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Reserve a table
2
Mon, 9/26
8:00 PM
About
Varanese Restaurant is located in the historic Clifton neighborhood and features an eclectic menu of New American Cuisine using local organic products, prepared by Owner/Chef John Varanese. The restaurant opened in 2007 and has recently completed a renovation and can comfortably seat 150 guests between its bar, dining room and four seasons patio. Open 7 days a week - Sunday through Thursday from 5:00pm to 11:00pm, and Friday and Saturday 5:00pm to midnight.
PRICE RANGE
$10 - $28
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Dinner
CUISINES
American
FEATURES
Takeout, Seating, Parking Available, Free off-street parking, Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Accepts Discover, Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service, Live Music, Jazz Bar
Reviews (363)
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362 results
Traveler rating
254
72
18
11
7
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
254
72
18
11
7
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All reviews pork chop bourbon salmon mushroom risotto strip steak sea bass potatoes dining experience the bread pudding excellent meal entrees chef specials
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Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We took our out of town guests yesterday. Our server Jessica was amazing! She really made our night! (If you are reading this Jessica, y’all/yins did a great job! Lol.) Everyone loved their cocktails. The pork chop was very tasty and perfectly cooked, loved the...shrimp and grits… so flavorful! The salmon was also delicious! We had the cheese and hummus plate as a starter and I was not a fan. The hummus was gummy and had an odd flavor. The rest of our group didn’t mind it. I could have had the bruschetta as my meal… yum! For dessert we had the bread pudding and asked to have some bourbon to pour on top (so good!), the lava cake (wow) and the brûlée (coffee flavored and very nice). We were the last to leave and Jessica and the rest of the staff treated us if we had all the time in the world. We so appreciated that! Our experience was so special! Thank you!More

Date of visit: September 2022
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Reviewed June 30, 2022 via mobile

Enjoyed the best service we’ve had in a long time as well as one of the best dinners. Kate, our server, was delightful! She was attentive, prompt and seemed genuinely happy to be working there. The clam chowder was one of the best we’ve ever...had (and my husband’s from New England). Our entrees consisted of the specials; skirt steak with shrimp add on, and the grilled swordfish with shrimp add on. Throw in some Sonoma Cutrer and Tito’s cocktails and this was a winning evening. An addition to our favorite restaurants in Louisville’s world class dining scene!More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed June 14, 2022

In Louisville as a tourist and ate here two weeks ago. Service was great, food was even better, and the ambiance even better than that. There was a duo, guitar and upright bass, who were great. Didn't try to overpower the room just played background...but if you wanted to listen they were really good....worth listening to. This place is a class act and worth going to...not stupidly expensive either, you won't be disappointed. If we lived in Louisville, we'd be regulars.More

Date of visit: June 2022
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Reviewed March 29, 2022

We thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Varanese. Food, drinks and service were all wonderful! There was live music which only added to the experience. With Covid we have not been dining out ....Varanese was defiantly a great place to experience our venture back to in...restaurant dining. Our server, whose name I can't remember, was great! We never felt rushed or hovered over but were well taken care of (The young lady was a graduate student and waiting tables suited her schedule and she was well suited to the job)More

Date of visit: March 2022
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Reviewed February 10, 2022 via mobile

Scallop appetizer was excellent. My wife’s pasta with and my sea bass on spinach were excellent. Arty presentation of crème boule. Good service but not exceptional. No butterknife. Efficient valet.

Date of visit: February 2022
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Reviewed January 1, 2022

For the New Year's celebration, I invited my niece (an international student at U of Louisville) and her mother, visiting town from Panama, to join me at Varanese, one of my favorite places in town. The whole experience was extraordinary with a great server (Kate,...I believe was her name) who welcomed us in Spanish and later in the evening brought her sister from the kitchen to say hello in Spanish as well. The food was, as always, well crafted and with its unique flavors, from the angus steak to the bourbon salmon, the lobster mac/cheese and the bread pudding with caramel ice cream. What a wonderful and delightful way to welcome 2022. The restaurant had live music and offer the traditional New Year's hats and tiaras, as well as a glass of champagne to toast. Cheers 2022! Cheers Varanese for a great opportunity for my family to feel at home in Louisville.More

Date of visit: December 2021
Helpful?1  
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Reviewed December 13, 2021

We were spending the night in Louisville while on a trip and selected Varanese for dinner. While parking in the area is a bit of a challenge, it is well worth the effort. The setting is welcoming and nicely appointed. While we were there on...a Friday evening, there was live music. Mason provided excellent service. Pricing is fine dining, and the quality of the food was very good. The wine selection is good, with many high end wines. We were very pleased with the oyster appetizer, and entrees of lamb shank and strip steak. If in Louisville, we will definitely consider a return to this restaurant.More

