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This article appeared in the November 2011 issue of Louisville Magazine. To subscribe, please visit loumag.com.

The Cuisine: German

The Locale: Eiderdown, 983 Goss Ave., 290-2390

The Scene: This Germantown neighborhood eatery is at once rustic yet refined. The dining room of exposed brick and tables built from reclaimed lumber provides the perfect atmosphere for the über-cool menu, with bar-snack selections such as duck-fat popcorn and main courses of späetzle tossed with root-vegetable ragout and sage brown butter. Plenty of German beer awaits as well.

Second Locale: Gasthaus, 4812 Brownsboro Road, 899-7177

The Menu: It’s the place to go for all your schnitzel and sauerbraten cravings — the menu is authentic German cooked up by the Griepel family, who have owned and operated it since 1993. Will make you want to grab an accordian and do the polka.

The Cuisine: French

The Locale: Bistro Le Relais, 2817 Taylorsville Road, 451-9020

The Scene: Think Casablanca without Bogie. Le Relais’s Art Deco dining room occupies a space in the historic airport terminal of Bowman Field, which accommodates prop planes and private jets. Francophiles will not be disappointed by the flawless preparations of Truite Meunière and Escargot de Bourgogne nor by a wine list that boasts rare selections from Burgundy and Bordeaux.

Second Locale: Ghyslain, 725 E. Market St., 690-8645

The Scene: Open from 7 a.m.- 9 p.m., this cafe and chocolate shop is a superb destination to pop in for a croissant and French-press coffee.

The Cuisine: Japanese

The Locale: Dragon King’s Daughter, 1126 Bardstown Road, 632-2444

The Menu: The ethos of a Japanese restaurant with a bit of a wanderlust for the West. Our favorites are the sashimi pizza — organic spring mix and avocado accompanying sashimi salmon and white and red tuna with tamari mayo — and the Justin Casey roll — tilapia tempura inside, roasted red pepper and cilantro outside, served atop a fiery drizzle.

Second Locale: Sapporo Japanese Grill and Sushi, 649 S. Fourth St., 589-3333

The Scene: One of the city’s much-loved sushi spots. Its sleek downtown location (the original is on Bardstown Road) is where we head for a guilt-free yet filling bento box lunch.

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