WHERE TO STAY
21c Museum Hotel
700 West Main Street, Louisville
502-217-6300 | 21cmuseumhotel.com
The 21c is luxury, innovation, and hospitality wrapped up into one amazing award-winning boutique hotel. Located on Main Street, Louisville’s historic “Whiskey Row,” the building is a modern renovation of an old distillery. Old meets new in this urban space and is also home to a world-class contemporary art museum! Thought-provoking artwork and installations offer an unexpected element, making this more than just a place to stay. In your room, you’ll find silver mint julep cups with a recipe book, definitely getting you in the bourbon-drinking mood. Nightly turndown service with TCHO single origin chocolates and MALIN+GOETZ products in the bathroom are an added plus.
WHERE TO EAT
Ghyslain on Market
721 East Market Street, Louisville
502-690-8645 | ghyslain.com
Stop by this quaint bistro for a quick breakfast bite before the day’s festivities. Individual French press coffees or foamy lattes are the perfect morning pick-me-up. A breakfast sandwich with fried egg, Swiss cheese, and ham is made with their freshly baked, buttery croissants. You must try the melt-in-your-mouth chocolate almond croissant, warm from the oven and oozing chocolaty goodness.
624 East Market Street, Louisville
502-217-6360 | harvestlouisville.com
Situated in the downtown NuLu District of East Market Street, Harvest showcases regionally inspired, seasonal cuisine using locally sourced produce. They pride themselves on utilizing local farmers and being sustainable in every aspect—even the design of the restaurant uses wood and other materials reclaimed from buildings around the city. Super-friendly servers offer their suggestions for the day’s menu. Scones with oven-dried cherry tomatoes are paired with wonderfully sweet sorghum butter. A fluffy omelet with goat cheese, chorizo, and yellow squash is enough for two to share. Don’t pass up one of their crafted cocktails, which feature house-made syrups, bitters, and bar preserves.
Lynn’s Paradise Cafe
984 Barret Avenue, Louisville
502-583-3447 | lynnsparadisecafe.com
This eclectic eatery has received national acclaim, featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Food Network’s Thowdown with Bobby Flay, and CBS’s Morning Show. And this is all for good reason—the home-style cooking tastes out of this world! Some advice: Make a reservation and avoid the long lines with a hungry stomach. Cheesy grits, buttermilk biscuits, baked mac and cheese, green beans with bacon, and banana pudding are sides you’ll want to make a meal out of. Main dishes of pan-fried pecan chicken, bone-in ham steak, or a fried green tomato BLT are all great options. If you’re feeling thirsty, giant mimosas made with freshly squeezed orange juice are perfection.
Proof on Main
702 West Main Street, Louisville
502-217-6360 | proofonmain.com
Located inside the 21c Museum Hotel, Proof on Main can easily be described as one of the best new restaurants in Louisville. The space utilizes original brickwork, arches, leaded glass, and displays a rotating selection of contemporary art. The flavor-focused cooking combines traditions of Italy with the American South and showcases the agricultural bounty of the Ohio River Valley. Start off with a cured meat tasting, an assortment of chicken liver pate, prosciutto, chorizo, and other select meats. Entrées of pan roasted scallops with creamed corn and spicy pecans or a grilled New York strip with fingerling potatoes and bison marrow burst with flavor. Their extensive award-winning wine list along with a carefully selected spirits collection make this an ideal spot for an evening cocktail as well. New to bourbon? Try one of their pre-selected bourbon flights to find your favorite.
WHAT TO DO
Urban Bourbon Trail
Become a true Kentucky bourbon drinker. Establishments on the Urban Bourbon Trail range from historic hotel properties to new, up-and-coming hot spots, each with at least 50 different bourbon labels on the bar. Centered around downtown Louisville, with stops in nearby neighborhoods as well, 20 participating local bars and restaurants offer up their unique bourbons to sample. Pick up your free passport at the Visitors Center, participating stops (just ask your server), or make it easy and download the app using your iPhone or Android. Remember—don’t try to hit up all the stops in one day!
Belle of Louisville
401 West River Road, Louisville
502-574-2992 | belleoflouisville.org
Take a cruise back in time. The historic river steamboat Belle of Louisville is the oldest of her kind still operating in the U.S. today. Traveling up the Ohio River, the two-hour cruise is a leisurely way to get a great view of the river. Tour the engine room and captain’s quarters, then look over the back of the boat to see the giant paddle wheel in motion. Grab a seat on the hurricane deck and enjoy the breezes with a cocktail from the boat’s bar.
THE NEW BOURBON
Any Kentuckian will tell you, bourbon is America’s Native Spirit, as declared by Congress in 1964. With the surge of shows like Mad Men with their office bar carts and the Prohibition-era bootleggers of Boardwalk Empire, bourbon and whiskey are once again being appreciated. Not only for the typical cigar-smoking male, bourbon-infused cocktails are becoming slightly more female-friendly. Both girls and guys will enjoy this cocktail recipe straight from the bar at Proof on Main.
1½ oz. Woodford Reserve bourbon
1 oz. honey syrup
½ oz. lemon juice
Build in shaker, add ice, shake, and pour all into a rocks glass. Garnish with lemon peel.