June 5, 2007

Aftertastes

Mojito, 2231 Holiday Manor Ctr., 425-0949. Named after the popular Cuban drink, this new eatery features tapas, both hot (“calientes”) and cold (“frias”) along with tablas (Spanish-style snacks served on wooden cutting boards), pinchos (skewers), bocaditos (Cuban-style sandwiches) and paellas for heartier appetites. Everything but the paellas is priced under $10, with many options as low as $3.99. (Reviewed 4/25; Rating: N/A)   L&N Wine Bar and Bistro, 1765 Mellwood Ave., 897-0070, www.LandNWineBar.com. With its majestic wall of wine, a 54-bottle Cruvinet wine-storage facility and dispenser that’s the largest made, L&N boasts a wine program that’s second to none. New chef Mark Purzycki sticks to the old favorites on the menu but puts his own stamp on the cooking style. (Reviewed 5/16; Rating: 95)   Le Gallo Rosso, 1325 Bardstown Rd., 473-0015. This Italian hotspot keeps its menu short, which seems wise: When you’ve got a small restaurant with a tiny kitchen, it’s smart to focus on a good, short selection of dishes and do them well. Entrees include gorgonzola fettuccine with mushrooms, lasagne and al dente spaghetti with stuffed meatballs. (Reviewed 5/23; Rating: 88)   Melillo’s, 829B E. Market St., 540-9975, www.melillos.com. Famous for gigantic portions, this East Market staple has earned almost fanatical loyalty among its regular customers. The menu — call it “New Jersey Italian” — features Italian-heritage dishes from spaghetti and meatballs and parmigiana to a broad selection of Italian deli sandwiches. (Reviewed 5/23; Rating: 89)   Rite Way Bar-B-Cue House, 1548 W. St. Catherine St., 584-9385. This West End barbecue joint has been a neighborhood landmark since the Johnson family founded it just after WWII. The tender ribs are some of the best in town, and the sauce is like no other — thin, spicy and tangy, with a distinct vinegar edge. (Reviewed 5/30; Rating: N/A)   Smoketown USA Pit Bar-B-Que and Tex-Mex, 1153 Logan St., 409-9180. In a rather unusual menu combination, this new restaurant offers both “Louisville-style barbecue” and Tex-Mex favorites. An order of ribs is more than enough to get your fill of barbecue — their smoked meat is so tender that you hardly need to chew it, and so flavorful that you don’t really need the tangy sauce. (Reviewed 5/30; Rating: N/A)   Frankfort Avenue Beer Depot & Smokehouse, 3204 Frankfort Ave., 895-3223. Not only are the ribs here possibly the best I’ve tasted yet, but even the side dishes bespeak the presence of a very serious cook. Gentle smoke flavor and a complex, spicy dry rub came together to complement the toothsome rib meat. (Reviewed 5/30; Rating: N/A)