be back!"
    Dined on 3/26/2014
  • "The food at Varanese is always delicious and has become one of our favorite restaurants. I ordered from the specials menu and decided on the braised Osso Buco. My boyfriend decided on the Irish Beer dinner, the special 4 course meal available on 3/25/2014. All of the dishes were fantastic and the favors had remarkable depth. We have always been so pleased with the service and experience we keep returning for more. All the staff members are always very friendly and knowledgeable. I always recommend Varanese to co-workers, friends, and family. Also KUDOS to BILLY!!!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Love this place. Live jazz, great food, great service."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "John & his Team are the best in the city! Great food and they will accommodate even the pickiest of diners. The three men in our group were celebrating birthdays and I think all of them felt very special."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We had a great experience. Started with an excellent martini and then had a great meal. I had the mushroom ravioli with roasted chicken and arugula. Excellent. My husband had the special, homemade pasta with a delicious oxtail and pork belly ragout. We started the evening with the avocado and lobster appetizer and the special, a scotch egg. The scotch egg was not our favorite, but we had never had one before. The music was phenomenal that evening and our service from Ed was excellent. We ended with the bread pudding and salted carmel ice cream to share. WOW, divine. Looking forward to getting back soon."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "An excellent meal for each of the three of us When I return to Louisville I will be certain to return here"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "We had a lovely meal. Our server was very knowledgeable about the menu and specials. We will be back."
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "Service was very good! Food , salad, we had the spinch salad.dinner we all chose the Turduckin, way to much sage !wedid not care for it, vegetables were very good."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "This is our go to spot with friends, for a romantic dinner, and guests! Jay is an excellent server!...a professional!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "My Husband and I would recommend this place anyone and everyone we know. Everything was excellent including the food & waitstaff. We will definitely be repeat customers!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "One can rely on Varanese for special evenings. Took ten out of town doctors to dinner - service ,food,atmosphere is always impressive. Menu is appealing, cocktails and wine list, bourbon selection what one would expect in an upscale Louisville restaurant. Never disappoints for a lovely evening out.....it"s a sure thing"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "I was entertaining an out of town guest. Together we found the food to be very good. The ambience is beautiful with one wall of glass overlooking Frankfort, and another wall a slowly trickling water fountain. The service was excellent. I had the fish which was delicate and succulent, and my guest had the pork chop which he enjoyed. The live jazz performers made everything come together into a wonderful evening. I plan to return soon."
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "It was my wife and I wedding anniversary i had a surprise waiting for her at the restaurant! The staff was outstanding they helped me pull the surprise off and we had a beautiful evening together! It was our first time there but not the last! Our server was phenomenal!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Terrific local favorite. Great menu with daily specials that excite. Good service and customer interaction. Nice touch with ambient music and water feature."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food was very good. However, the small table for two was quite crowded and the noise level in the restaurant was too high for intimate conversation."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This was our first time at Varanese and our experience was great! We highly recommend this place..."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "As always, the salmon was fantastic and the grits with cream cheese can become habit forming. First time we dined in the side room off of main dining room and it was delightful - - quiet and intimate setting. The server was attentive and pleasant. Wonderful evening shared with friends over wine. We ended the evening with the fantastic oatmeal ice cream. Veranese is outstanding, and we will certainly return."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Varanese was fantastic! The food is incredible and our server was so great! She was educated on the menu and made great suggestions for us."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "perfect place to go with good friends to have great meal and plenty of laughs."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "I love varanese but the music is always too loud and you cant hear and visit with your guests. Really is unfortunate, I know it keeps many people away."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "1) They setup a table in the walkway to the kitchen and I was dumb enough to accept it. - My bad. 2) The only fish they had on the menu was something called Walu and my GF ordered it. In all my travels, I have never seen this fish on a menu. Being curious, I read about it. Wondering why they would serve this fish after what is out there on the internet about it. 3) Waiter brings a glass of wine with it dripping. It leaves the menu all stained up. We tell the waiter and he says, "Oh yeah, the bartender made a mess when he poured it". Thank for taking care of us, good sir. NOT! Won't be back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We ate here on Feb 22, 2014 from an open table recommendation. Were seated promptly in quiet nook of 4 tables, Ed took our orders. Very friendly and gave helpful menu advise. Wife have goat cheese salad and I have appetizer of confit quail, both were very tasty. Took reviews advise and ordered caramelized orange glaze salmon and grits which is worthy of the praise other reviewers have given! Wife had pasta special of salmon and pasta with goat cheese sauce which was different take on the salmon but again amazing. We share dishes with each other. Desserts of small bits for me and small pear with the most amazing ice cream ever capped a perfect dinner. Wish we lived closer! Meet John the chef/owner as he can out to me guest. Thanks!"
