Restaurant Review, Rails Restaurant and Bar
Live in Oldham County Restaurant Review
Rails Restaurant and Bar
By: Carmen Stolt, July 2015
I have to admit, if my husband and I are brainstorming ideas for dinner locations, we seldom, if ever think of LaGrange.
Sure, there are plenty of chain restaurants to choose from, but that is not really our scene. We like unique, we like local, we like fresh.
I have to say that Rails Restaurant and Bar was a pleasant surprise.
For all of you looking for the cliff notes of this review here are the highlights: Caprese Salad, Great Service, Lamb Empanadas, Extensive Wine Selection, Food Sourced Locally, Gazpacho soup, Date Night, Chicken and mind blowing mash potatoes, nice decor, 3 layer dark chocolate fudge cake.
At the suggestion of our server, I tried a nice Chardonnay and my husband had the Rails Red brew on tap. What? Drinks don’t count as a course? My meals do.
My husband and I were very impressed with their large selection of bourbons, wines, signature drinks and beer on tap. A great way to start any meal.
Real First Course.
Caprese Salad. Make that the best caprese salad I have ever had the pleasure of consuming in my entire life. What an incredible difference it makes when you are served fresh, local ingredients. Heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh basil, parsley oil, balsamic vinegar reduction and of course- freshly ground pepper. Every bite was a sweet reminder of some forgotten time when people had farms, grew their own vegetables and ate the fruit directly from the vine. Skip the house salad with ranch. Order the caprese salad.
It is sad that in today’s world we associate the word appetizer with fried cheeses, greasy potato skins, or wilted chips- piled high with what I am sure used to be cheese at one point. Where is the imagination?
I do not think that my first choice would have been lamb empanadas for an appetizer, but now that I have tried them, it will be hard to order anything else. Flaky pastry stuffed with locally raised ground lamb, seasoned with olives, tomatoes, red wine, peppers and onion. Gently fried and lightly drizzled with mint sauce. The empanadas were delicious. After my last bite, I considered licking the plate or ordering another, but I knew that would probably be frowned upon and that there was more food to come.
Served cold. The head chef personally delivered this dish, to make absolute sure that we were aware this soup is supposed to be served cold. Not hot. Cold. Cold Soup. This is the perfect dish for any hot weather day. It can be served either chunky or smooth- and trust me when I say it is worth trying at least once. Fresh tomatoes, cilantro, with little avocado chunks ( a welcomed addition). Served with lightly toasted pita slices, perfect for dipping or scraping every last bite from the sides of your bowl.
Comment on the Wait Staff.
We were very pleased with our waitress for the evening. She patiently waited for us to finish each course before taking away our dish. She was attentive without being overbearing. I am sure that you have been to a restaurant, in the middle of a story and the server comes over to ask you a question in the middle of your punch line. No jokes were ruined this evening. Our server did not interrupt our conversations.
Main Course. Fourth Course.
Grilled chicken with mornay sauce served with mashed potatoes. Scratch that. Served with the most amazing mashed potatoes I have had in a very long time. When placed before you, the dish looks very plain jane- that is to say- it looks just like a chicken and mashed potato dish. It doesn’t look like anything special. My advice: Cut a small piece of chicken, smother it with a dollop of mashed potatoes and insert into mouth. Let the flavors mix and settle in your mouth. It will be at that moment when you will think to yourself- this is more than chicken and mashed potatoes.
Fifth Course. Just Kidding. Dessert.
More advice. When your server asks you if you saved room for dessert, say yes. Always say yes.
We were served a 3 layer, dark chocolate fudge “Decadent Chocolate Cake” with dark chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream and fresh strawberries. This is not a dessert. This is a love affair. Every bite was worth the several mile walk in my future.
In Summary. If you were looking to repeat our exact evening, you should dine on a Tuesday evening at 7 pm and make sure to tell your server that you want the chef to highlight the best items on the menu. Start there and you will not be disappointed. This is american cuisine featuring locally raised grass fed beef, bison, lamb, pork and vegetables fresh from the farmers market. Meals are priced between $12 and $28.
I do not think I will be eating here every week, but I will definitely keep this in mind for any date nights or special occasions. I think the next time that my husband and I are brainstorming diner locations, Rails will make the short list.
Remember. Shop, Buy, Eat, Drink Local. Live in Oldham County.
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