Do sweat the small stuff: It matters

By Robin Garr

I’m still hearing from readers about my comments in last week’s review about the quality furnishings and spotless, seemingly hand-polished silverware at Perso restaurant in Shelby Park: “Those seemingly smaller signals of attentiveness and care from the moment we sat down signaled management that cares.”

In a way, we could liken dining out to a theater performance: Good food might be the lead actor, a player who struts and frets their hour upon the stage. But from decor and drinks to service and even the restrooms, it takes a quality supporting cast to turn a meal into an unforgettable show.

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Perso gets the small things and the big things right

By Robin Garr

One of the first things I noticed when I took my seat at a table in Perso was the high quality of the table itself: Burnished wood, smooth as silk, it reminded me of the work of Shaker artisans.

Then I unrolled the black cloth napkin and noticed something unusual about the quality stainless flatware: Every surface was mirror-shiny, without a single dishwasher spot in sight, almost as if each piece had been wiped clean by hand before service.

And speaking of service, that was great too: Friendly but not smarmy, attentive but not bothersome, there when we needed them, good with eye contact and a smile.

So what, you say? How about the food?

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There’s always room for ice cream

By Robin Garr

Just about everyone loves ice cream, and that goes double when a heat dome drops over the country like a gigantic warm blanket that nobody requested.

But that rich scoop of cold, sweet delight becomes a lot less unanimous when it comes to the details: Favorite flavor? Traditional hard frozen and scoopable, soft serve, gelato, frozen custard, sherbet, sorbet, froyo, or something else? Cup or cone or take-home pint? And perhaps the most controversial question, which local shop is No. 1 for you?

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Kiwami brings the ultimate ramen

By Robin Garr

Louisville seems to be having a ramen renaissance right now, and I am here for it.

Yes. we’ve had access to genuine ramen that didn’t come from a cheap supermarket packet for a while. Of course you can still get your ramen fix at full-service Japanese and other Asian restaurants. And we’re not even talking about all the tasty Vietnamese pho and Thai yum, which are delicious soups-as-a-meal too but entirely different.

But there’s no substitute for those memorable places where the chefs treat ramen as a calling, a spiritual experience that must be done properly and consumed with respect but quickly, before the broth cools.

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Clay Oven inspires an Indian food crave

By Robin Garr

I have this funny reaction to Indian food: The minute I start thinking about it, I want to go get some.

The only issue is where to go! Louisville is currently blessed with enough good Indian eateries that I’d be hard pressed to declare one of them the local G.O.A.T. It would be like trying to pick this year’s Derby winner without a photo!

But I’ll say this for sure: Clay Oven in Middletown is a strong contender for the prize.

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Naive’s patio offers comfort on a chilly day

By Robin Garr

I really wanted to enjoy an al fresco lunch last Saturday. Conditions were perfect. Spring’s green had grown into a summery green canopy, and mild weather had finally shown up after a long, cool spring.

Then I heard an annoyed yell from the other room. Mary had just checked the weather forecast! Midday temperatures in the upper 50s, partly cloudy, with steady north winds and gusts to 24 mph?

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Anoosh has left the building, but Noosh Nosh keeps up the pace

By Robin Garr

One of the many memorable immigrant stories in Louisville culinary history wrapped up last month when Chef Anoosh Shariat concluded a 30-year career in local kitchens, retiring from his namesake Anoosh Bistro. Over a year earlier, Shariat had trimmed his workload by selling his other popular East End eatery, Noosh Nosh.

New management at both establishments was quick to assure a wary public that no major changes would be forthcoming at either of the restaurants, which are situated just across a parking lot from each other at Brownsboro Center.

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