As I’ve said many times, I am a student of bourbon, and I love my research. And a fine place to study is Bourbons Bistro, 2255 Frankfort Ave. in Louisville.
One of the stops along Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail, Bourbons Bistro is housed in a building that dates to 1877 and celebrates the state’s bourbon heritage with historic photos and memorabilia – even in the restrooms, where the liquid soap is dispensed from Four Roses bottles. The bar is cozy and the dining room warm and inviting, with good acoustics that allow for conversation even when the room is full, as it was the other night with a wine tasting event going on.
Bourbons Bistro stocks more than 130 bourbons, which you may sample individually or in flights of three – choose one pre-selected by the bar or create your own. I found our server to be quite knowledgeable in suggesting brands for a flight that would emphasize fruit notes. In a nice touch, he also brought over a free sample of Angel’s Envy, which is finished in port wine barrels.
The food at Bourbons Bistro is excellent as well, with entrees ranging from steak and seafood to grilled lamb chops and seared pork chops. Even the mixed green salad was a small masterpiece, with button mushrooms, dried cherries and pancetta adding sweet and savory notes to the red wine dijon vinaigrette. When you can make me rave about a salad, you’ve done something.
Bourbons Bistro also holds monthly bourbon dinners, most featuring one distillery whose products are used in and paired with three to five courses.
We finished our research with a pair of bourbon cocktails – the Bourbon Cobbler Apple Crisp and the chocolate-y Bourbon Ball. Who needs dessert?