Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.60mi
  2. Distance: 0.66mi
  3. Distance: 1.98mi
  4. Distance: 2.06mi
  1. Distance: 0.60mi
  2. Distance: 0.66mi
  3. Distance: 1.98mi
  4. Distance: 2.06mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.60mi
  2. Distance: 0.66mi
  3. Distance: 1.98mi
  4. Distance: 2.06mi
  1. Distance: 0.60mi
  2. Distance: 0.66mi
  3. Distance: 1.98mi
  4. Distance: 2.06mi

About 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

2106 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
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Dining Style:
Casual Elegant

Cuisines:
Contemporary American

Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00pm

Cross Street:
Vernon

Dress Code:
Smart Casual

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(502) 899-9904

Website:
http://www.varanese.com/

Entertainment:
Live jazz seven nights from the Jeff Sherman band 6-10pm.

Catering:
Catering is offered depending on Chef Varanese's availability. Call to inquire.

Parking Details:
Varanese provides on-premise parking along with additional parking across the street at Nancy's Bagel Grounds along with street parking.

Public Transit:
Varanese has a TARC stop in front along with a Frankfort Ave. Trolly Hop Stop.

Executive Chef:
John Varanese

Additional:
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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.

Varanese Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.6

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.6

service

4.6

ambience

4.6

value

4.4

Noise

Moderate

97% would recommend it to a friend

Good for a Date (62)
Live Music (61)
Special Occasion (58)
See All
Neighborhood Gem (56)
Good for Anniversaries (52)
Creative Cuisine (52)
Good for Birthdays (51)
Romantic (50)
Fit for Foodies (44)
Great for Outdoor Dining (43)
Good for Groups (39)
Notable Wine List (39)
Local Ingredients (36)
Business Meals (27)
Cozy (24)
Casual (24)
Authentic (23)
Fun (22)
Handcrafted Cocktails (21)
People Watching (21)
Worth the Drive (21)
Pre/post Theatre (19)
Bar Seating (17)
Comfort Food (17)
Great Beer (15)
Quiet Conversation (14)
Hot Spot (11)
Tasting Menu (11)
Healthy (10)
Disabled Access (9)
Seasonal (9)
Late-night Find (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Sunday Lunch (6)
Good Vegetarian Options (6)
Vibrant Bar Scene (6)
Gluten Free Options (3)
Organic (3)
Scenic View (3)
Spicy (3)
Tapas (3)
Vegan (3)
Great for Brunch (2)
Great for Lunch (2)
Paleo Friendly (2)
Quick Bite (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Kid-friendly (1)
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2335 reviews
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 (Louisville)·Dined 4 days ago

Our favorite Louisville restaurant! Always a great experience.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Authentic, Happy Hour, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined 4 days ago

I took my girlfriend there for her bday dinner on Saturday. Wanted to try something new yet elegant and came across this establishment on Google as one of the best places to eat in Louisville. I was not disappointed. Service was 5 star, very timely and didn't try to sale us more expensive items on the menu or anything. Many choices of fine wine and top shelf spirits.... just an over all great experience! Highly recommend!!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Good Vegetarian Options, Good for Groups, Comfort Food, Tasting Menu, Cozy, Romantic, Notable Wine List, Healthy, Worth the Drive, Neighborhood Gem, Casual, Business Meals, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Hot Spot, Good for Anniversaries
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

 
·Dined 6 days ago

I was not really thrilled with my dinner of angel hair pasta with shrimp. The sauce was just not right. But thats not really why I am doing a review. I guess the manager, or sommelier took the microphone away from the lovely musicians and just started talking about wines, and it seemed he went on forever! I don't know if we happened to be there during some "wine club" evening or special event. We were not told about anything. Our server said this man just gets up and starts speaking...I was with a friend, and I had very disturbing health news to talk to my friend about, and this man would not shut up, and it was beyond annoying! I only go to locally owned restaurants, and I have to be really annoyed to write a bad review, but this man needs to shut up, or the hostess needs to advise people beforehand that this may be happening. The music and atmosphere were so lovely.....the interruption was really not welcomed. I do happen to know and like John Varanese very much, and I will tell him about this experience in person.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Live Music, Cozy, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (New York Area)·Dined on November 15, 2017

We had a great night for our weeknight dinner, with special fashion show night. The half price bottles of wine were a great bargain for St. Helena Cab and the entrees and specials were delicious! Complimentary birthday dessert was wonderful! Highly recommend.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Hot Spot, Special Occasion, Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 15, 2017

Varanese is the best restaurant in Louisville. We have eaten here hundreds of times and have always thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. There are no weak spots here. The food, the service, the music and the ambiance are all wonderful. You will enjoy dining here.

