Whether it’s a neighborhood house-to-house affair, a condo-to-condo event on vacation or a restaurant-to-restaurant chomp and stomp, I love progressive dining. It’s as if the restaurant experience was remade for people with ADD (me.)
New places, new faces, different music, drinks, eats, things to see in between those stops—it’s a beautiful thing that only a few have tried in Louisville of late.
Café Metro (God rest its soul), De La Torre’s and Asiatique did a few progressive dinners a couple years ago, events Asiatique chef, Peng Looi, told me on the ChefBoyarDean Show last week, “were a lot of fun. We should do more.”
Joshua Moore, executive chef and operating partner at Volare, said the same trio hosted a progressive dinner in March that drew a good crowd.
“We thought it would be fun to do something that introduced regulars of our restaurants to each other’s restaurants,” Moore said. “So we got in people who maybe only go to Bourbons or Varanese and vice versa. It got a really good response last time.”
As in 70 people who quickly scooped up reservations. Moore said that managing the flow of that group in a limited window of time was challenging enough that he and chefs Michael Crouch (Bourbons) and John Varanese (Varanese) decided to limit this meal to 50 diners.
Reservations must be made for times between 5 and 7 p.m., but diners “get to come and go as they please,” Moore said. “So we’re tightening it up a little bit to make sure we still give them a really good experience.”
Price for the dinner is $50 per person, which includes tax and gratuity, but not alcoholic beverages. (Still a big freakin’ bargain, especially when you see the menu below.)
To make reservations, call Volare at 502-894-4446.
Choice of appetizers—Volare
- Rotollini di melanzane: baked rolls of eggplant with ricotta, marinara and a balsamic reduction
- Potato gnocchi, roasted duck, caramelized leeks, and apple wood bacon in Gorgonzola cream
Choice of entrees—Varanese
- Pecan encrusted mahi mahi atop whipped sweet potatoes finished with a honey butter sauce
- Bourbon barrel smoked pork chop topped with an apple-bacon chutney served with a gratin potato
- Bourbon barrel smoked salmon and linguine tossed with sundried tomatoes, baby spinach and capers in a goat cheese cream sauce
- Chili-rubbed flat iron steak sliced atop pickled cucumber, watermelon and heirloom tomatoes with roasted Peruvian potatoes and chimichurri
Choice of desserts—Bourbons Bistro
- Bourbon peach bread pudding
- Bluegrass black bottom bourbon baba