[Dining Out] RESTAURANTS & REVIEWS
PHOTO BY TED TARQUINIO THE BUZZ
t is the quintessential summer food, ubiq- uitous at ballparks around America: the hot dog. Not to love it is almost unpatri- otic, and just in bad taste, really. However, if you feel meat in tube form, as Anthony Bourdain lovingly calls it, is not so- phisticated enough for your palate, perhaps the lamb wiener ($8) at Le Coop: Bistro a Vins (732 E. Market St., 410-2888) will change your tune. Te new restaurant's chef, Bobby Benjamin, originally hails from the Northeast, where finding the best hot dog is a competitive sport. He says it's been hard for him to find a good dog in the South. "I wanted to bring an awesome dog here — one that I would want to eat all the time," says Benjamin. He starts with a frankfurter made with ground lamb and what the chef says really makes it tasty — lamb casing. Tis
alone makes the dog succulent and flavorful, even before the toppings. It's smothered with just the right amount of house-made green tomato mustard and onion-and-pear chow- chow. Te chowchow is a symphony of well- rounded flavors with the sweetness of pear, the clean flavor of pickled onion, earthy cab- bage and a bit of eucalyptus leaf for a minty bite to accompany the lamb. All of this is then deposited in a butter-toasted bun. But don't forget fries. Perfectly sliced pota- to fries are tossed in duck fat, Gruyere cheese, a little salt and fines herbes (a classic French blend of parsley, chive, tarragon and chervil). It is a perfect July lunch — tastes like free- dom, even if it is a lamb wiener served at a French bistro.
— Melissa Duley
7.12 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE