Counting down my favorite restaurants #4

Unlike prior posts, I’m not recapping the prior picks. To be honest, I can’t remember them off the top of my head anymore, and I’m getting too lazy to look. WIthout further adieu,

#4- Luigi’sPizzeria and Pasta, Louisville, KY

               I can’t talk about places I love to eat and not bring up Luigi’s. Mr. Luigi is an Italian immigrant with a fairly surly attitude and an incredible skill for cooking up unusual and magnificent pasta.

               He is a fairly hostile guy– think Soup Nazi from “Seinfeld”. I once walked up to the pasta counter when Luigi was there and asked him to run down the dozen or so pastas. He did so quickly, and then looked wonderfully annoyed when the woman behind me, who had not been paying attention, asked him to do the same. He pointed at one half of the pastas– “meat”, he said. He pointed at the other half– “vegetarian”, he said.

              But if you can get past Luigi’s relatively brusque attitude, you will be rewarded. He combines both familiar and unfamiliar ingredients in pasta, to great effect. The last time I was there, I believe I had a penne with proscuito (kind of an Italian ham/bacon) and peas. I also can recall a wonderful salmon pasta Luigi serves on occasion. He will have 8-12 kinds of pasta at once, and fortunately, will gladly prepare a plate with two or three decent sized servings of different pastas on request.

             Luigi’s pizza is fine too. I give special recommendation to the “garbage” pizza– apparently a Luigism for pizza with everything on it. Luigi’s also does hot and cold sandwiches, but I’m pretty much 80% pasta, 20% pizza on the all-too-rare occasions when I’m around.

               While it’s probably irrelevant to most, Luigi also gets props for having about the only soft drink machine in the world with ginger ale on tap. It’s a personal weekness of mine, and goes well with some of his spicer offerings.

                Luigi’s is at 712 W. Main in Louisville– so if you work or visit downtown, you can stop by. Also, be advised, Luigi’s closes at 5, and seems to limit his offerings later in the day. The place is pretty much a mid-day lunch stop. It’s worth your while though.

Joe

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6 Responses to “Counting down my favorite restaurants #4”

  1. Amy Hilliard Says:

    I’ve never been. I’ll definitely have to check it out. Sounds great! By the way, is it Canada Dry or Ale8?

  2. eljoe1235 Says:

    It is Canada Dry, and it is much better on tap than in the can. I wouldn’t actually call Ale8 ginger ale, I don’t think. I would call it really really really good, but there is that extra something to it. Probably Winchester swamp water, as the locals like to joke.

    Joe

  3. Barbara C. Says:

    We were always partial to Lentini’s on Bardstown Road. Maybe that’s because where my parents had their first date. That’s also where we all went when my future mother-in-law was introduced to my parents. Although, it apparently keeps changing ownership, so the food quality keeps changing, too.

  4. eljoe1235 Says:

    I never went to Lentini’s, but I do have a great story regarding same. Julie taught a kid at Holy Cross who was talking to her about Lentini’s one time, and had recommended it to her. She said something to the effect that we’d have to go there sometime. The kid was then quick to say, “Of course, you’ll need to dress up a little bit.” Julie just thought it was priceless that a high school student was offering her dinner etiquette tips.

    Joe

  5. Amy Hilliard Says:

    Yeah, you are right about Ale8. Ginger ale is just the closest I can come to describing it to someone who hasn’t had it. Being from Winchester I can attest to the returnable bottle of Ale8 having a certain Je ne sais quoi that can not be duplicated either in the throw away glass or plastic bottles, cans or on tap. It is a wonder, since people use these bottles to dispose of all kinds of disgusting things (i.e. cigarette butts, tobacco juice, and other things that are just too unmentionable). Thank God for the sanitation process!

  6. eljoe1235 Says:

    Amy, I had forgotten that you are a native Winchesterian. My attitude toward Ale8 is kind of like my attitude toward bacon. I’m more than a little afraid to think about how they do it, but so long as I can just enjoy it, I’ll push it out of mind.

    Joe

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