Hey, you guys! Wanted to get this post up before I head to Napa this weekend to spend time with the fam! This was a really exciting post to write (& a little different than I’ve done before) so I hope you guys enjoy it! And I hope everyone is having a killer week! It’s almost FRIYAY!
I’m what you would probably call a novice foodie. I’d like to consider myself a true foodie (I’ll get there eventually I think! ? ), but I’m not the best at explaining why certain foods are so good. I pretty much am like..
YES THIS IS GOOD! ?
Or, I’m more like..
Ehh I’ve had better ?
But I do absolutely love trying new restaurants and foods. In fact it’s one of my favorite things to do. I think it’s such a fun experience all the way around- from the ambiance to the decor to the food to the drink list to the vibes to the service to the bathrooms (yes, the bathrooms- I think bathrooms say a lot about an establishment and I’m not sure if you actually check them out or not, but there are ALOT of really adorable and uniquely designed bathrooms these days!). So I decided why not document my experiences at different restaurants on my blog?! I mean, it’s part of travel and every day life, right?! And I like it and I hope YOU like it. So, here it goes!
Recently, I had the pleasure of trying a new restaurant in Louisville called Fork & Barrel. It’s located in Louisville, Kentucky, in the heart of Clifton, which is a super fun, trendy area of town. I will say that not many times do I go somewhere and am impressed by literally every aspect of my experience, BUT that was totally the case at Fork & Barrel! All of the aspects I mentioned above about why I like trying restaurants were memorable here- from the food to the service to the bathrooms to the decor.
I started noticing the fun details of this place the moment we walked in- the door handle was a huge fork! I’m a sucker for good details, so they already had a thumbs up from me and I hadn’t even eaten! The woman who greeted us was pleasant and asked if we would like to be part of their email newsletter. Of course we do! Thank you for making us feel included!
The decor of this place was right up my alley! It had rustic touches with splashes of charm and elegance everywhere. The space is on the smaller side but the space is utilized wisely to accommodate quite a few people without feeling too close to your neighbor as you dine. In one room, there was a large, beautiful wooden table, that they told us was made from an old tree that fell at a school nearby. That detail and respect for the community and nature was touching. The bar here was fabulous too! One of the prettiest bars I’ve seen. (Cue the heart eye emojis.) It’s simple, yet elegant, yet rustic. My favorite part (and the icing on the cake) was the music that played all night- it was a mixture of Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and the likes! It wrapped everything together creating the perfect ambiance. I think I could have stayed there all night long! We sat a table in the bar area and it was a great place to relax and see the happenings of the restaurant and bar.
The food and drinks were the real stand-outs of the night. First, the drink menu was EXTENSIVE, which I very much appreciate (because I like having OPTIONS)! They had a really fun cocktail menu and a large selection of beers, wines, and spirits. I ordered a cocktail called Emily’s Garden and the presentation was as impressive as the taste! I love gin and tonics and, to me, it seemed like a unique spin on a typical gin and tonic. AND there were flowers floating in my glass! Ahhh 🙂 I highly recommend this drink when you go (if you couldn’t tell ? ).
Now on to the food… We decided to order two appetizers and a main course to split so that we could sample a few things. For the appetizers we ordered the bruschetta and the mussels. Both dishes tasted so fresh and we might as well have licked the plates! SOOO. GOOD. For the main course, we went with the pork shank. This dish was so huge, we couldn’t even finish it despite our best efforts. The meat was beyond tender and the grits served with it were excellent. (I’m showing my foodie novice-ness here, but I’m not a food critic, y’all, so just trust me- you need to try this!)
And since we couldn’t even finish our meal, we naturally had to order more food– DESSERT TIME! I mean, a meal really wouldn’t be complete without dessert, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the finale because they knocked it out of the park with all the other dishes… So we went with the chocolate soufflé cake and we definitely didn’t pick incorrectly! (Although there was an option called coffee and donuts, so I already know what I’ll be having next time!) Oh! And with the meal, they brought us two warmed wet cloths with lemon slices on top! I love when restaurants do things like this that make them stand out from others. This was a nice touch for sure.
The service at Fork & Barrel was exceptional! Our waitress was attentive and helpful and nice the entire time we were there! In fact, everyone we came into contact with here was delightful! I think good customer service is so rare these days and they nailed it. While here, I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners and creators of Fork & Barrel, Geoffrey and Emily Heyde. Geoffrey is also the executive chef of the phenomenal food here. It was wonderful to see two individuals doing what they love and creating something so unique and special to Louisville. And to top it off, THEY WERE SO NICE! They even stopped by our table more than once to say hi and see how our experience was. That personal touch really added to our experience and brought a face to the restaurant.
Ok, now I know you’re dying to know about the bathroom! (I mean, I always am!) The bathroom here was beyond cute! The tile work and decor were so crisp, rustic and charming- just like the rest of the restaurant. The counter top was a big, nicely finished slab of wood- another perfect detail. There were also some funny little signs in the bathroom that made me giggle and I appreciate things like that. So don’t forget to head to the bathroom before heading out!
Fork & Barrel offers true Southern hospitality with elegance that makes you feel welcome from the moment you arrive. It is truly a gem in Louisville’s food scene and I can’t wait to go back. I think the best restaurants are the ones that offer an entire experience, not just a meal, and Fork & Barrel did just that! (Also, heads up: they are going to be serving Sunday brunch starting on July 30th and I got a sneak peak at the brunch menu when I was there and it looks AMAZING!) I hope you get the chance to check this place out! Leave them a review on their site and as always, leave a comment below letting me know what you think!! Bon appetit!
xo Kaitlyn Diane