Restaurant recipes

610 Magnolia, Buck’s, Portage House

Let’s face it. We all have a little more “free” time on our hands these days, and that makes some of us more adventurous in the kitchen.

What better time to try your hand at a fine dish from one of Louisville’s top restaurants than during the coronavirus pandemic, when many of our favorite spots have temporarily closed. After Governor Andy Beshear ordered all restaurants and bars in Kentucky to close their dining rooms on March 16, leaving only take-out and delivery options to attract business, many restaurants were able to change their business models to stay afloat – but not everyone.

We’ve tracked over 50 local restaurants in Louisville that are temporarily closed during the coronavirus pandemic. You can always support them by buying gift cards directly at a restaurant or on the Support Local site created by Gannett. Gift cards bought now can help businesses earn money while you save it to use for a good meal once the pandemic subsides.

In the meantime, if you’re looking to get a “taste” of some of these closed spots, we’ve rounded up three decadent entree recipes we’ve collected over the years from some of Louisville’s top restaurants, including 610 Magnolia, Buck’s Restaurant and porter’s house. Fair warning: these recipes are not for the faint-hearted.

Do you know of any other restaurants that are temporarily closed? Email our food reporter, Dahlia Ghabour, at

610 Magnolia: Roast Leg of Lamb with Apples and Lentils

610 Magnolia Ave.,, dessert 4 to 6

Leg of Lamb Roasted with Apples and Lentils served at 610 Magnolia.  December 6, 2018


  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 boneless leg of lamb roast, about 5 to 6 pounds, tied with butcher’s twine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Apple honey glaze

  • ¾ cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

Start a day earlier preparing the marinade. Place all the marinade ingredients in a blender. Puree on medium speed until ingredients are combined. Place the leg of lamb roast in a one-gallon Ziploc bag. Pour the marinade into the bag and seal. Leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

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The next day, preheat the oven to 325°. Remove the leg of lamb from the bag and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. Discard the marinade. Dry the lamb. Brush the roast with olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place in a roasting pan and bake for one hour.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Combine honey, apple cider, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Whip. Reserve.

Once the roast has been in the oven for an hour, increase the heat to 450°. Open the oven door and, without removing the lamb from the oven, brush a thick layer of honey glaze over the top of the roast. Roast for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, brushing on a layer of honey glaze every five minutes. Check for doneness. A meat thermometer inserted in the middle of the roast should read 140° for medium-rare.

Remove the meat from the butcher’s string and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

apples and lentils

  • 2 cups small green or brown lentils
  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups peeled and diced apples
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped mint
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

In a small saucepan, add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked but still a little crisp. Drain and reserve. In a large sauté pan, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for four minutes. Add diced apples, mustard, parsley, mint, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir-fry for two minutes until everything is well combined. Add the cooked lentils and mix. Transfer to a serving bowl.

To serve: Serve as a family with a platter of sliced ​​roast leg of lamb served on a bed of lentils. Pour the cooking juices in the roasting pan over the lamb and serve immediately.

Buck’s Restaurant: Kentucky Avocado

425 W. Ormsby Ave.,, dessert 1

Buck's Restaurant and Bar Executive Chef Allen Sims' Kentucky Lawyer features a pan-seared lobster tail deglazed with bourbon and then cream to make the sauce.  The tail is then placed on a base of mashed potatoes, laid out like a boat with asparagus as oars and the tail as the rudder, then topped with julienned jowl bacon.  The dish is served with tomato halves.  November 29, 2018
  • 8 ounce lobster tail
  • 2 ounces olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce of bourbon
  • 3 ounces plus ½ ounce heavy cream, divided
  • 2 ounces plus ½ ounce butter, divided
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces Idaho potatoes, diced
  • 5 spears of asparagus
  • ½ ounce minced garlic

Cut the lobster tail in half; remove the shell. Preheat a sauté pan over high heat. Add half the olive oil. Place the lobster tail face down. Cook until lightly golden. Flip the tail. Deglaze the skillet with the bourbon. Add 3 ounces of cream. As soon as the liquid begins to boil, add half the butter. Reduce the heat to a boil. Reduce the liquid by ⅓. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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In a medium saucepan, add the potatoes and cover with water. Boil until softened; stump. Brown the asparagus in the remaining olive oil and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, add the cooked potatoes and the remaining butter and cream. Mash until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Place a large spoonful of mashed potatoes in the center of a plate. Arrange the asparagus on the potatoes in a star shape. Place the lobster on top. Pour the cream sauce over the lobster tail and drizzle around the plate. Serve immediately.

Portage House: Potato Gnocchi

117 E Riverside Dr, Jeffersonville, Indiana, This recipe makes several servings; cut in half to serve four with leftovers and freeze excess.

Dallas McGarity, the celebrity chef behind The Fat Lamb and Portage House, tops his gnocchi with a lamb stew.
  • 8-10 russet potatoes, peeled and halved
  • Up to 6 cups all-purpose flour (if you’re scaling it’s up to 2 cups all-purpose flour for 3 small potatoes)
  • 4-5 eggs (suggested ratio is half an egg per potato)
  • Salt for the pot and finishing salt
  • Olive oil

Boil the potatoes until completely tender in unsalted water. (Pro tip: This will take longer than you think. Do not rush this step).

Remove the potatoes, spread them on parchment paper and season with salt.

Begin adding the eggs and flour, kneading gently until incorporated. You may not need all the flour – that’s where you go to touch. The dough should hold together, neither too sticky nor too heavy. Do not over handle the dough.

Working one section of dough at a time, gently roll into long logs and cut into bite-sized pieces, placing them on a tray or griddle for easy transportation to the stove. If you want the bones to help hold the sauce, press down on each one lightly with the tines of a fork.

Have a large upright bowl lightly coated with olive oil. Plunge the gnocchi into boiling salted water and cook uncovered until they float (it’s very quick so don’t take it out of the heat). At the end, place them in a bowl covered with olive oil and toss to coat.

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Transfer to a colander to drain. As an option, you can also brown the gnocchi in brown butter before serving.

You can eat as is, but the real fun is topping the dish with any unique sauce you might desire, including lamb stew, short ribs in red wine sauce, or traditional pesto. The possibilities are limitless.

Contact editors Kathryn Gregory at Follow her on Twitter at @kitgregory. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: