You never know what you are going to get when you attend a "best of" or "reader's choice" event. It's highly dependent on your participating audience. In regards to food, while there clearly should be some standards, it's largely up to your own personal preferences. Often times, familiar and consistent are the gold medalists rather than inventive or adventurous.
Louisville Magazine's Best of Louisville Bash hosted a tasting fair of an array of veteran Louisville favorites and a few new comers. We first noted that not all of the "Best of" winners were presenting. If you are interested in the full list, check it out by clicking here.
There were family friendly casual establishments like Wick's Pizza and Tony Boombozz as well as relaxed upscale eateries like Napa River Grill and Jack Fry's. The Bristol Bar and Grill was there with an interesting twist on their famously popular green chili wontons. This time, they served it as a cheese soup, garnished with a green chili mousse and some crispy wonton-like strips. Shenanigans and Mark's Feed Store brought a solid show with some pulled pork. Shenanigans served theirs up on a bun with creamy slaw. While nothing out of the ordinary, it was still solid and satisfying. "Best" chef Edward Lee was tabling for Milkwood featuring a duck prosciutto with a green tomato relish. I kind of wished I'd ditched the bread it was served on to get a better sense of the flavors in the prosciutto and relish. Further down Napa River Grill served a green chili cornbread, avocado lime puree, pulled pork carnitas and pickled corn salsa concoction. When asked if this was a regular item on their menu, they responded that it was a collaboration of flavors featured in their restaurant. For instance, the corn bread is featured in their bread basket with green chili butter and the bar menu hosts the pork carintas in a taco. We finished our tasting run with a small sample of Makers Mark 46 bourbon which I find delightful. I recommend it neat or with a small chip of ice.
Overall, spirits seemed high. People swarmed the silent auction like bees, danced the Wobble, and enjoyed the band. In regards to the food, most were familiar home favorites appreciated and devoured by all.
Finally, all my favorite multi faceted events are fundraisers and this one was no different. I certainly hope they raised a lot of money for the National MS Society.