It is time to take a journey downtown and up eight floors towards the sky to the hip, swanky, laid back and comfortable 8UP restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge. The scene first beckons like Chicago or Los Angeles, but after a few moments Louisville’s smooth southern hospitality weaves its way in.
In the words of Executive Chef Jacob Coronado, “At 8UP we nourish our guests’ bodies by providing quality delicious food, but it is also important to create an experience by taking the guest on a culinary journey as envisioned in our minds.” Chef Coronado truly delivers, so step into 8UP and explore all it has to offer.
The menu at 8UP is delightfully designed into four categories – small, medium, large and extra-large. An absolutely delicious way to start the journey is with the New York Strip tartare. It takes all of the savory-ness of an exceptional cut of meat and transforms it down into delectable hand-held pieces to enjoy. The horseradish snow and pickled red onion pop and accentuate the flavor profile of the dish. The sous vide egg yolk round out the flavor appropriately as it all reaches your lips via focaccia wisps. The fresh ingredients make this appetizer mouthwatering, and locally-sourcing their food is a practice to which 8UP commits.
“About 99 percent of our proteins and produce are local,” Chef Coronado says with a smile.
The butternut squash is also a warm and wonderful appetizer option with impeccable presentation. It arrives to the table with the puree artfully swirling and the bottom of the cup accented with ginger crisps. The server then pours in the rich, smooth, golden squash bisque and an amazingly cozy soup experience follows.
This whimsical design and presentation is what 8UP’s culinary teams enjoys most. “We have high energy in our kitchen and love to have fun with the food,” says Chef Coronado. “Louisville is such a foodie city and grows so much every year. I feel like the whimsical aspect helps to set us apart a bit while still tying into the movement of Louisville’s food scene.”
The Amish Duck will treat your taste buds as well with a smooth meat joined by liquid pear raviolis that explode in your mouth with rich sugary goodness. These are joined together on your plate with a house made root beer molasses drizzled over the plate. Its aroma pulls you in from the moment the dish hits the table and accents every bite.
Close your meal with a s’more ice cream sandwich that’s everything you would hope, a delicious signature cocktail from the bar and you’ve traversed one of the best culinary journeys Louisville has to offer.
In the Dining Room, Chef Coronado runs a three-course “Chef FEED ME!” menu for $33 Monday through Thursday nights which he describes as a “fun and delicious experience.” They also offer a late night Happy Hour every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Features include half-price select pizzas, $5 well cocktails, $1 off draft beers (excluding Bud Light) and a nightly $5 shot. VT
8UP is located at 350 W. Chestnut St. For more information, visit 8uplouisville.com.
STORY BY NICHOLAS MOORE