Lee describes his new restaurant (in the basement of the Actors Theatre) as a Southern speakeasy with an Asian pantry. 316 W. Main St.; actorstheatre.org.
“This is the ultimate brunch place—fresh farm eggs make such a difference. I love the fried chicken livers, too.” 624 E. Market St.; harvestlouisville.com.
“The best pizza place in Louisville. Half the success of the pizza is the crust—the wood-fired oven from Italy does a good job on it—and the other half is the sauce. They make a nice milled-tomato sauce.” 700 E. Market St.; garageonmarket.com.
Insider Tip: Country ham is a specialty, on a charcuterie plate or a pizza.
La Coop Bistro à Vins
“Bobby Benjamin’s place reminds me of when I lived in New York City about 10 years ago, a time when there were lots of great bistros. You can’t go wrong with the cassoulet, which is rich, unctuous and meaty. They make amazing cocktails, too, like the Vieux Carré, with rye, brandy, vermouth and two kinds of bitters.” 732 E. Market St.; coopbistro.com.
“The chef uses local ingredients in his tacos. I really like the ‘Bar-beer-coa’: smoky, grass-fed beef braised in Goose Island beer with grilled onions and peppers.” 736 E. Market St.; tacopunk.com.
Louisville Beer Store
“Owners Lori Beck and Tyler Trotter have taught me more about beer in the last two years than I learned in the 30 years before that. They have great international and local choices, like ones from Country Boy Brewing.” 746 E. Market St.; louisvillebeerstore.com.
Please & Thank You
“This bakery is also a record store with classic Southern music on vinyl. I’m addicted to their chocolate chip cookies. The owners refuse to give out the recipe, but they created a baking kit so you can make them at home: B.I.Y.” 800 E. Market St.; pleaseandthankyoulouisville.com.
“The downstairs is a sexy place for a drink. The food has a West Coast mentality—ingredient-driven plates like tagliatelle with goat Bolognese.” 812 E. Market St.; deccarestaurant.com.
“Chef Bruce Ucán was this street’s pioneer, opening Mayan Café in 2007. He uses local ingredients and true Mayan flavors in his salbutes, or fried flatbreads, and cochinita pibil, roast pork.” 813 E. Market St.; themayancafe.com.
“Chef Tyler Morris makes the sausage for the scotch egg; I love the kale salad with sorghum dressing. It’s a nice place to eat at the bar and sample the fantastic whiskey list.” 900 E. Market St.; ryeonmarket.com.