On the way home from a recent visit to the Bourbon Trail, we stopped for a quick bite at Jack Fry’s in Louisville. If you aren’t familiar with the clubby little throwback, you should be: Live jazz, walls crowded with historic black-and-white photos of movers and shakers gone by, and some of the best food I’ve eaten in Louisville. Sure, you’ll get a great steak here—and both the pork chop and the warm brie salad are legendary—but the shocker is the chicken. I know, right? I rarely order the humble yard bird when checking out a new restaurant but when I saw this little number brined in sweet tea and served over ricotta gnocchi and broccolini with a pesto pan sauce, I just couldn’t resist. It was every bit as decadent as it sounds: impossibly tender meat drenched in a light-but-creamy herbed sauce surrounding pillows of gnocchi (which are perfect for chasing the last dabs of sauce around the rim of the plate). Jack Fry’s service is defined by southern hospitality, and the timeless, almost candle-lit ambiance is a surefire antidote to the cacophony of celebrity chefs and foodie fads that pervade the modern dinner hour. I think you’ll agree that this nostalgic gem is worth the drive.
Jack Fry’s 1007 Bardstown Rd., Louisville, KY, (502) 452-9244, jackfrys.com