Bardstown Bourbon Co. opens Bottle & Bond on Monday, June 4. | Courtesy of BBCo.

As if you needed an excuse to visit Bardstown, the Bardstown Bourbon Company (BBCo) serves up one more reason to make the one-hour trip south — its full-service restaurant, bar and vintage whiskey library Bottle & Bond opens Monday, June 4.

If you’re not familiar with the distillery, it opened its 37,000-square-foot, $25 million complex in 2017 on 100 acres of farmland. It currently is aging its own bourbons and whiskeys, and it also makes distillate for partners through the Collaborative Distilling Program.

The restaurant will be led by Executive Chef Felix Mosso, formerly of West Virginia’s Greenbrier Resort, who will offer gourmet fare that combines seasonal, local ingredients. Think comfort food, fresh salads, farm-fresh meats and cheeses and more.

Each of the restaurant’s mixologists has taken the Stave & Thief training. | Courtesy of BBCo.

A quick glance at the menu shows items like brisket, poached chicken salad, glazed Brussels sprouts, shrimp and grits and entrees like baby back ribs, salmon, cast-iron fried chicken and an 8-ounce filet.

“We practice refined simplicity,” said John Donnelly, BBCo’s executive director of food and beverage, in a news release. “Our dishes are simple yet exceptional, and made with the finest ingredients sourced from the highest quality vendors. At the end of the day, our No. 1 job is to ensure that each and every guest returns to Bottle & Bond.”

The restaurant also features a vintage whiskey collection, including more than 200 bottles, curated by the local bourbon expert and author Fred Minnick. There are even some bottles that date back to the 1800s.

The bar also has wine by the glass/bottle, craft cocktails, craft beer and even a couple of mocktails.

We’re particularly interested in trying the Paper Plane cocktail, made with High West Double Rye, and the Kentucky Zombie punch bowl for four made with Plantation 5 Year Rum.

Cocktails run from $8-$16, wine by the glass starts at $7, draft beers range from $5-$7, appetizers start at $8, and sandwiches and entrees range from $12-$70 (for a porterhouse steak for two). There are also dessert options like bourbon pecan pie ($8) and bread pudding ($6) and even boozy milkshakes ($8-$22).

In the spirit of the distillery’s collaborative nature, Bottle & Bond also participated in Kentucky’s Visitor Exchange Program, which brings in hospitality and culinary students from around the world to work at the restaurant. BBCo will house the students and provide transportation during their yearlong experience.

“We are proud to bring the spirit of international collaboration into our kitchen and bar,” said Garnett Black, vice president of Hospitality, Tourism & Community Outreach, in the release.

“We have 17 students from three nations working side by side with our highly talented food and beverage team. When it comes time for them to return to their native countries, they will be ambassadors for bourbon, Bardstown and the state of Kentucky.”

Bardstown Bourbon Co. is the largest new American distillery. | Courtesy of BBCo.

Bottle & Bond will be open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. BBCo is located at 1500 Parkway Drive in Bardstown.

Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville. She's known around town as the Bar Belle and updates her blog (barbelleblog.com) daily. She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."


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