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Robin Garr

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Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:38 pm


Crescent Hill

Creative Naive scores high on our critic’s criteria

by Robin Garr » Wed Jun 21, 2023 6:38 am

Naive's tempura cauliflower appetizer with kale garnish was a creatively imagined delight.

When I get a restaurant meal, I look for a number of things whether I’m reviewing or not, but especially if I am.
• I like a sense of design and style that doesn’t get in the way of comfort.
• I like good service. Friendly is fine. Fawning is not. And competence matters.
• I like a menu that’s clear, informative and easy to read in dim light; that lets me know what a dish is like. Extra points for naming the sources of meats and produce.
• Most of all, I like good food. Isn’t that what a restaurant is for? And “like” turns to “love” if the food isn’t just good but shows off the chef’s creativity and bold experimentation.

A recent visit to Naïve Kitchen + Bar in Butchertown ticked off every one of those boxes, cementing its place among my local favorites. When my friend Laura and I dropped in for lunch on a weekday, I noticed that things had changed since my last visit five years ago, not long after it opened.

The scene is cool and stylish now, with a curved bar separated from a dining area. The room is discreetly colored in grays, off-whites, tans, and earth tones, with large windows at the front allowing in plenty of light and offering a few of its Butchertown neighbors. The old quick-service operation – order at the counter, take a number and wait for your food – has been replaced by full table service, and tables are set with quality tableware and white cloth napkins.

Chef Drew Corman’s menu fits Naive’s declared mission as “a west coast, vegetable-centric restaurant” turned bar at night, with meat options and some healthy indulgences, too, serving local and organic dishes focusing on a vegetarian lifestyle “with options to include carnivores, vegans, and all diets in between.”

Our server described the menu as “Japanese-Italian fusion.” I could see that, sort of. Plenty of East Asian and Italian flavors meet and mingle, with a few other stops around the world too. ...

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly's Food & Drink section today:

Naive Kitchen + Bar
1001 E Washington St.

Noise Level: Hard edges and a lack of soft, sound-absorbing surfaces kicked the sound level up to an average 74.8dB, a bit above the line for easy conversation.

Accessibility: A step at the front entrance bars equal access to wheelchair users, but there's an accessible path through the rear. The unisex restroom appears fully accessible

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