Winning at the track is never guaranteed, however, placing your money on Equus (Latin for horse) for a extraordinary dining experience will payoff like winning the superfecta. Odds are against most restaurants surviving its first five years. Equus Restaurant, opened in 1985 by owner and Chef Dean Corbett, is a testament that the trio of great food, service and atmosphere is an across the board payoff.
On our grand night of dining we accepted the challenge from Corbett and Executive Chef David Cuntz to deliver their house specialty, a wine pairing. One of many of Equus's specialties, in addition to their seasonal menu, is the "Equus Tasting Menu" which consists of 5 to 7 courses featuring petite tastes of the many house specialties paired with wine. With a day's notice Corbett will customize a gourmet feast to behold.
Corbett describes the cuisine at Equus as "grounded in classics with touches of American, French and Southwest influences". Signature dishes include The Mushroom Fume (a red wine reduction soup finished in heavy cream), Equus Crabcakes, Shrimp Jenkins (now don't be talk'n bout Ms. Jenkins), Sea Bass (fresh parmesan coasted sea bass pan seared in lemon dill beurre blanc with fried leeks), and Tournedos of Prime Rib.
Beverage manager, J. Troy Richie, encompasses global impartiality in the wine list as was demonstrated in our pairing.
Long time icon Maitre d' James Cover, is the first clue that an evening of fine dining is about to take place. The atmosphere is intimate, comfortable, and conversationally quiet. With the hustle and bustle of so many restaurants today, it's a welcome pleasure to speak at low decibels throughout an entire night of dining. Off to the races we went.
Out of the gate we started with a flute (not shared) of Greg Norman Sparkling Wine which was followed by our first of 6 courses, South African Lobster Tempura with Mango Risotto. Paired to perfection with the appetizer was a glass of Fess Parker Viognier 00'. It was a pleasure to see that our wines by the glass were poured from the bottle at our table. Beverage Manager J. Troy Ritchie described each wine and why it was aptly chosen for each course. As we neared the first turn Executive Chef David Cuntz offered up one of Equus's signature dishes, Parmesan Crusted Sea Bass with Vegetable Spaghetti and Beurre Blanc. The standard for fresh seafood in Louisville starts at Equus as the Sea Bass and vegetables were prepared to perfection. Backside began with a salad course of hart Country Baby Bok Choy, Spicy Cress and Spring Lettuce with Tomato Salad, Sophia's Pyramid and White Truffle Vinaigrette. Recognizable flavors in each bite along with a wonderfully zesty seasoning the salad seemed to cleanse the palate. Our surprise for the evening was Sweetbread, Crispy Veal Sweetbread with Ricotta and Truffle Ravioli and Veal Jus. Though we are not ones to be gland eaters, the boyz were by no means organ rejecters, this was magnificent course. Paired with the Sweetbread was a glass of Kenwood Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. As we made our way around the last turn the main entree, Colorado Lamb, took center stage. Breckenridge Country Lamb Roulade with Fresh Local Morels, Asparagus and Port Wine Reduction was prepared and presented by Executive Chef Cuntz. Cooked to absolute perfection and paired exceptionally well with a glass of Merryvale Starmont Cabernet Sauvignon. The main course was a crescendo. The only thing we found uncomfortable at this point was the tightness of our belts, though two notches larger and we were ready for the finish. It was down the stretch that culminated a near "5 snap and a circle performance", a trio of desserts from Pastry Chef Rebecca Johnson that was complimented with a glass of Antigua Muscat de Frontignan.
As we crossed the finished line our culinary experience at Equus proved to be a rare Triple Crown in dining splendor. Equus will unquestionably remain a Louisville dining force "furlong" time. ©
Equus, 122 Sears Avenue, Louisville, KY 40207 502.897.9721