Porcini: Built to Last [Food and dining]

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Porcini has been an elite member of Louisville's dining scene for 18 years.  I recently had an opportunity to sit down with their new General Manager, Jenny Vice, to discuss some of the things she plans to bring to the restaurant (without losing sight of what has made them so successful). 

 

Originally from Kansas City, Jenny came to Louisville to attend school in 2004. While in college Jenny always had a job in a restaurant.  She worked for several years at the well-regarded Napa River Grill in various positions including management where she found her passion.  "I really, really enjoyed the management side of it.  I enjoyed creating wine lists.  I enjoyed putting on special events."

 

Upon graduation from the University of Louisville she took a job in the corporate world.  It was only about a year later when "the industry just kind of called me back."  Porcini was the first place she went when she decided to return to the restaurant business.  She has been there for about a year and a half, but was just promoted to General Manager a couple of months ago.

 

As I mentioned earlier, Porcini has been around for 18 years and Jenny helped to coordinate an event to celebrate the success of the restaurant.  "Porcini has not been known for their special events in the past and that is something I want to do more of because [I am very passionate about them]." 

 

In addition to hosting more special events, Porcini will unveil a new summer menu sometime after Derby. According to Jenny, "We really try to use local purveyors." Chef John Plymale, who has been with the restaurant since its inception, also grows much of his own produce- most famously, his heirloom tomatoes.   Using local sources provides the freshest possible ingredients and obviously helps to support the local economy.

 

Porcini is very accommodating and greatly values feedback from their customers.  If you have a special request or if there was a particular item they had on the menu way back when, they will do everything they can to make your request a reality. 

Owner Tim Coury "is not an absent owner, he is there tableside" as was evidenced in a recent visit I had to the restaurant.  He asked my wife and me how everything was and proceeded to speak with us for several minutes, unaware that I was going to write an article about them.

 

There are some fresh things we will see under the competent supervision of Jenny Vice including a new website that will give diners the ability to book a reservation online.  In reality, however, not much is going to change at Porcini and I think that is what has allowed them to have such sustained success.  It is still an upscale, but not pretentious, place where you can come in jeans and a t-shirt or a 3 piece suit and feel perfectly comfortable.  Not to mention get a great meal.