A look at the Highlands’ new Shahar Café 

Shahar Cafe exterior
Shahar Café brings Euro-Asian fare to the Highlands. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Shahar Café opened in the Highlands in May in the former home of Anselmo’s, and it brought something new to the already diverse culinary sector.

For starters, the restaurant offers soft pinks and blues with brightness added from white tables and chair backs, drop lighting, wood floors and with a few interesting and unique touches, such as a collage of comic books on one wall just inside the entrance.

While sweets and baked goods are a focal point at Shahar, featuring Russian honey cakes and Napoleons, a menu of Euro-Asian entrees and snacks — with a bent toward Russian fare — also tempt.

Shahar Cafe Plov
Plov is a traditional central European dish | Courtesy of Shahar Café

A few staples include items like vegan burgers, beef kabobs, Russian peroshki, samosas and poutine, but special items rotate through regularly. You might find vegan brownies, gluten-free cookies or tiramisu some days, and weekend entree specials come and go.

For instance, a recent weekend special (which sold out) was plov, a central Asian dish made with rice, carrots, onions and meat like lamb, beef or mutton.

Another special was Russian cutlets with mashed potatoes, a Russian comfort dish. Other notable recent items include Japanese cheesecake cupcakes, shashlik (similar to shish kebab), pelmeni (Russian dumplings) and borscht.

Shahar Café also offers seven types of tea, fresh juices, Turkish and American coffee and other items on the regular menu.

Speaking of menus, Suzanna Multani, who owns the restaurant along with her brother Vikant, said menus will be posted on the restaurant’s Instagram page this week. Previously, they were posted only inside the restaurant.

Multani said she and her brother were born in India but grew up in Louisville, and the recipes at Shahar all are based on the food their Russian mother prepared for them. Asked what her favorite menu item is, Multani said, “Everything,” but added, “Everybody loves the poutine.”

Shahar Café, located at 1511 Bardstown Road, is open Wednesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Ramen House open in Mid-City Mall

Ramen House exterior
Ramen House is now open in Mid-City Mall. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

Some folks panicked when Ramen Inochi disappeared from its tiny spot on Highland Avenue this spring. Ramen House, under the same ownership, Jonathan Ham and Jonathan Chiu, is now open in the Mid-City Mall to fill the void.

Ramen House spicy miso tonkotsu
Spicy miso tonkotsu | Courtesy of Ramen House

Officially opened June 7, Ramen House features an expanded menu and much larger space than its predecessor.

Decked out in corrugated metal and wood trim, the dining area features at least double the capacity of the original, with wood-slat booths and several black four-tops as well.

A playful sign near the restrooms reads, “Let’s Get Drunk and Eat Ramen.”

The menu features various types of ramen from miso to shoyu, rice bowls, pork belly buns and handmade gyoza. Try the spicy miso tonkotsu, a menu feature. Mochi for dessert comes in strawberry, green tea, mango and chocolate.

Located at 1250 Bardstown Road, Suite 17A, Ramen House is open Monday through Thursday, 5-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m.-midnight.

Moe-licious BBQ founder dies

Maurice Day of Moe-licious BBQ
Maurice Day, founder of Moe-licious BBQ, died earlier this month. | Courtesy of Briana Day

Maurice Day, founder of Moe-licious BBQ, died recently after being diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer. Day was 55.

A U.S. Army veteran, Day served in Desert Storm, retiring after 20 years to start his barbecue food truck restaurant.

“My Father was a great man and leader,” Day’s daughter, Briana Day, told Insider. “He has touched and changed countless number of lives through his food and amazing seasoned heart. My father never met a stranger or person he could not make smile.”

Moe-licious was known for its brisket, as well as ribs, pulled pork, jerk wings and more. Maurice briefly opened a Moe-licious restaurant in Fort Knox this past spring, but it closed quickly due to his health issues. Briana will continue to operate the food truck along with her mother, Valerie Day, and sister, Chasity Lowe.

Visitation for Day will be Thursday, June 20, from 6-8 p.m. at Trinity World Outreach Center, 10307 Seatonville Road. A memorial service will be held there the next day at 11 a.m.

Cold pit beef at River Road BBQ

Louisville Pit Beef Sandwic
The cold-served new Louisville Pit Beef Sandwich at River Road BBQ | Photo by Kevin Gibson

River Road BBQ is at it again. Less than a year after adding a custom fire pit, some new menu items have been added.

One is called the Louisville Pit Beef Sandwich, which features 6 ounces of pit-smoked roast beef, thin-sliced and topped with spicy horseradish mustard sauce, served on an onion roll. (You can also get a 3-ounce version, but why?)

The sandwich is served cold — for summer, of course — and the recommendation is to order it with a side of pickles. It’s sort of like an Arby’s sandwich on steroids, with the bright, slightly tangy and sinus-opening sauce the exclamation that Horsey Sauce can’t quite achieve.

And while it’s easy to compare it to brisket, it really isn’t comparable. It’s just different.

“Think smoked roast beef,” said Jon Gudmundsson, the restaurant’s owner.

District 6 in St. Matthews

A business called District 6 has applied for an alcoholic beverage license for the space located at 3930 Shelbyville Road, next to Molly Malone’s in St. Matthews.

The owners are listed as HVT Partnership, featuring a pair of local residents in Hanh Duong and Vinh Thai, as well as Tram Thai, who is listed with a New York address. The business is requesting special Sunday licensing as well.

The business doesn’t appear to have a website or social media presence yet.

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Kevin Gibson
Kevin Gibson tackles the 3Rs — retail, restaurants, real estate — plus, economic development. He loves bacon, loathes cucumbers and once interviewed Yoko Ono. Check out his books, “Louisville Beer: Derby City History on Draft” and “100 Things to do in Louisville Before You Die.” He has won numerous awards for his work but doesn’t know where most of them are now. In his spare time, he plays in a band called the Uncommon Houseflies.Email Kevin at [email protected]