This past Monday evening, we paid a brief visit to Louisville, and ate at Jack Fry's. We LOVED it!
Every single dish we ordered - the foie gras appetizer, the fried green tomatoes appetizer, the lamb chops entree, the salmon entree, and the honey panna cotta dessert - was absolutely terrific. Even the bread service was amazing, with two delicious breads, one containing corn meal (not a crumbly cornbread though), and the other a whole grain French bread with a slightly charred crust. I'm still salivating over the breads and the salmon, four days later!
As noted above, this was on a Monday evening. Because our timing was uncertain in advance, and because it was "only" a Monday, we did not make a reservation. We arrived around 6:15 and were told we could be seated immediately at the bar, or wait two hours for a table. Easy choice. As it turned out, the bartender was extremely knowledgeable about the entire menu (as much as I would expect a good waitstaff to be) so we were quite happy at the bar. I chatted with the hostess and she said they don't fill the reservations up all that far in advance, only about a week for weekend times, so it shouldn't be terribly difficult to get a reservation if you call in advance. Next time, I'll know enough to make an advance reservation, although it worked out fine this time.
Jack Fry's has been around since 1933. However, their menu has evolved over the years, as it is very contemporary. (I doubt they were serving salmon crusted with almonds and pistachios 10-20 years ago!)
Here's one thing I don't understand. I've visited Louisville occasionally over the years, and have dined at numerous upscale restaurants, including some ranked as among the best in town. Places I've been include Lilly's, Le Relais, the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hilton, Asiatique, and Mayan Gypsy. (No, I haven't yet been to Proof on Main or 610 Magnolia, but they're on my radar.) I usually refer to articles and discussions on the internet for my choices, including Chowhound as well as other sites. What I don't understand is why I haven't seen Jack Fry's mentioned in those discussions. I thought it was outstanding, as good as those other higher-end places. Granted, the atmosphere may be more busy/loud and not as spacious, but gee whiz, if you want creative, delicious food, Jack Fry's really deserves consideration. Did I mention that we loved it? :)
Bravo, Jack Fry's!