Varanese

4.7
2748 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
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
What 2748 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
92% of people would recommend it to a friend
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JO
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic dinner! The beef tip tortellini was delicious! We ate only half our entree because we wanted shareable desserts and leftovers. The bread pudding was otherworldly it was so good! The French toast dessert was also amazing. There are a ton of great places in Louisville but for the money, this place is the best By far. We got to sit by the string band and I requested tony Bennett so they played old standards all night. Such an amazing valentines date!

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LP
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Overall a great way to celebrate our 50th Wedding anniversary. First time at Veranese and it proved to be a satisfying experience.
The food was excellent starting with a platter of fried calamari done to perfection. My wife tried the Braised Beef w/Tortollini and I had the Tenderloin Steak. Both dishes were well done.
As a bonus our waitress who gave us outstanding service all evening long, surprised us with a complimentary dessert. It was delicious!!!
Only drawback was the seating. A bit crowded for our taste. We were seated in the center of the dining room very close to others.
We would recommend this restaurant to family and friends.

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SN
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was a fantastic evening. Everyone was great and the food as always was outstanding!

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AH
Louisville
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great birthday experience!

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JC
San Francisco
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

While everything was delicious and the service was great, we were a little annoyed that we were easy right next to another couple when the entire rest of the restaurant was empty.

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OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Valentine’s Day

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OT
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious as always!

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r
Louisville
19 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Fried jumbo oysters excellent , and we enjoyed the walu fish. Staff polite and professional.

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s
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on February 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was amazing as always!

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D
1 review
Dined on February 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Good drinks, great steak. Didn’t care for the volcano cake

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DB
Louisville
24 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Group of friends got together to catch up with one another. Everything was great. Food good and service was wonderful.

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r
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

We went to Varanese on 2/6, in part to scout out the music. The guitar and bass were just okay. Food was good but our server (Zack) was over the top. He is so personable and friendly. We’d go back just to visit with him a bit. John Varanese has a prize in this young man. If you make a reservation, ask to sit in Zacks area

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SS
1 review
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were outstanding! Loved the Cheese Curds appetizer!

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BG
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great location, LOVED the live jazz

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ML
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on February 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fantastic!

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NO
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Service was very good. Food was good as always

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BF
1 review
Dined on February 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was my first time their and it was wonderful. Food was top notch, service was very catering, oh even though I didn't get my ice fir my wine I requested I just remembered, lol, I was great , I would and will go back

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MK
Central Coast
2 reviews
Dined on February 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved everything about the evening.
Great food. Server excellent
Even light music.

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ST
1 review
Dined on January 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was a bit nervous about what to expect and since I was making the reservation for some team members and managers I needed it to be good. I was pleasantly surprised to have a jazz band playing that was not too loud that you couldn't talk. Food was wonderful and perfectly prepared. Service was attentive and friendly. Price was fair. We were staying downtown which was crowded and pricey. So this was close enough to drive to and away from the hustle and bustle. Highly recommend it!

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TG
Louisville
14 reviews
Dined on January 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

We were crammed into a little room that seemed more like a storage room. There was a larger party in the room too so it was really loud and very tight quarters. We have never had this problem in the past but felt like sardines. Would rather have been told there wasn’t a table available than to be squeezed in.

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h
Louisville
18 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous all around! Food is always excellent, as is the service.

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KC
Columbus
7 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was phenomenal. We enjoyed the smoked bologna and fried green tomato biscuit for our appetizer. The flank steak was to die for and the special salmon pasta dish was very tasty. The wine selection and bourbon flights were great additions to the meal. There was a live trio that sounded great. The noise level was a little loud initially but then as things calmed down it was perfect. A wonderful meal!

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OT
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Beginning with the band, the ambiance is also nice. The food has never disappointed me, if was my 3 friends first experience and they all ordered the pork chop and loved it. And Jordan our server was very personable! Overall, we had a great time!

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GE
Atlanta
10 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never fails. Love the live music and the food is on point. Our waiter was great and received a good tip for his attentiveness. No doubt we will be back soon.