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "This was our first time to eat at Varanese and it was excellent the service was great and the food even better. A great restaurant to impress your date at."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "Wonderful atmosphere with nice Jazz playing in the background; the food was outstanding and the service was even better. Highly recommend for a nice night out. We took our teenage sons and they loved it as well!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Course dinner was really delicious and filling. A wonderful way to spend the evening with friends. Some of those courses should be added to the regular menu! Never disappointed at Varanese!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "Only problem was the tables were to close together."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "the tables were too close servers had trouble getting between them ,the food was good not great for valentine menu,had a great meal on new year eve"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "We go back frequently. It is open on Sunday, which also makes it a great place to go after the Opera!"
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "My fiancee and I went to this place for Valentine date. I thought the food and service was outstanding. Our waitress was very friendly and asking us how was our dinner with compliment. The down part was space. I thought it was a bit crowded with little space. But our table neighborhood seemed friendly and respectful. Overall, it was a great restaurant."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The food at Varanese is excellent. My wife had the Valentines special scallops and I had the regular menu pork chop. The pork chop was the best I've had, and my wife's scallops were fresh and well prepared. The layout of the restaurant is odd in that small, 2 person tables are close to the door and catch a breeze which can be a bit distracting on a winter evening. The place can get crowded and a bit noisy, but that didn't seem to distract from the experience for me. This was my second visit to Varanese, and I will go back again soon."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "My girlfriend and i celebrated our one year anniversary here and it was an amazing experience. The service was wonderful, very friendly and knowledgeable. Food was Fantastic, a great place to go!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "We loved everything. Only complaint we went for the 20oz cowboy ribeye steak and it was OUT by 615. Not happy at all. But we will return again."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My wife and I ate at Varanese for Valentine's Day. I actually waited tables there three-plus years ago but hadn't been back to dine there since. What can I say but, wow, I had completely forgotten how amazing that restaurant is! John Varanese is a culinary virtuoso and his Hawaiian butterfish and leg of lamb specials were melt-in-our-mouths amazing. Also, the waitstaff is outstanding (shoutout to Matt, our most excellent server that evening, as well as Jay and Ed, Felicia and Rory and, of course, the general manager Dave, who was one of the best GMs I've ever worked for and whose excellent stewardship of Varanese is evident in everything from the superb wine list to the gorgeous 2012 remodel). We will be going back, often and soon!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My wife and I recently ate at Varennes for the first time on Valentine's Day (2014) and we ordered off the "Appetite of Love" aphrodisiac menu. We started off with some amazing fried rolled oysters that were hot and crispy on the outside, but nearly melted in your mouth on the inside. For our main course, I ordered the pan seared scallops (which were huge) with lobster raviolis covered in a delicious butter - saffron lobster sauce. She ordered the coffee rubbed leg of lamb that was exceptionally cooked and tender enough to cut with the dull side ofa butter knife. We both shared each others meals, and tho the portions were not very large, we were both unfortunately too full for dessert. We couldn't get over how amazing the food was"
    Dined on 2/14/2014