Varanese

4.6
2956 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 2956 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
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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r
St. Louis
14 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I come here every year when we are in town. The food is amazing, the service is phenomenal and we always look forward to coming back. If we have one criticism, it's that it's usually fairly loud. This is not the fault of the restaurant by any means, but we prefer more quiet dining when possible. It definitely doesn't keep us away!

S
Jacksonville
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

On a visit to Louisville, we dined at Varanese upon a personal recommendation from close friends. It was so outstanding that we went back the next night! Service, food and ambiance were perfect!

CA
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

From beginning to end and ALL Things in between... When Chef John combines pork chops, good wine and great jazz it’s a wonderful experience!

MI
Indiana
31 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As usual, the food and the service were excellent. Jeff Sherman had some additional musicians tonight to celebrate the anniversary of Varanese. Gail Wynters' vocals were wonderful. Terrific evening...

OT
Louisville
10 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Varanese is always outstanding. One of my favorites.

CK
Louisville
14 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Made reservations a week in advance. Restaurant only had 2 people reserved and not 3 ....but quickly fixed issue. We noted immed that front part of restaurant had ALL TABLES reserved with name cards. We were not made aware of their fullness at 5:15pm ....so we were seated in back part of restaurant. Thankfully, the restaurant had a/c issues and we were not seated in their back-back room. I was disappointed with how our reservations/table location was handled. We didn't get prime seating with our early dinner reservations. The waiter was a bit on the arrogant side, but he warmed up to us and our service needs. The food was SCRUMPTIOUS! Waiter worked with our orders to be sure each item was acceptable and tasty. We appreciated his followup and showed it in our tipping. We left pleased with the meal event and will probably return. Making every customer feel like they are valued can be a challenge, and that is where Varanese can improve .....especially on nights where they have "regular" and special event customers.

OT
Louisville
6 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent service. Live cello music. A lag getting easy drinks from the bar on an uncrowned Monday though.

LD
Louisville
8 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

I ordered a steak , side dishes : veges swimming in oil and a risotto over cooked , tested really bitter and was like eating rice pure . The dessert was over fry too . I realized you were too busy, maybe you needed help in the kitchen and more severs.

GV
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Varanese is one or my favorite places in food rich Louisville. It is consistently top notch and the bartenders know their way around a good old fashioned.

RH
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife and I along with our friends had a wonderful dinning experience . Our server was Mason and he was polite efficient and personable . Everyone's food was delicious . I also feel we found great value in the pricing . We will be back soon!!!!

LC
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is always delicious.
Service was excellent

TB
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 16, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

We had a large group (9) and our server did an excellent job. Food was excellent. The only down side was the noise level. We were seated close to the live music and conversation was difficult. The music was very good and really they did not play loudly, it was just that we were so close to it. All in all we had a very enjoyable dinner.

LM
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary & my husband had never been to this restaurant. I had been many years ago & had been liked it than. It was a wonderful experience for our anniversary dinner, food was amazing as was the service.

R
1 review
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I decided to take my girlfriend here on a whim and was not disappointed. Absolutely wonderful throughout! The food was amazing, and the staff was unbelievably pleasant. It’s now our favorite restaurant and we will definitely be going back!

RG
Louisville
9 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 3

The peanut cherry marshmallow pie was gross. My advice is to drop it from the menu. It was a fail!

OT
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on August 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious as always.

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

This was my first time at Varanese. I left underwhelmed. The Veracruz cocktails to start were excellent. Our starter salad arrived without a key ingredient (an ingredient in the title of the dish), but rather than take the dish back to the kitchen, the server just brought the ingredient on the side. I had a grilled fish with grits and bok choy. The fish and grits were excellent but the bok choy was so poorly washed that I ended up with sand throughout my meal. My husband’s beef medallions were just ok - a bit dry and more medium than medium rare. The dish could have used more sauce to offset that. We mentioned the bok choy issue to the server and ended up with a complimentary dessert. We chose the bread pudding. Again, passable but not great as it was a bit dry (the sauce was thinly spread on the plate but the bread pudding was isolated in its own ramekin) and was overwhelmed by toasted marshmallow fluff. Overall, the meal was well intentioned but clumsily executed. I don’t think I’ll be back. When I pay $150 for a meal, I expect better. The place was packed, though, so clearly experiences vary!

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous Food & Impeccable service! Outstanding as always!

d
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2019
Overall 2food 5service 1ambience 3

The waitress was very impersonal and slow. We were waiting 10 minutes just to put in drinks. She also got my wife’s order wrong and didn’t apologize for it. I also noticed the manager walking around to other tables to check in but didn’t come by ours. This place feels like one of those restaurants where if you are a “regular” you get treated well. Normally I wouldn’t care as much but this was our anniversary dinner (which was also never acknowledged).

JR
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Birthday dinner was perfect

GP
Louisville
2 reviews
Dined on August 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Just a great place to dine. We have been to Varnese many times and it never disappoints. It was our39th Anniversary and we were treated to a nice dessert. This is one of favorite spots to dine in Louisville.

M
Orlando
37 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

My wife and I requested a quiet spot and they obliged by seating us in a booth away from people, music, and noise. The restaurant has no view to speak of but lots of fine food! Excellent server we appreciated.

OT
Louisville
7 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Reconciliation

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OT
Louisville
22 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 3

Music too loud. Fortunately we were in room far away. We want background music, not a concert

OT
Dallas
4 reviews
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Birthday celebration -jazz combo played celebration song which was great. Food very good, 3 people ordered short rib special and said they were fatty. Salads and veggies were very good. Waitress handled party of 6 with care and good service

NC
Louisville
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There were 6 of us dining on a Sat. Evening and we each got a different entree plus we shared an appetizer and 2 desserts. We all enjoyed our meals and the music. The noise level of the music was perfect for where we were seated but if we had been closer it would have been too loud for easy conversation. Overall it was a lovely evening of good food and conversation.

KB
Louisville
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible meal! Our team had a great time. Can't recommend highly enough.

PC
1 review
Dined on July 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Everything was fabulous. Great food, drinks, and service. Loved eating family styled.

OT
Memphis
1 review
Dined on July 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The wait staff were aware of our anniversary and setup a special table for us right next to the waterfall, decorated with rose petals. A three piece jazz band was playing lightly in the corner. The food was excellent, the wait staff was very attentive, and it was a very pleasant experience. Highly recommend!

DS
Louisville
3 reviews
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

This is still my preferred restaurant in Louisville, but this time wasn’t perfect as the other! The appetizer took a long time to be done and the Baked Brie was not melted enough in the middle. My husband requested a Flat Iron Steak that was a little bit burned.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was delicious. Service was wonderful!

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service!

OT
Louisville
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Easily the most underrated spot in Louisville.

OT
1 review
Dined on July 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful !

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CW
1 review
Dined on July 24, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

My favorite spot in Louisville. Always recommend it to out of towners. Bourbon prices are a little inconsistent but they have a good selection.

M
Nashville
12 reviews
Dined on July 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 5

1st time for a business dinner..loved it. Undercover outside dining was great. Very cosy setting with live but appropriately quiet guitar music in the background was great. Our server was professional and took good care of us. Will be back.

OT
Miami
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2019
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 4

Very slow service and I order the same thing veggie plate) but it seemed to be lacking that night - much less veggies and over abundance of grits

ML
Tampa
24 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delightful restaurant with delicious food and excellent service. You can't go wrong at Varanese!

OT
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience, great food, great service!

JP
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 20, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food was exceptionally salty.

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