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    Eat & Swig

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    Today, Louisville’s food scene has every type of cuisine you could ever imagine. But, back in the early 90s, this wasn’t exactly the case. To introduce the city to authentic delicious Middle Eastern food, Chef Nabil Al-Saba opened The Grape Leaf, one of the very first restaurants of its kind in Louisville. Since opening more than twenty years ago in the heart of the Clifton neighborhood, it has been a true staple in Louisville’s eclectic palate. Whether you’re a regular of The Grape Leaf or you have yet to make it out to this delightful eatery, here’s everything you’ll need to know to plan your next (or first) visit:

    What to Wear:
    Located in one of Frankfort Avenue’s most lively blocks, the Grape Leaf offers both indoor and outdoor seating, making it the perfect spot for a first date or anniversary celebration. When celebrating or just getting to know your new other half, feel free to dress up for dinner here. However, if you’re simply stopping by for lunch with a friend, casual attire is perfectly acceptable, as well.

    Where to Park:
    The Grape Leaf does not offer a parking lot. Street parking is abundant along Frankfort Avenue and also on nearby side streets, like South Clifton Avenue.

    What to Order:
    The restaurant does not offer an adult beverage menu, but The Grape Leaf invites its guests to bring their own bottle of wine to be served in the restaurant’s wine glasses.

    As for food, those interested in the diverse flavors offered by Middle Eastern cuisine can't go wrong with The Grape Leaf’s Mezza Sampler as an appetizer. This sampler allows guests to create their own platter by choosing three dishes from a list of The Grape Leaf’s best appetizers like avocado dip, hummus and baba ghanouge.

    Image (Hummus Appetizer): Yelp

    Lamb lovers will delight in the signature special, Nabil’s Mixed Grill. With plenty of savory lamb kabobs and chops, this dish is also served with mouth-watering kufta, or Mediterranean meatballs. An order of saffron basmati rice is the perfect accompanying side and don’t forget to add on a cold Greek salad as well.

    Vegetarians will love The Grape Leaf’s Vegetarian Moussaka. This eggplant dish combines the irresistible flavors of Mediterranean herbs with fresh chickpeas, tomatoes and onions. We recommend choosing an order of pearled couscous and a cup of lentil soup as your partnering sides.

    How Much:
    When sharing an appetizer with a friend and ordering an entrée with a glass of freshly-squeezed fruit juice, expect your total bill to be $22 - $28.

    Wait Time:
    When stopping by for lunch and dinner throughout the week, expect to be seated upon arrival. However, when dining at The Grape Leaf for dinner on the weekends, expect to wait for a table for up to 30 minutes.

    The Grape Leaf is located at 2217 Frankfort Avenue and is open Monday – Thursday from 11am – 9pm, Friday – Saturday from 11am – 9:15pm and Sunday 10:30am – 8:30pm. To see the full menu, visit the restaurant’s website

    Photo courtesy of Yelp

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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