Varanese

4.6
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3002 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 3002 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.5
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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BS
Louisville
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the music and talking with musicians. Food and server great.

OT
Atlanta
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! We were a little late for our reservation, but the staff were extremely Friendly and understanding. We were seated in the boardroom, which was great. Definitely going back to Varanese the next time I’m in Louisville.

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time at Varanese and I was not disappointed! Excellent food and great service from Jesse, our server. I will be returning!

JU
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My wife and I had a wonderful experience. It was our 1 year anniversary and was made even more special by our server. She was one of the best that I have ever had, anywhere. Very attentive, kind, and thoughtful. The ambience was just what I had hoped for. The food was exceptional and the value exceeded what anyone would expect from any restaurant that demanded twice the price. Thank you for helping to make our anniversary very special.

SS
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 4

We arrived early, which was a good thing because the restaurant filled up quickly. By 6pm it was full. No special pricing on Friday night (as expected), but an interesting list of specials. The lemon sole was very good, although I would have enjoyed a side other than potatoes. The ribs were also very flavorful and tender. We also had the baked brie appetizer. I always like brie, but this was too sweet. We ordered a lot of sweet things, so really our own fault! I would go back, but I would try something else.

AG
Chicago
22 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

It was ok...just ok... food was nothing special, our waitress tended to disappear, obviously went outside to take a smoke break... and when I requested my check I received it promptly but had to search for her to pay it... and the “jazz” music was absolutely terrible... not going back

OT
Louisville
5 reviews
Dined on October 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Overall a very enjoyable dinner. Pork chop was the best of the 3 entrees at our table. Cool little place with some live music. We will be going back however the menu options are limited. Good place to try!!

s
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

We enjoyed our meal. We both had tournedos, new potatoes and asparagus...the pecan and apple salad
delicious. Our complimentary dessert for our anniversary was wonderful. Martini Monday we enjoyed cosmos and lemon drops. A thoroughly enjoyable meal.

KF
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Looking at locations for a particularly nice meal while in Louisville, we were made aware of Varanese as a possible option and reserved a table. We were very pleased by our experience there. The only possible question being that we found both entrees (the salmon and the smoked pork chop) to be slightly overdone, which I realize is more a subjective leaning. Happily, the wine list provided lots of options without being overwhelming...and the prices for their wines weren't particularly high. Very good experience overall. When returning to Louisville, we would certainly consider dining at Varanese in the future.

r
Louisville
31 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Delicious Fried oysters, eggrolls, shrimp and grits, and walu were enjoyed in a smaller quiet dining room.
Polite service

SK
San Diego
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Varanese was recommended by friends in Louisville and we loved it! It was a beautiful night so the glass windows were all open. Loved the set up of this b/c we felt like we were sitting outside but were really inside the restaurant. Three member group playing jazz music that made the atmosphere that much better. Our server, Thomas, was knowledgeable, friendly, and very attentive. The pork chop was outstanding and the steaks were prepared perfectly! The only reason I didn't give the food 5 stars was b/c I didn't care for my fish BUT that's a me thing not the restaurant! Everyone was shocked that I ordered it...my husband said it was very good! Looking forward to returning the next time in Louisville!

S
Louisville
44 reviews
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Enjoyed a great glass of Super Tuscan red wine suggested by David Allen, the GM. Then had my favorite Apple Pecan salad which was crisp and fresh with just the right amount of dressing. About that time, Jeff Sherman and his trio started playing jazz which really enhances the atmosphere and pleasure of dining. We had theater tickets this night so we went ahead and ordered our entree - the Bourbon Barrel smoked pork chop - a juicy large portion with magnificent flavor. Sorry we didn't have time to drink more wine and listen to Jeff's trio, but we'll do that next time. Always appreciate the service and food as Chef Eric puts on the table.

JB
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on October 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The staff was very good and accommodating. The food was very good. Ambience was elegant and the jazz music was very good

B
Las Vegas
7 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 1

Disappointing experience

B
Dallas
12 reviews
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our waiter Jordon was awesome! He made excellent recommendations on the wine and food and demonstrated a very professional demeanor. The food was incredible, my wife had a salmon pasta dish and I had the Hawaiian Butterfish. Both were delicious and well presented on the plate. The only thing that kept me from giving a perfect score across all categories was the seating. We made early reservations and when we arrived the hostess tried to sit us in a backroom next to a birthday party group. We asked to be re-seated and were quickly accommodated.