Tags: Good for a Date, Live Music, Notable Wine List, People Watching, Romantic, Authentic, Great Beer, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Good for Groups, Great for Outdoor Dining, Fit for Foodies, Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Creative Cuisine, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Fun
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (New Orleans)·Dined on November 14, 2017

What a great restaurant. I had the smoked salmon pasta. My brother had the fish special, the cod I think, and my husband had the porchetta. All were amazing. We didn’t drink, but the bar is well stocked, and there are lot of bourbon flight options, as well as a very substantial wine list. Our waiter, Robbie, was outstanding and took good care of us. But the most amazing part of the meal was the bread pudding—yes, bread pudding. It is remarkable!! They cook it over an open flame so it takes some time, so if you’re in a hurry, order it when your entree arrives. It is worth the wait. Marshamellow toping, bourbon sauce. WOW!!!

Tags: Good for a Date, Neighborhood Gem, Business Meals
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 14, 2017

Fantastic service from the entire staff ! Very attentive to our party of ten . Aaron our server did a fabulous job . The hostess was very friendly and made us feel right at home . Our second waiter who's name I didn't catch did an outstanding job of predicting every need we may have from warming a plate for my husband who had to pick up my son from soccer training to preparing a special plate of bruschetta for my daughter who arrived late after basketball practice . The food as always was outstanding , very tasty and beautifully presented .

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food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 13, 2017

We LOVE Varanese. It is our "go to" place in town and are always pleased.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 12, 2017

My boyfriend and I selected Varanese for his birthday celebration and our 4 year anniversary. We made reservations through OpenTable for 7:45 on a Saturday. The table was immediately ready upon arriving and they were extremely generous in giving us a large booth just for the two of us. We were tucked out of the main dining room, but the open space allowed us to clearly hear the live music (a bassist) without it being too loud to not have a reasonable and enjoyable private conversation. The table was decorated beautifully with a single rose and rose petals spread out around the table. I'm unsure if this was specifically for us, but it felt extremely special regardless. Jordan, our server, was extremely knowledgeable, patient with us, answered our questions and most importantly, didn't seem to rush us through our dinner. He understood that we were there for a special occasion--he was personable without hovering too long and he checked in on us with enough frequency to make the dining experience move seamlessly. He really is one of the best servers I've had at a restaurant in the Louisville area. The food and cocktails were also superb. I had a Gin, Strawberry, and Jalapeño cocktail that was balanced perfectly that left a little heat on my lips and my boyfriend had an incredibly delicious bourbon cocktail. My boyfriend also ordered the scallops; his plate came with four enormous scallops and for $32, I was astounded by the value and the deliciousness of his meal. I had an acorn squash-stuffed porchetta that was mouth-watering. The wine was delicious and to top off our incredible evening, the restaurant surprised us with a really delicious and fun dessert to help us in our celebration. It was by far one of the best dining experiences I've had in Louisville and a must-try for anyone seeking a romantic date or a fun, indulgent evening with friends.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Good for a Date, Notable Wine List, Cozy, Fit for Foodies, Live Music, Handcrafted Cocktails, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Varanese is our favorite restaurant in Louisville! Truly an all around wonderful experience , never disappoints. Delicious food and fabulous service.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 11, 2017

Varanese is one of our favorite "go-to" restaurants, and is usually very good, but on this occasion it was disappointing. We (both) happened to choose the same entrée, Porchetta with garlic mashed potatoes and broccoli rabe (or raab). It was on the chef's daily special list and isn't normally on the menu. I can see why. We hadn't eaten porchetta before this, so we didn't know what, exactly, to expect. So we can't make a fair comparison to the authentic Italian version. Where the chef really failed to impress was with the bland and gooey pile of potatoes that the porchetta was served over. The broccoli rabe had no flavor and was cool/room temperature.
With all that said, the professionalism of the staff was appreciated. Though we didn't ask her to, our server notified the GM of our experience. He visited our table and, though we said it wasn't necessary, he removed the entrées from our bill.
Because of our loyalty to Varanese, we always recommend it to others and will go back soon, but we won't order the porchetta!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Live Music, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food2
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 8, 2017

This is my favorite restaurant and they always come through. The food is the best and the service is wonderful. David and his crew run a great operation.

