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
Louisville, KY 40206
Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Live jazz seven nights from the Jeff Sherman band 6-10pm.
Catering is offered depending on Chef Varanese's availability. Call to inquire.
Varanese provides on-premise parking along with additional parking across the street at Nancy's Bagel Grounds along with street parking.
Varanese has a TARC stop in front along with a Frankfort Ave. Trolly Hop Stop.
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
We are new to Louisville and were looking for a dinner spot on a Sunday evening for my husband’s birthday. Varanese made us feel warm and welcome and made our first special occasion in Louisville very special indeed. The food and service were outstanding. They had several vegetarian options and a great wine selection. Thank you so much for making it a great evening.
Plus: The food was amazing. I ordered the romaine salad and pork chop meal, and my husband ordered the bbq duck eggrolls and NY strip steak. I definitely have to mention the croutons from the salad. I thought they were normal croutons, but when I tasted one it exploded in my mouth! It was warm, and when I bit it there was a warm gush of cheese (?) that filled my mouth. Wasn't expecting that! The dessert was a small walnut brownie with dark chocolate bar and a fan of ice cream. I dont like walnuts, but I tried it anyway, and loved it! Our waiter was very accommodating and friendly, so that's always nice. The owner came by our table a couple of times to check on us, and I thought that was really cool. The atmosphere on the other side of the restaurant was nice. There was a waterfall wall, live musicians, and real roses at each table.
Negative: The biggest disappointment I experienced was my table was not prepared as I expected. I spoke with the reservation person in advance and asked for something special for our anniversary. She said the table would be specially prepared, and we would receive complimentary desserts. However when we arrived it seemed like they stuck us at some random table. We were near the bar, so it was loud and noisy there. None of the tables on our side of the restaurant had roses so I asked our waiter to bring us one for our table. (At least we got the dessert.) Our waiter never told us hus name, so I just called him Sir. Also, I'm not sure why we were charged for the two incredibly small bruschetta bites. We certainly didn't order them. Besides those things, it was a pleasant experience.
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!!
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.
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.
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!!!
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 .
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.
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!
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.
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.
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