Not that we have a fetish with bathrooms, it's just that a lavatory can speak volumes about a restaurant. Our journey to 610 Magnolia begins in the lavatory where a clue to its culinary brilliance can be found. A simply framed menu from Thomas Keller's world-renowned restaurant, The French Laundry, is prominently displayed in each gender labeled water closet. Hence, we could only surmise that owner and executive chef Edward Lee is either a master gastronome or that he has a lot of chutzpah (or maybe both).
610 Magnolia is unlike any other dining experience in Louisville. Blending into the charming neighborhood of historic Old Louisville, 610 Magnolia offers an ambience of comfort and quaintness. That being said, let us interject our only caveat lectur. Expect a dining experience that will consume your evening with a fare that rivals some of the top restaurants in the country. There is no table turn-over, for you are encouraged to dine at a leisurely pace so at every course each morsel of food and every sip of drink can be relished and savored.
Chef Lee offers a six-course prixe fixe menu that is also available in a vegetarian offering. Each course magically stimulates the senses; visual artistry in presentation, the aromatic scents of each dish, and most importantly, tastes that will expose your ?buds? to a multiplicity of oral pleasures.
As Chef Lee frequently changes menus to reflect the seasons and to show off his creative edge and diversity. And though it would seem futile to discuss each memorable course that we had, it is worth mentioning a few of the many highlights.
As you move forward in each course consider wine pairings to match. Our server proved superb at recommending wines for each course.
The first course, L'amuse froid, may be an offering of Duck Rillettes in Red Pepper with Artichoke Coulis, Smoked Salmon Crepe with Spoonbill Caviar, and Heirloom Tomato and Mint Gaspacho. Take pleasure in this initial medley, as there is a labor of love that goes into each.
Chef Lee has spent a great deal of time studying in France and as a result, those influences are masterfully presented in many of his dishes. A perfect example is the foie gras that is nothing short of spectacular.
Entrees seem to highlight a chef?s talents, though in Lee?s case the entrees are another example of great forte. Whether you have opted for meat, fish, or vegetarian your senses will again be wowed. And as you near the end of your dining journey dessert and petit fours will impart feelings of awe, joy, and absolute contentment.
We would be remiss if there is no mention of the wait staff. The entire crew is a model of near perfection with every detail and special dining need attended to. It's a pleasure to be served in a European fashion of grace and etiquette, apparently a dying art in the States.
610 Magnolia is in a unique class of restaurants that makes dining any gourmands "paradis". Spend an evening at 610 Magnolia and you will leave with the impression that Chef Lee should be known as "Master Lee", an impresario within the culinary world.
And yes, we loved the bathrooms!
610 Magnolia, Louisville, Kentucky Telephone: 502.636.0783