Louisville Magazine

APR 2012

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 123 of 132

If You Go 610 Magnolia, 610 W. Magnolia St., 636-0783. Open for dinner Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. preparation of potato gnocchi, the puffy dough crisped like pot stickers. Early on, Southern cooking reminded Lee of the Korean cuisine of his ancestry in its boldness, humility and simplicity. Lee adroitly expressed this commonality in a dish of pork belly, collard greens and black-eyed peas spiked with spicy kimchee flavors that would delight diners from Seoul to Shively. Braised mustard seed and a honey-cinnamon gastrique elevated the down-home flavors. His 610 Magnolia may be one of the most unassuming fine-dining locations anywhere, its understated building among old shotgun homes and industrial spaces on the edge of Old Louisville. Inside, plain wood tables scat- ter between the bar, a back staircase leading to another dining room and a door to a small sea- sonal patio. Te atmosphere is one of friendly informality. You'll see people in expensive suits next to someone in a sweater and blue jeans. (When I lived in the neighborhood years ago, I'd arrive, resplendently scruffy and unshaven, for my order of to-go desserts.) Te relaxed at- mosphere contrasts mightily with the carefully arranged and composed dishes. "I challenge people with the food," Lee said. "I don't chal- lenge them with a dress code." "It's my responsibility to address new tech- niques and see what we can do with them. We learn the techniques, we bring our own spin to them," he added, "but everything still starts with the collard green." One of the off notes during my recent vis- its was the slightly overcooked and dry rain- bow trout, which didn't work with its beluga lentil, zucchini, lemon puree and salsa verde. A dessert with trendy tonka beans and an or- ange sherbet "fluid gel" featured two unpleas- ant medicine tastes, one of them supposedly a Meyer lemon panna cotta. But on another night, a combination of sweetly caramelized Jerusalem artichokes and candied parsnip cus- tard with celery root, peppery arugula and an earthy, burnt bread puree was flawless. A piece of pork belly, coupled with a cool mustard ice cream, nigella seeds and tart caperberries, was so rich and scrumptious I gladly accepted the counterpoint of roasted baby beets (which I usually detest). Should a dinner at 610 be in your future, you might not find black garlic puree, fennel, charred onion relish, soy froth and egg yolk/ anchovy emulsion on your plate, as I did. By then, Lee will probably be trying something new. "We had somebody in last week who said they were here two years ago and the food was different; now they didn't like it as much," Lee said. "I said, 'I'm not the same person I was two years ago; food isn't what it was two years ago.' Just because I've hit on 10 great menu items, I'm not going to become a dinosaur." Q 4.12 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE [121] Among the dishes prepared by chef de cuisine Nick Sullivan (bottom) are (opposite page) red-wine scallop crudo, with oysters, roasted red beets and borscht sorbet; onion consommé with Granny Smith apple and caramelized pearl onions; veal sweetbreads on charred onion relish; and (near left) the 610 BLT.

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