Whisky Magazine Issue 101
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Charles K. Cowdery goes in search of the Bourbon restaurant experience
Whiskey tourists cannot live on whiskey alone, though undoubtedly some have tried.
As America's venerable whiskey country (essentially, the states of Kentucky and Tennessee) is relatively new to the whiskey tourism game, restaurants in the area are only just beginning to figure out the best ways to appeal to their whiskey-oriented guests.
In Louisville, the tourism bureau has put together a promotion called the Urban Bourbon Trail, a collection of 20 restaurants, all with bars, that are making a direct play for thirsty travellers. Several are in hotels, some are downtown, the rest are scattered across the city.
Bourbon's Bistro was one of the first. Starting with its name, it has much to recommend it. It is located in an old neighbourhood, in a building built in 1877, and it is fine dining with an emphasis on Southern cuisine and Bourbon.
Many dishes contain Bourbon. The bar has about 130 different American whiskeys and offers suggested tastings. The bar and waiting staff are knowledgeable.
Typical dishes include braised pork belly with citrus, jalapeño, fried goat's cheese and Bourbon guava coulis (an appetiser), a grilled rib eye steak topped with smoked sea salt Bourbon butter; and baked salmon rubbed with dijon mustard, encrusted with pecans and finished with a Bourbon orange molasses.
Once virtually alone, Bourbon's Bistro now has lots of company. In addition to featuring local whiskeys in dishes and at the bar recent restaurant trends include heavy use of local f...