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)
RIVUE, The Galt House, 140 N. Fourth St., 568-4239, www.rivue.com. This renovated restaurant’s Kentucky-meets-Italy bill of fare is worthy of hotel visitors and locals alike, and the view from the 25th floor only adds to the experience. Entrées start at $20 (for mozzarella chicken wrapped in Kentucky ham) and rise to $34 (for a grilled black angus filet), with a short “bar menu” of tapas for generally under $10. (Reviewed 6/13; Rating: N/A)
FRANK’S STEAKHOUSE, 9601 Shelbyville Rd., 429-3714. This steakhouse has long been a resident of Jeffersonville and now has opened a location in Louisville — in the old Garrett’s location just off Hurstbourne. Like the original, you can expect family-style, casual-upscale American fare, with a heavy focus on steaks and prime rib. (Reviewed 6/20; Rating: 78)
MAYAN CAFÉ, 813 E. Market St., 556-0651, www.themayancafe.com. Former Mayan Gypsy chef Bruce Ucan is back with Mayan Café, and it ranks as one of the most original Mexican restaurants in town, featuring an innovative take on Mayan cuisine — the tropical fare of Mexico’s Yucatan and neighboring Guatemala. The eclectic menu features dishes like two-bite empanadas, Uxmal Salmon, Yucatec Pork Pibil and coconut flan for dessert. (Reviewed 6/27; Rating: 90)
JARFI’S @ MELLWOOD, 1860 Mellwood Ave., 259-9888. Jarfi’s Bistro is a well-traveled mainstay at the Kentucky Center downtown; and now Jarfi’s @ Mellwood (inside the Mellwood Arts Center) offers a simpler version of owner Jeff Jarfi’s culinary imagination. The casual lunch spot offers up salads, wraps, sandwiches and more, and plans to open for dinner are in the works. (Reviewed 7/11; Rating: N/A)
TACO TICO, 5925 Terry Rd., 449-9888. The taco shop triumphantly returns to Louisville with an affordable variety of Mexican menu mainstays and a friendly, welcoming attitude. 84-cent tacos are served with juicy, finely minced meat and fresh ingredients, available with four kinds of salsa. Look for more Louisville properties soon.
EL ZARAPE, 4637 Dixie Hwy., 435-1366. The cash-only, family-operated El Zarape serves authentic, Puebla-style tacos with generous portions of meat, onion and cilantro. Larger platters include soup loaded with crab, mussels and fish and boneless chicken breast with a flavorful red-chile rub.