Sunday, February 27, 2011

Thanks, Chef Josh: Praise for Bank Street Brewhouse in Louisville Magazine and Insider Louisville.

The February edition of Louisville Magazine contains a great review of Bank Street Brewhouse by freelance food writer Steve Coomes. You can read it here, on pages 72 & 73: Pub Grub Euro-Style.

He didn't stop there, also recently posting expanded ruminations on-line at Insider Louisville: Bank Street Brewhouse & Brasserie is well worth the drive to New Albany. It is an understatement of epic dimension to say that we appreciate these observations. Thanks go to the reviewer, and also to our staff on the ground, without whom none of it would be possible.

In my earlier interview for the Louisville Magazine piece, I had confided to Steve that the learning curve at Bank Street Brewhouse has been steep for ownership. I told him, "It's fair to say none of us knew how little we actually knew about this before we got into it."

Of course, I was primarily referring to Chef Josh Lehman's kitchen, the entity now consistently garnering rave reviews like these. It's been true for an expanded brewing operation, as well, but when it comes to beer, I personally stand on firmer ground even when the challenges seem huge.

That's why we're so proud of the work that Chef Josh and his team have done in that impossibly small galley space, and I'd like to recognize their efforts by quoting a few passages from the Insider Louisville shout-out:

... The Franco-Belgian-inspired foods coming from chef Joshua Lehman’s kitchen dispel any notions about a low-rent experience. Additionally, patrons here appreciate and understand the beer and the food; in other words, this isn’t a corner tavern pouring cheap, soulless lagers and serving pickled eggs from jars. It’s first and foremost a restaurant.

Since – as a critic – I’m supposed to taste multiple dishes in one visit, I don’t get to linger slowly over just one item, which in real life, I prefer to do. When next I return, I’ll do precisely that with the croque madame ($12), one of the most soul-satisfying ham, cheese and Blue Dog Bakery wheat slice striations I’ve ever eaten. (I recommend washing it down with a medium-hoppy ale) ...

... I rarely have specials when I’m eating for a review because there’s no assurance people reading that copy 45 days later will get to enjoy them. But Lehman’s specials on both nights sounded simply incredible. That this talented chef gets to exercise his creative muscle in this understated setting is a tribute to his bosses’ willingness to do something a bit daring. Costing $20 and up, they’re easily 50 to 100 percent higher than items on the standard menu. But based on my regrets over not being able to order any of them, I consider them a treat well worth trying.

Thanks to Steve Coomes, and thanks to Chef Josh.

1 comment:

Iamhoosier said...

I'm not a foodie, or at least not what I think most foodies are. What I know about making a veal stock reduction is limited to knowing that veal had something to do with it along the way.

But, I know when the flavor of the food that I'm eating just explodes... I know when I eat "things" that I normally don't and like them... I know that Chef Josh knows and that's all I really need to know.