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Robin Garr

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Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm our

by Robin Garr » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:14 pm

Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm our icy bones

LEO's Eats with Robin Garr

Old Louisville Tavern’s Best Beer-Battered cod sandwich.
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Well, 2018 sure came in with a “Brrrr!” The temperature didn’t rise above freezing for a week, and relief took its sweet time coming. When the air makes my face hurt, my instinct is to keep the doors shut and hole up at home with the thermostat cranked up to high.

When hunger and cabin fever set in, though, and the urge to get out in the world becomes irresistible, I can hardly think of a better cold-weather destination than the friendly confines of a cozy bar and grill that takes its commitment to good food as seriously as its beverages.

Last week we ventured out twice for warming lunches. One trip took us to Old Louisville Tavern, a longtime landmark made new again. The second expedition led to bar Vetti in the 800 Building, one of the city’s newest watering holes.

Old Louisville Tavern, a 70-year-old neighborhood watering hole at Fourth Street and Gaulbert, just north of the U of L campus, was struck by a serial arsonist one summer night in 2014. A trash fire behind the tavern spread to its roof and did heavy damage.

It took almost two years to restore it, but the refinished building may be better than ever, and that goes double for the food. Co-owner Dan Borsch, who also runs Burger Boy and Toonerville Deli/Old Louisville Pizza in Old Louisville, brings a similar focus on quality fare to all his properties. The Tavern’s menu features pub grub, to be sure, but it’s pub grub with a difference, comfort-food dishes at a level that wouldn’t be out of place in fancier quarters.

The restored Tavern isn’t fancy, but it’s neat and clean, with polished terrazzo floors, sturdy wooden tables, and a hefty plank bench. that lines one side of the room opposite the long bar. We chose a seat near the front windows and enjoyed the warming pleasure of a bright sun spot.

The menu is appealing, extensive, and fairly priced ....

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/old-l ... -icy-bones

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly’s Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Old Louisville Tavern
532 S. 4th St.
409-6281
http://oldlouisvilletavern.com
Facebook: http://bit.ly/OldLouTav
http://instagram.com/oldlouisvilletavern
Robin Garr’s rating: 88 points


bar Vetti’s crispy pork parm sandwich on the lunch menu.
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I was hankering for an excuse to get back to bar Vetti and try more good stuff, and the recent launch of lunch hours and a separate midday menu gave me the reason I needed.

Same as the first time, we couldn’t find a thing that we didn’t like. All our dishes were well-made and flavorful, and plentiful too. The short lunch menu of soups, salads, five pizzas, a half-dozen sandwiches and a single pasta dish tops out at $19 for a salumi pizza topped with three kinds of sausage.

Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes,
http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/old-l ... -icy-bones

You'll also find this review in LEO Weekly’s Food & Drink section today.
http://www.leoweekly.com/category/food-drink/

Lunch at bar Vetti
800 S. 4th St.
883-3331
http://barvetti.com
https://facebook.com/barvetti
https://instagram.com/barvetti
Robin Garr’s rating: 89 points
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Steve Eslinger

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Re: Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm

by Steve Eslinger » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:59 am

That sandwich at Bar Vetti is the real deal. A pork parmesan schnitzel as big as a hubcap. I'll be going back for it, that's for sure.
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Jay M.

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Re: Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm

by Jay M. » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:04 am

A nit to pick. While we enjoyed our first and so far only visit to bar Vetti (small "b" - huh?). I would not put it in a list of cold weather destinations. The entrance opens directly to the dining room and bar, and tables/barstools are subjected to an icy blast every time the door opens. Granted, we were there on a sub-10-degree evening, but we were seated at a table as far from the door as the space allows and still felt the arctic wave. I think they will find a way to deal with it.

Also, I wish the space had more of a connection to the iconic 800 Building. Technically, it is in the building, but there is no connection whatsoever - security reasons, I guess.
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Robin Garr

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Re: Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm

by Robin Garr » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:58 am

Jay, I wondered about that because of the single entry door, but oddly, both times we've been there - dinner and lunch - it was extremely cold outside but cozy at our table. We did choose the back table around the corner from the door, which probably helped, but I was honestly impressed by how warm it was. During dinner, some idiot stood in the door holding it open to talk through it until somebody yelled at him :twisted: but assuming good citizenship, we didn't have a problem. Still, good point, if it's icy out, try to choose a bar seat or table away from the door.
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Ryan Rogers

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Re: Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm

by Ryan Rogers » Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:28 am

Hey Jay, sorry about the weather and it’s resulting temperature inside of the restaurant. After a long delay in getting approval for an exterior vestibule we did order one in November, supposedly it is getting installed on Tuesday and should alleviate some of the issues. At least we hope.

In terms of connection to the building, we’re a tenant like any of the residents and for the security of the residents of the building it’s important that we provide a physical barrier between the two spaces in the evening. Typically guests and residents coming into the apartment building have to enter through the buildings lobby where they use their key fob or are buzzed in so that random strangers are not wandering the building.

Jay M. wrote:A nit to pick. While we enjoyed our first and so far only visit to bar Vetti (small "b" - huh?). I would not put it in a list of cold weather destinations. The entrance opens directly to the dining room and bar, and tables/barstools are subjected to an icy blast every time the door opens. Granted, we were there on a sub-10-degree evening, but we were seated at a table as far from the door as the space allows and still felt the arctic wave. I think they will find a way to deal with it.

Also, I wish the space had more of a connection to the iconic 800 Building. Technically, it is in the building, but there is no connection whatsoever - security reasons, I guess.
Feast BBQ - New Albany, IN & Louisville, KY
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Mike D

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Re: Cozy lunches at Old Louisville Tavern and bar Vetti warm

by Mike D » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:21 pm

We tried bar Vetti for lunch today. It was excellent. Great food, nice space, nice music and knowledgeable, attentive service from our (untipped) server Kate.

We shared butternut squash soup, a Caesar salad and an eggplant parmesan sandwich with a side of grits.

Becky has already made plans for Friday night dinner with a friend after a visit to the Speed, and I want to get there for breakfast soon. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are filled with great-sounding dishes.

And...the exterior vestibule that Ryan mentioned has been added.

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