Date of visit: December 2021
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Reviewed September 20, 2021

My husband and I reserved Varanese for our sons rehearsal dinner. From beginning to end, working with David at Varanese was a breeze! He was very easy to work with, and guided us through the menu selection, table set up, everything! The food that night...was amazing! I am still receiving rave reviews on all the dishes. The appetizers were yummy, the salads and entrees were delicious, and my mouth is still watering over the dessert options! And, the wait staff was Five-Star! I would highly recommend Varanese for any dinner event (large or small) when you want to "wow" your family and friends. You won't be disappointed.More

Date of visit: September 2021
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Reviewed July 18, 2021

The service was outstanding, the food was of the highest quality at a resonable price. I had the smoked burbon pork chops and they were without a doubt the best pork chops I have ever eaten. My girlfrend had the salmon and raved about it,...A jazz bad was playing and the atmosphere was more than we could have hoped for. Our next visit to Louisville will include reservations here.More

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed July 12, 2021

We recently hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Varanese. The servers, McKenzie and Mason, were top-notch. They were attentive, efficient, and pleasant. The food was superb. David Allen, the general manager, was very responsive to all inquiries and requests, from months in advance to day...of! The chef was accommodating to a few special dietary requests. It was a great experience. Everyone had a wonderful time. Thank you!More

Date of visit: July 2021
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Reviewed June 7, 2021

First of all, we want to give a huge shout out to our server Thomas ! His personality and engagement during our dinner was well above our expectations . If I could adopt him in would do it in a heartbeat ! There was a...music duo (guitar and stand up bass) that made our dinner experience even better than we would have expected . The food was phenomenal ! Oyster appetizer was to die for! I had the lamb shank and my husband had the red snapper . Both were mouth watering! For dessert we had the banana cheesecake cake, along with a cup of coffee ‘spiked with’ kahlua. We will definitely be back during our next trip to Louisville 🥰More

Date of visit: June 2021
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Reviewed May 8, 2021

My husband and I go to The Riverhouse, which is excellent! We decided to give the chef's other restaurant a try, since we enjoy The Riverhouse so much. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. The food was lacking in flavor and seasoning on all notes. The...fish I ordered had no seasoning, not even salt or pepper, and it really needed a note of acid to cute through the dish. The description on the menu stated it would have a pecan and jalapeño crust, and all I got was pecans. No jalapeño whatsoever, which would have been great paired with the sweetness of the sweet potatoes that the fish rested on. Unfortunately, the sweet potatoes had a bitter aftertaste, even my husband made comment of it. The mushroom risotto was bland. I have had risotto and make it myself it should have depth of flavor and it tasted like nothing. No seasoning again, lacking salt/pepper. I expected so much more with as much as the meal costed. I was very surprised that this is the same chef that owns/operates The Riverhouse, because it is a night and day difference on the quality of food and flavor.More

Date of visit: May 2021
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Reviewed March 4, 2021

My husband took me to Varanese for Valentines Day brunch. This was our first visit but it definitely won't be our last. Everything was absolutely perfect; the atmosphere, service, quality of food and great drinks. They even provided live music. Our server, Mackenzie was fantastic;...she was very friendly, efficient and attentive. We were served complimentary bruschetta for an appetizer. I ordered the hot brown which was delicious. My absolute favorite course was dessert. I ordered the chocolate, banana, peanut butter pie with homemade strawberry ice cream. I can not describe how scrumptious this dessert was. I can't wait to return to Varenese.More

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed February 25, 2021

What a great find in the back streets of Louisville. Like being transported to Paris. Wonderful, creative dishes served by people who are delighted you are there. A breath of fresh air in this pandemic craze. Don't miss it!

Date of visit: February 2021
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Reviewed December 24, 2020 via mobile

We made reservations and they sat us at a tiny table at the bar, which was disappointing. There’s a vegetarian option on the menu. I asked them to make it vegan for me. It was just a smaller plate of sautéed vegetables. I was still...starving after I ate it. I asked for some breadsticks. The drinks were too strong. Service and staff were good. But everything else was abysmal. Not sure how this is ranked one of the best restaurants in Louisville. I will never be back.More

Date of visit: December 2020
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Questions & Answers
Ask a question
blessedRN85
February 28, 2017|
Answer
Response from Randy B | Property representative |
Yes, we have live music from the Jeff Sherman Trio every night of the week.
0
Votes
Dee S
December 23, 2016|
Answer
Response from Randy B | Property representative |
We do not have a children's menu but the chef can create something kid friendly upon request!
0
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MirandaWatson
November 24, 2015|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Randy B | Property representative |
There is not a gluten free menu, but chef can accommodate any requests. Thanks!
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Frequently Asked Questions about Varanese

Yes, Varanese offers takeout services.

Varanese is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5