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S
Louisville
28 reviews
Dined on January 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was a special wine dinner with Grgich Hills wines which is a prime event that we never miss. Extremely creative menu paired with some of the best wines available. Chef John Varanese and Chef Erik Abram work to expand the taste buds with an awesome range of flavors enhanced by each of five wines. They hold wine dinner once a month and I always enjoy meeting new friends and sharing this experience. Varanese is one of our favorite spots in Louisville. And the lead bartender Rory was just awarded Bartender of the year by Kentucky Restaurant association! Music every night by Jeff Sherman makes this a wonderful place for more than you would expect.

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GG
Louisville
1 review
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

We had an early reservation (5:15pm) and when we arrived, there were only 2 couples seated at tables and 3 people seated at the bar. The table the hostess took us to was a small 2 top table. The chair I sat on was unstable so I switched it out. We then asked for a bigger table. No problem. The server was very kind and helpful. We ordered an appetizer (fried brussel sprouts) and they were absolutely Divine. My friend's salad was good, too. I ordered the Hawaiian Seabass (on special) and it was cooked perfectly. My boyfriend ordered the pork tenderloin confit (on special) and it was so dry, he returned it and asked for the Hawaiian Seabass. The pieces of fish on his newly ordered plate didn't look a thing like my Seabass, but he ate it anyway. His meal was comped. We liked our server and left her a huge tip. We will return because this was the first time this has happened to us while dining at Varanese. Another thing that was annoying was how loud the live music was...once the musicians started (towards the end of our meal), it was very difficult to hear anything being said even though we were sitting right next to each other.

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M
New England
4 reviews
Dined on January 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service and food have always been great! Thank you

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M
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Overall it was a very nice dining experience.. was very busy though and the noise level was very high.

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DP
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a fabulous time celebrating a birthday. Our server was amazing with my 2 nieces (15 & 11).

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DP
1 review
Dined on January 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Met friends for an early dinner. They took us early as we arrived early, worked out great but did get pretty noisy once it filled up. Great Jazz band for background music.

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TM
1 review
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Our table of four was coupled with a table of twelve for a family dinner to remember my mother. Considering the size of our party, everything went smoothly and we all had awesome time.

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KM
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always love this place for a special occasion or just a nice dinner. We are never disappointed!

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S
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere! Service was excellent.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite spot to go for a relaxing dinner

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C
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

This the second time I’ve been to Varanese and I was disappointed. It was very loud and the food was subpar. In addition, the scallops entree was luke warm. For the price, I would go somewhere else.

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f
Louisville
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Drinks and dessert were good, service was slow but friendly. Food was just underwhelming. Everything sounded so good but in the end it just missed the mark by a good margin. Salt and pepper shakers on the table at a fine dining restaurant?

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GC
Louisville
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 4

We really enjoyed our dining experience and were drawn to Varanese because it is one of the very few places in Louisville to dine with jazz music; which we love. Our only disappointment was that my husband's mashed potatoes arrive "cold" and when the server brought out another serving, it was just "lukewarm." My husband enjoyed the potatoes nonetheless though! The server was nice, but there were a couple of times there seemed to be a slight "lag" in timing, but overall, we had a good experience! Thank you.

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1
Chicago
2 reviews
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nice comfortable setting with live jazz trio. Great for date night.
The staff from the bartenders, waitress, to the manager coming over was top shelf. Not to mention the quality of service and food was outstanding. I can't imagine anyone not enjoying their experience here.

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KH
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our experience at Varanese was fantastic! My husband and I eat Keto and they were so accommodating. Our waitress was very willing to ask questions and to also find out the answers. Is there flour in the pecan bass, yes...Etc. She was great. I ended up getting the twin lobster tails on the specials menu. They came with grits and roasted corn. I asked to replace with fried brussels which were on their menu. She said no problem! My husband got the salmon without the sweet sauce. My dish came not only with brussels but with Asparagus, go chef! My husband had some sauteed zuchinni and brussels. Our friends had the pork chops with the normal sides. We also had a delicious caesar salad minus the croutons. The food was amazing, our waitress didn't make us feel like we were from Mars she was kind and welcoming. Everything was perfect! We will be back very soon!

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k
Indiana
25 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 5

One of my most favorite restaurants in Louisville. Unfortunately our food, albeit delicious, was warm at best. Again, it was still delicious, but my husband’s risotto was barely warm as was my angel hair pasta and shrimp. But that dish is so good i could eat it cold! Always can’t wait to go back!

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