I traveled to Louisville about a year ago to meet up with a best friend of mine since childhood and her beautiful little girl. And a year later I returned. This time John and I were fortunate enough to go to the Kentucky Derby this year along with his sister AK and her boyfriend Daniel. You might be thinking wasn’t this awhile ago? Well yes and now I am finally getting the time to post about it.
Sadly we planned the trip a little last minute so a lot of restaurants were booked but that didn’t stop us from having some pretty stellar eats. Let’s start with the best spot we ate at – a Cuban restaurant called Havana Rubma . It was so good we ate lunch there Friday and Saturday.
We started with ground beef empanadas and a roasted red pepper sour cream. I love empanadas and these were hands down the best I have ever had. The dough was light and flaky. Definitely need to toss my old recipe out the window and do a restaurant remake of this. For my entrée I had Fricase de Pollo (pictured below) which was an amazing shredded chicken cooked in wine and a tomato creole sauce served with plantains and black beans.
As much as I am a creature of habit of ordering the same dish every time once I find something I love I decided to kill two birds with one stone on our 2nd lunch there. I had to have another empanada (okay so it was my 2nd because we ordered them as appetizers again) but I ordered the Cuban Sampler – one chicken empanada, one pork tamale, and one papa rellena. I had never even heard of papa rellenas but they are fried mashed potato balls stuffed with ground beef. The crunch on them was perfect and it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be. I also ordered the Official Oaks Lily drink – vodka, cranberry, and triple sec (mint juleps are definitely not for me). All I want right now is a plate of empanadas and tamales and the chicken. Anyone want to bring me some?
After lunch we finally headed to the derby – despite the constant rain and muddy infield we had a blast.
After the derby we dried off and warmed up and headed out for next culinary adventure in Louisville. We ate at a fine dining restaurant called Equus where a five course menu was set for us.First Course- Scallop, Country Ham Chip Second Course- Bibb Lettuce, Warm Brie, Almonds, White Balsamic Dressing Third Course- Smoked Almond Crusted Halibut, Creamy Cauliflower, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Champagne Vinagrette (this was my favorite which is sadly why a picture wasn’t taken – it was consumed rather quickly) Fourth Course- Prime Beef, Potato Onion Cheddar Gratin, Green Beans, Herb Dijon Veal Espagnole Sauce Fifth Course- Flourless Chocolate Torte, Mint Anglaise, Spiced Bourbon Caramel, Pecan Cookie Crust
We ended the trip with a Mint Julep (well John did) and a Hot Brown – a popular dish which is toast topped with oven roasted turkey, tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms and lathered in cheddar cheese. This dish even had a little too much cheese for me (never thought this was possible). John and I both had to do the traditional food & beverages before we left Kentucky.
Hopefully we can go back to the Derby next year and have sunshine and some more great eats!
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