Issue March 11, 2009

Recently reviewed in LEO

Meridian Café, 112 Meridian Ave., 897-9703, www.themeridiancafe.com. With its cozy old-house atmosphere and prices that look right even during a recession, Meridian chef Mike Ross offers up excellent cooking and a creative breakfast-and-lunch menu. (Reviewed 2/4/09; Rating: 88)

Maido Essential Japanese Cuisine & Sake Bar, 1758 Frankfort Ave., 894-8775, www.maidosakebar.com. This popular Clifton spot gains a little extra dab of love with their recent “appreciation menu,” offering a good selection of their Japanese goodies for $1, $2 or $3 a plate. (Reviewed 2/4/09; Rating: 92)

Le Relais, 2817 Taylorsville Road, 451-9020, www.lerelaisrestaurant.com. The departure of longtime Chef Daniel Stage and the arrival of an economic recession have conspired to prompt a gentle menu realignment at Le Relais, Louisville’s longest-lived French restaurant. (Reviewed 2/4/09; Rating: 96)

Dem Bones, 1703 Charlestown-New Albany Road, Jeffersonville, Ind., (812) 282-2277. Run by very friendly people who clearly know their ’cue, this new Jeffersonville takeout restaurant offers up very tasty ribs, spicy but not fiery with a subtle dry rub and tangy sauce cooked in. (Reviewed 2/4/09; Rating: 87)

Caspian Grill, 1416 Bardstown Road, 365-3901. An excellent new Persian restaurant on Bardstown Road, Caspian offers consistently tasty and well-prepared Iranian-American fare. (Reviewed 2/11/09; Rating: 86)

Zen Tea House, 2246 Frankfort Ave., 618-0878. Owned by longtime local restaurateur Huong “CoCo” Tran, Zen Tea House completes a trio of unusual Asian eateries on Frankfort Avenue, two doors down from her Zen Garden vegetarian restaurant and next door to her nephews’ Basa Modern Vietnamese. The food is all vegetarian and mostly vegan. (Reviewed 3/11/09; Rating: 90)