Louisville, Kentucky, may be horse-racing and bourbon country, but now it’s also food and art central. Many of the best new restaurants, in fact, are near important galleries and museums.
Power couple and local collectors Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson are a force in both the city’s culinary and art worlds. In 2006 they helped launch downtown’s fabulous 21c Museum Hotel—an epicenter of the art scene—and its terrific restaurant, Proof on Main. On a recent night, chef Michael Paley’s bison tenderloin (from Brown and Wilson’s farm) with Parmigiano-Reggiano stone-ground grits kept my eyes fixed on my plate. That was no small feat given the art in the dining room, like Zebra Trophy, Johnston Foster’s taxidermy-inspired sculpture of leather, wire and broom handles.
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The next morning, I went to Toast on Market, a new spot in the East Market Street gallery district, for decadent bread-pudding pancakes and stops at the Zephyr Gallery and the Green Building Gallery.