Chef David Barrett.

Chef David Barrett.

At first glance, the new restaurant inside Hyatt Regency Louisville appears to be another sleek addition to the city, but spend five minutes inside Sway, and you’ll quickly understand the aptly named locale is that – and far more.

Sway – which is short for “Southern Way” – features stacked wood and earth tones, and large glass walls that slide open onto the Fourth Street side of the hotel, giving diners prime people-watching access, an opportunity to interact with passersby and radiant outdoor lighting. Each glass table votive was blown at nearby Glassworks, which adds a nice touch. “We’re keeping it local all the way from the hot sauce to the candle holders,” said General Manager Donna Marquez.

The amicable staff is incredibly knowledgeable, and what they don’t know they’ll offer to find out right away, regardless of whether your question is about the culinary options or something completely random (I asked about an upcoming bodybuilding contest that will occur nearby in the next few weeks).

Aside from the hospitality, what sets Sway apart – and gives its moniker meaning – is the food, a delicious array of appetizers and entrees that are best described as classic Southern foods served with creativity courtesy of Chef David Barrett.

Deviled Eggs $7.

Deviled Eggs $7.

Starters range from Deviled Eggs ($7) made with Mariah Smokehouse Bacon to Fried Green Tomatoes ($7) to Home-Style Chicken and Flat Dumpling Soup ($5) to Fried Pork Rinds ($7) served fresh and crackling with Blue Grass Red Hot Sauce.

Entrees include a Smothered Pork Chop ($26) made with locally raised pork, vidalia onions, natural broth, snap peas and pan-fried; Shrimp and Grits ($19); and perhaps the crown jewel of the menu, Southern Fried Chicken ($20) served with creamy mashed potatoes and natural gravy.

Chef Barrett was reticent to divulge too much about his chicken, but he did say he credits a mix of spices and preparing the poultry fresh for the many satisfied customers. In fact, he’s often offered to purchase the meal himself if the diner is unhappy with the dish. Thus far, has he had to shell out the cash? “Not once since we opened the third week in April,” he smiled.  “Haven’t had to buy one yet.”

Sway’s menu also features healthy fare, like Sustainable Salmon ($22) and several salads, along with a 12 ounce NY Strip Steak ($22) and a number of sweet treats. If you must try only one, go for the Tagalong Ice Cream Sundae ($8) made from Girl Scout Cookies baked right here in Louisville.

Southern Fried Chicken $12 lunch/ $20 dinner

Southern Fried Chicken $12 lunch/ $20 dinner

Bar offerings are many and bourbon lovers will appreciate the selection. The selection of draft beer isn’t massive, but you’ll find everything from Coors Light ($4) to New Albaniana Hoptimus IPA ($4.50) to Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale ($5) to Upland ($4.50).

Edibles aside, my favorite selection on the menu is – hands down – the Tableside Novelteas ($3). Try your choice of Raspberry-Pomegranate, Peach or Strawberry. At about 60 calories apiece, alcohol-free and refreshing as can be, this is one drink in which you can indulge without guilt.

Sway is open weekdays 6:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for breakfast; 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. for lunch; and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant is open Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. to noon for breakfast; noon until 2 p.m. for lunch; and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner. The bar area of Sway is open noon until midnight seven days a week.

Located inside Hyatt Regency Louisville
Valet parking for hotel guests located at 311 S. Fourth St.
Garage parking is located at 320 W. Jefferson St.

Contact Managing Editor Angie Fenton at angie@voice-tribune.com or 502.551.2698.