SG
Louisville
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food and atmosphere and the perfect place for us to celebrate our anniversary!

OT
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 3

Sauce for steak was not good- way too sweet, tasted like bottled barbecue sauce. Zero flavoring on the risotto side dish- no taste
Jalapeño butter sauce with sweet potatoes was almost like a dessert- also too sweet.
Enjoyed the band -
Wouldn’t return or recommend

B
Nashville
40 reviews
Dined on September 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was very pleased. I initially came to eat at the place across the street but didn't realize they were closed on Mondays so walked across the street to Varanese after checking them out and making a reservation on OpenTable. The ambience was nice, we were early so the restaurant was not crowded and was not noisy so conversation was easy. The food was excellent, as was the service. I am eating a Keto diet so my options were very limited, but that is to be expected. I will definitely be back.

B
New Orleans
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as usual!

M
Louisville
5 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our anniversary so they brought a complimentary delicious dessert

BR
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Perfect for our anniversary. My wife and I had a wonderful time.

MC
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a great restaurant. The service was great as well. The server was well attentive without being annoying. I wish the restaurant was quieter. It was much more noisy with music and talking than my husband and I expected. Will return again. Customer service is not dead! 😊

k
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you THomas for the excellent service and fun you added to our meal. I am disappointed in the Molten Lava cake we ordered though. The last time I was there, a few months back, that dessert was big enough to share, now it is def a one person deal :(

SW
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our anniversary and the staff made it special for us! We had a great waiter and the food was delicious! We both had something from the special menu for that night. Everything was wonderful will definitely be back soon!

JB
Indiana
4 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and a nice atmosphere for our date night! They staff did a great job all night for us too!

OT
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We took a party of 8 here for a birthday celebration. Most of the party were dining here for the first time. The service was outstanding and everyone loved the food. It was a great night all-around.

M
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 3

Not sure if they had a temp chef the night we went but the food was not very good. Ordered fish with mashed sweet potatoes. A piece of overcooked fish arrive on top of about 2 cups of too sweeten sweet potatoes, couldn't eat. My granddaughter ordered a steak with Brussels sprouts that were so salty no one could eat them.
Service was excellent...food not.

KH
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent! Wonderful service, great old fashions, meal was fabulous! Fun atmosphere!

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great as usual!

M
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thanks for making my birthday dinner with family and friends special!

JS
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

We had to send the filet back it was rare versus medium push. Other than that it was good.

BS
Atlanta
12 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First visit and definitely will return if in the area. Great menu selection and a quite extensive selection of bourbon and wine.

SJ
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Consistently great food and great service. The staff are very knowledgable about gluten free items and there is much to choose from in that department. One of our favorite restaurants.

OT
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Staff and and atmosphere were a plus. The food and experience incredible.. will be a regular stop for sure

M
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I went on a Saturday evening. There was live music that added to the atmosphere but was in no way disturbing. We sat outside. The service was very prompt and everyone was super polite. Food came very quickly and was absolutely amazing. Would gladly recommend to anyone.

S
Louisville
12 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always amazing!

m
Louisville
33 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Sat at a high top in the bar. Service was awesome. Dinner was excellent.

GT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 4

Very disappointing. Calamari appetizer over fried with mostly small fried prices of calamari. Mussels were tasty but, small and withered. We sent them back. Crab cakes were soft and mushy with little crab flavor. Risotto was barely warm and pasty. I know you can do better. I’ve eaten here before. We had a great waitress.

KS
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service was excellent. Those assigned to our table worked well together to make sure that we were well taken care of for the evening. The food was great. We asked for suggestions and it was obvious that the staff has tried and enjoyed the food. We will be back.

C
Washington DC
11 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

The serer (Jesse) was excellent: personable and attentive without being intrusive. The food was very good and quite creative without being contrived. The lava cake which we ordered was over cooked and not lava-y, but they took that off of our bill.

The dining room appears to have been some sort of retail showroom. We entertained ourselves by trying to guess what type--carpet? tires? The window walls on two sides made for poor acoustics, particularly with the jazz duo situated in front of one of the window walls. However they've clearly tried to control this with acoustic panels affixed to the ceiling and walls. Our table was in the back of the showroom area next to the wall with 4 acoustic panels on the wall. It actually was quite effective, and may have been the best table in the house, if you were seeking a relatively quiet dinner, which we were.

Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Varanese and would happily return and recommend it to others.

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