Avalon Cooks Up Fresh American Cuisine And More

By Kevin and Carrie Harned

(LOUISVILLE, February 12th, 2004, 5:55 p.m.) -- A lot of people will be looking for a romantic dinner on the town to celebrate Valentine's Day. And this edition of What's Cookin' in Kentuckiana, Carrie and Kevin Harned have a table reserved for two at Avalon.

According to legend, Avalon is a magical island, the final resting place of King Arthur. Along Bardstown Road, the restaurant Avalon may miss out on the mythology but the food is just as magical.

Avalon is relatively new on the Louisville restaurant scene, just shy of its two year anniversary. But the food is making the restaurant one of the city's most popular.

Chef Nathan Carlson says "we call it fresh American cuisine, but really it's got a broad range."

Think of Carlson's kitchen as an American melting pot, with a recent dish as a prime example: boneless roasted half chicken with corn relish and pinto beans. "This is kind of a Italian-Southern fusion," he says. "The pinto beans and the corn relish makes it a little southern but then I stuff it with the creamy risotto ... it all comes together so well."

Avalon's success doesn't just stem from these main course masterpieces. After all, every good entree should have the perfect accompaniment. "Monday and Tuesdays we do wine tastings, $15 a person." For that, Carlson says "you get to try five different wines from our wines by the glass, then you get some truffle fondue with bread and some vegetable and chicken satte."

So raise your fork and your wine glass if you like. Avalon has your pallet covered from the first course to the last. Best of all, you can enjoy a taste of America without ever leaving restaurant row.

Avalon is located at 1314 Bardstown Road and is open nightly Monday through Saturday. They recently received an "A" from the Louisville Metro Health Department.