Tags: Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Great Beer, Good for a Date, Authentic, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Groups, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Handcrafted Cocktails, Fit for Foodies, Live Music, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Casual
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 8, 2017

We love this restaurant, but tonight we didn't get our salads, and they kept missing the basic parts of China service. Our waiter was lovely and apologetic, but still needs to be rectified.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food4
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on November 7, 2017

Great food. Good Service, was a little bit slow, but the atmosphere made it okay.

Tags: Good for a Date, Romantic, Local Ingredients, Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 4, 2017

Very enjoyable atmosphere, beautiful music, and excellent food and service.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Carolyn our waiter was absolutely wonderful thank you Dave

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Live Music, Local Ingredients, Casual, Special Occasion, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 4, 2017

This is one of our favorite places in Louisville. Food and service are spectacular! Highly recommend.

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food5
ambience5
service5

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

Perfect anniversary dinner. Staff were engaging and knowledgeable but not intrusive; jazz trio was good. I noted anniversary on reservation and was delighted to see a red rose on our table. :-) Cocktail was lovely, and food was impeccable and beautifully presented; also was pleased that I asked for a "dry-ish Riesling" and got exactly what I wanted. We will keep Veranese on the list.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Handcrafted Cocktails, Good for a Date, Romantic, People Watching, Local Ingredients, Worth the Drive
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 4, 2017

John Varanese is an outstanding chef and has a amazing restaurant. I brought my date for her birthday and she loved it. Will do this again

Tags: Good for Groups, Notable Wine List, Good for Anniversaries, Bar Seating, Good for Birthdays, Quiet Conversation, Good for a Date, Hot Spot
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on November 3, 2017

The food was excellent all around the table. The service was great. Excellent wine choices. Can’t wait to go back.

Tags: Notable Wine List, Great for Outdoor Dining, Live Music, Casual, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on November 1, 2017

Excellent as always!! Daily specials are always Fabulous & Rory is the Best!!!

Tags: Business Meals, Handcrafted Cocktails, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Late-night Find, Fun, Great Beer, Romantic, Casual, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies, People Watching
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
·Dined on October 31, 2017

The meal was great as usual. However, had to wait over 25 mins for 3 desserts. We debated weather to order them but all 3couples did but regretted it... was not that good and definitely not worth the wait. Need to up the dessert game to the food level.

Tags: Notable Wine List, People Watching, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Neighborhood Gem, Good for a Date, Romantic, Good for Anniversaries, Special Occasion, Casual, Live Music
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food4
ambience5
service3
value5

 
·Dined on October 28, 2017

Always enjoy the good and friendly service. Music is also greAt.

Tags: Good for Anniversaries, Cozy, Authentic, Good for a Date, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Live Music, Romantic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value4

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 27, 2017

Waiter lacked a little of the professionalism expected at such a fine establishment but it was only minor. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was comfortable and cozy - the jazz trio was really nice. A definite great experience.

Tags: Cozy
1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
·Dined on October 27, 2017

The restaurant had a great ambiance. The food was fresh, delicious and well made. The dessert was excellent. The drinks were good. The staff couldn’t have been nicer. Very friendly from waiter to chef. Absolutely loved the place and can’t wait to return.

Tags: Great for Brunch, Local Ingredients, Late-night Find, Creative Cuisine, Business Meals, Great for Lunch, Good for Anniversaries, Authentic
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 26, 2017

Food was excellent , as was service , just wish they served Fever Tree tonic not just the stuff on tap .

Tags: Casual
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 26, 2017

Food never disappoints. Service a little slower than usual for a relatively non/busy night but made it out in time for event.

Tags: People Watching, Special Occasion, Pre/post Theatre, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 23, 2017

Disappointed. I had heard good things about this place but was kinda let down. Service seemed a tad slow... and there wasn’t even much of a crowd. Calamari beginning was almost cold when it arrived, as was the steak and risotto entree. The music duo/trio was also a touch loud and intrusive for such a small space.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience3
service3
value3

 
·Dined on October 22, 2017

Wonderful restaurant with great attention given to each patron. I've never been disappointed with any meal and the bartenders are knowledgeable and welcoming.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Brie-5*
Cheese curds-5*
Oysters-3 1/2* so mild couldn't taste the oysters. Like mine a little crisper
Trout with crawfish-5* wow. Not too spicy
Salmon pasta-4* pasta great, sauce great, not enough salmon, salty
Dessert-5*

