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Deb Hall

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The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Deb Hall » Sun Jan 01, 2017 5:10 pm

We have followed Chef Dallas through the great places he's been Executive Chef in Louisville ( Volare, Z's Fusion, Marketplace). He's an incredibly talented chef, so we were thrilled when he decided to open his own place in our Highlands neighborhood. The Fat Lamb exceeded our high expectations: Wonderful food, great service and friendly vibe. No white tablecloth- this is a great upscale neighborhood place to hang out, and get great food and drinks.

We went with another couple and between the 4 of us tried a good part of the short, but extremely well executed menu. Cocktails are excellent- we loved our " House Cocktail". For those eating either gluten free or vegetarian, know that dietary preferences are not an afterthought here. All but 2 of the starters are vegetarian, and there are 3-4 choices on the mains for both preferences. Our favorite appetizers were the bruschetta ( a Greek twist with olive tapenade and feta) and the baked ricotta eggplant. (Next time we'll add the baked mac & cheese which got raves from the next table). Entrees were well- priced starting at $16, and topping out below $30. All of our entrees were outstanding: My local lamb ragu was was amazing and perfectly tender, while Brian's paprika- fried chicken thigh was perfectly moist with a great balsamic cherry sauce. I adore gnocchi, and their spinach gnocchi were perfect- very light in a decadent cream sauce.

The former Fonterroy's space has been updated into a welcoming space with a great energy. While vibrant, we found the noise level was just right for conversation. Service was very professional while friendly. There is a 4 course tasting menu option with optional pairings, and they have brunch on the weekend. Reservations are available.

Overall, the experience and food were outstanding. Congratulation to Dallas and the team for this great new local restaurant- this gets my vote for the best new restaurant of 2016!
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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by DMcGarity » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:27 pm

Thanks so much Deb for coming in! I am really happy to be back in a neighborhood again! The Fat Lamb has been really well received from everyone and I just can't say how much I really appreciate all the love from everyone. We are starting a new menu tomorrow that everyone can see on our website.
Thanks again for all the support!
http://www.fatlamblouisville.com

Chef Dallas
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The Fat Lamb
502.409.7499
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Robin Garr

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Robin Garr » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:59 pm

DMcGarity wrote:We are starting a new menu tomorrow that everyone can see on our website.
Thanks again for all the support!
http://www.fatlamblouisville.com

That looks really good, Dallas!
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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by DMcGarity » Mon Jan 02, 2017 6:29 pm

Thanks so much Robin! I am particularly happy with this incarnation of our menu.
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Michele Janosek

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Michele Janosek » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:38 pm

Deb's delightful review piqued my curiosity, so I ventured over to the website. The menu looks innovative - so many great choices. Lucky me, my hubby booked a reservation to celebrate my birthday next weekend! Thanks to this wonderful group, we are always "in the know" of where to go :) Can't wait to check it out!
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Deb Hall

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Deb Hall » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:45 pm

Glad to hear it Michele. :) We are planning to go again this Saturday- it was that good.
Happy Birthday!
Deb
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Joni Lemke

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Joni Lemke » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:11 pm

My sweetie and I dined there on New Years Eve (4-course prix-fixe) and were completely impressed. Each dish was delicious, service attentive and Chef's wife and co-owner (I believe her name was Laura) was warm and personable. She spent time making sure we were pleased, and shared some neat info on the influences on the menu. We will definitely be back!
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Jeremy Coker

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Jeremy Coker » Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:13 am

How would you have handled this situation and/or how would you have felt?
Saturday night around 7:30 a group of 4 of us walked in to The Fat Lamb and asked to be seated. We were asked if we had reservations, we said no. The hostess responded we are all booked up with reservations and we don't take walk ins. A quick glance around the room revealed 5 currently empty tables and with an inquisitive look we asked "you don't take walk ins at all?"
We were told no immediately there was no discussion nor any offer to sit at the bar. So we turned around and left.
We were pretty put off and felt like it was a strange and rude way to handle potential customers. I understand there are reservations and you need to keep those tables available but to just flat out deny walk in business seems extreme. Our consensus thought was the hostess should have just told us they had a full book of reservations and if you want to wait it will be 2 hours. Then we could have made our own decision about whether we wanted to stay or not. We may have even gone to the half empty bar and had a few drinks and or appetizers while deciding. Instead we walked out and went somewhere else.
Thoughts?
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Steve H