Tags: Romantic, Special Occasion, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Good for Groups, Worth the Drive, Live Music, Neighborhood Gem, Great for Outdoor Dining
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food4
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (Charleston)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Our group of 12 enjoyed this night out; great atmosphere, service and food. Reasonable prices. Special soup, corn and green Chile bisque, was wonderful as was the pistachio crusted goat cheese salad. We enjoyed entrees including flank steak, salmon, Bass . Side of Brussels sprouts was too rich due to added sauce, but everything else was perfect. Highly recommend.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Live Music, Great for Outdoor Dining, Creative Cuisine, Good for a Date, Special Occasion
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 21, 2017

Food was good. I had beef tips and tortellini. My beef tips were tough. Food had a good taste otherwise.

Tags: Casual, Neighborhood Gem, People Watching
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food3
ambience5
service4
value3

 
·Dined on October 20, 2017

I dont know what else to say, other than this might be my favorite restaurant in Louisville. The food is outstanding, the seating and ambience is perfect. Eat here.

Tags: Creative Cuisine, Romantic, Live Music
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 16, 2017

My wife and I were there to celebrate my birthday. There was another couple there celebrating a birthday and then there was a table of 18 celebrating another birthday. This is a great place to celebrate any occasion. We love going here for the food, the service and the live music. This is our favorite dining establishment in Louisville. Give it a try. You will be glad that you did.

Tags: Great Beer, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem, Fun, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Quiet Conversation, Comfort Food, Great for Outdoor Dining, Business Meals, Good for Birthdays, Bar Seating, Good for Groups, Live Music, Local Ingredients, Special Occasion, Notable Wine List, Authentic, Good for a Date, Fit for Foodies
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Detroit)·Dined on October 15, 2017

We love Veranese! We live in Michigan and whenever we are in Louisville we make sure to have dinner there.

Tags: Special Occasion, Great for Outdoor Dining, Notable Wine List, Live Music
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Varanese has been one of my favorite restaurants: love the atmosphere, food, and good service.
Saturday night, the service was very poor: we waited 1 1/2 hours to receive our entrees as we watched others around us get served and depart. When the manager came to check on us, we quietly complained that we had not been served. His response was not satisfying to our plight. Because we had tickets to a concert, when we finally got our meal, we had to eat very quickly. For the first time in many visits, I was very disappointed in this restaurant. It may be a while before I return.

Tags: Romantic, Authentic, Disabled Access, Creative Cuisine
1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience4
service2
value2

 
 (Louisville)·Dined on October 14, 2017

Very uncomfortable seating. They put us six adults in a 4 top booth style table, no elbow room to cut steak or even breath because the table was so close to our stomach, none of us is overweight by the way. Our drinks (just bourbon on the rocks) took more than 10 minutes to arrive, but the 2 cocktails didn't take long at all (strange). We liked the live music and the food was ok, a bit outdated, we were hoping for a more modern and creative twist on classic dishes (like gumbo, shrimp and grits) maybe we were expecting too much since people talk so highly about this place. There are plenty other restaurants in town that aren't as pretentious and the food is better.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food3
ambience1
service2
value2

 
 (Cincinnati)·Dined on October 13, 2017

My wife and I chose Varanese to celebrate our birthdays . 2 days apart from,each other. We loved everything about this restaurant , we will definitely be back. We had the pork chop and the white bass. We also had the duck egg rolls for appetizer and the bread pudding for dessert. Tracy was our server and she did an excellent job.

Tags: Tasting Menu, Romantic, Worth the Drive, Good for Birthdays, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Live Music, Cozy
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (Phoenix)·Dined on October 11, 2017

2 well done steaks was brought out
Rare once
Medium on the second go around
And by the time it finally came out everyone had finished eating. The accompanying Rissoto and asparagus were cold!

A cheeseburger was quite good, but the bun it was served on was of really poor quality!

A celebratory dessert included Bacon ice-cream without checking with us first. While the thought was kind, shouldn’t you check with the table before serving a bacon in dessert if it was ok to do so?

This is my second time there and I don’t believe I’m going to go back.

1 person found this review helpful.
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food2
ambience4
service4
value2

 
·Dined on October 8, 2017

Great choice for American dining that has a lot of interesting options! The glazed Salmon was the best I have ever eaten! The mussels were also excellent, with a light sauce that was out of this world!

Tags: Good for a Date, Scenic View, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem
Was this review useful to you?Yes·No·
food5
ambience5
service5
value5

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