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Steve H » Mon Jan 16, 2017 12:55 pm

That happened just like that with my Sweetie and a friend at Henry's Place. They were never interested in going back. A little graciousness would go a long way.
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laura.mcgarity

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by laura.mcgarity » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:29 pm

I would like to introduce myself as this is my first hotbytes post. I am co-owner of the Fat Lamb with my chef husband Dallas. I appreciate reading all the feedback about our nearly 3 month-old restaurant. In response to the lack of tables on Sat, Jan 14th, I wanted to let the readers know that we were completely booked for Sat by Thursday night and in fact turned off the reservations system. We want to give every patron a high level of service and as a small 63 seat restaurant we acknowledge our limitations. Dallas and I asked our hostess to tell walk-in customers on Saturday that we were not accepting walk-ins due to full reservations. While there were a few empty tables at 7:30 on Saturday I can assure you they were full by 8:00. Neither Dallas nor I felt it is reasonable to ask a walk-in customer to wait 2 +hours to eat dinner. It is our opinion that offering this as a suggestion could be insulting. We are grateful for the enthusiasm for our restaurant and recommend making reservations, especially for Friday and Saturday evenings. Jeremy, we hope you will join us again and please ask for Dallas when you make your reservation. We apologize for the inconvenience and we thank everyone on the hotbytes forum for their gracious support of the Fat Lamb.
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Robin Garr

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Robin Garr » Mon Jan 16, 2017 1:40 pm

laura.mcgarity wrote:I would like to introduce myself as this is my first hotbytes post.

Welcome, Laura. Don't be a stranger now that you've found your way here. :)
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Jeremy Coker

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Jeremy Coker » Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:48 pm

Thanks for the response Laura. To further the discussion though, I do slightly disagree with your thought that being told about a 2+ hour wait would be insulting. I find it informative and just plain honest. We felt insulted and unwanted by the lack of any further explanation. I understand your concern about how to handle it though. It's a tricky one.

At least the person at the front desk didn't lead with "What do you need?" as happened a few weeks ago at another place in town a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Mark R. » Tue Jan 17, 2017 12:40 am

I completely understand the position of the hostess and Laura. I definitely would've considered being told you can wait 2 hours as an insult. On a Friday or Saturday night many of the better restaurants in town don't take walk-ins or at least don't have room for them on a regular basis. You're much better off calling ahead you plan on going to one of the more popular restaurants in town before arriving in getting yourself in a situation like this.
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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by GaryF » Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:47 am

What a classy and graceful response Laura! These situations are very tough, and no matter how one decides to handle them someone will invariably go away unhappy- as is evidenced by the recent posts.
Keep up the good work of putting your guests first and being honest- it will take you very far.
Personally I can't wait for a return visit.
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Marsha L.

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Re: The Fat Lamb: Wonderful modern kitchen and bar

by Marsha L. » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:25 am

Jeremy Coker wrote: Our consensus thought was the hostess should have just told us they had a full book of reservations and if you want to wait it will be 2 hours. Then we could have made our own decision about whether we wanted to stay or not. We may have even gone to the half empty bar and had a few drinks and or appetizers while deciding. Instead we walked out and went somewhere else.
Thoughts?


My thoughts: the hostess could certainly have handled this situation more gently.

However: I have always been a big cheerleader for making a reservation, or calling ahead by at least 20 minutes. Especially for a hot new-ish restaurant on a weekend night. Actually, even for an old eatery when you don't know what's going to be going on on a weekend night. It's so easy to make a reservation or call ahead. That way the staff either knows you're on you're way or they can say they are sorry and can't accommodate you. Don't put yourself and your fellow diners in this position at 7:30 on a Friday or Saturday. If you just must do it because you're impulsive and really love the idea of eating there, then don't be disappointed if it doesn't work out. Try them again another time.
Marsha Lynch
LEO columnist, free range cook/food writer/food stylist
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