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“Good food and atmosphere, lacking in service”

The Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge
Ranked #1 of 78 Restaurants in Bardstown
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Description: An elegant and unique restaurant located in the heart of historic Bardstown, Ky. We pride ourselves on our classic dishes with unique twists. We have an ever growing and expansive Bourbon collection, sold individually as well as in flights. We also have an extensive wine list, with something for everyone. For a memorable, and delectable meal and experience, please join us.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“Good food and atmosphere, lacking in service”
Reviewed 15 June 2014

I ate here with my boyfriend on a Saturday night while in the area for the Bourbon Trail. I have very mixed thoughts on the restaurant because some aspects were very good, and some were poor. I would like to try it again and see if our service experience was an exception, not the standard.

The good. My food was excellent. The menu is very unique and I ordered a chicken cordon blue crepe. It was delicious. The prices were very reasonable as well. I got bourbon bread pudding for dessert and it was also fabulous. The restaurant is in an old building that is very nicely restored and they have a bourbon theme that is very unique. All of that was great.

The bad. My boyfriend ordered his steak medium rare. It came out well done, maybe an arguable medium well with very little pink in the center. When he asked for a new one, the waitress argued with us that because their beef is organic, it will not have any red in the center, so that is medium rare. She finally conceded that if he wanted it rare, she would get him a new steak, but he should have ordered it that way to begin with. Not a good way to enjoy dinner.

More bad. When I called around 4 PM to make a reservation for that same night, they told me they didn't have any openings until 8:30 PM, but if we came a little early, they might get us in earlier. When we arrived around 8 PM, the place was pretty dead and our waitress made comments that it had been a very slow night. I question whether we could have gotten a reservation earlier.

Also, they asked if we wanted indoor or outdoor seating. It was a beautiful night, so we said outdoor. Mistake. It WAS a beautiful courtyard outside, the problem was no one else was seated outside. So we only saw our waitress three times and it took a long time for service because she was inside waiting on the rest of her tables. Don't offer outdoor seating if no one else is outside. It's just a bad idea.

Overall, the ambiance and menu are great. I'd like to eat here again to see if we have a better experience, but I wouldn't get the steak!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Kirkdawg98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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486 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bardstown, Kentucky
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Food was great but not the staff”
Reviewed 9 June 2014

Upon arrival we were greeted promptly and courteously. The hostess asked if we had reservations and we said we didn't and we told her that we thought we might like to eat in the bar area but we weren't sure. The layout doesn't allow you to see the dining areas or the bar very well so we weren't sure which way we wanted to go. She didn't understand why we weren't sure if we were going to want to eat in the bar or not because we hadn't seen it. We asked if we could check it out first and it seemed she didn't understand. Upon looking in to the bar area I said it was fine, but it was odd she wanted a definite answer without us looking around a bit.

The bar area is kind of tight and there isn't a lot of room. We did sit at the bar but noticed that the seat covers were ripped and the bar seemed messy. Upon asking what kind of draft beers they had, the young bartender hadn't heard of several styles of wheat beer I was asking about nor had much of anything positive to say about the beers they offered. I found this disturbing because I wasn't sure which of these unknown microbeers I would like. Most times it's nice to have been offered a sample but wasn't in this case. I felt the young bartender just wasn't very professional or seemed condescending about not knowing things or their beers. I certainly wasn't going to ask about Bourbons because it's hard to believe a twenty-something would really have experience in that regard. He also had those gauge earrings on about the size of nickels and it as much as he thinks that is cool, many customers like myself probably don't. Ridiculous.

We ordered appetizers and dinner. They were both excellent and generally the service was ok, but it would have been nice if the bartender offered to get us another drink without having to ask all the time.

I think the problem with this place is the staff. The food is great, but the staff is young. They were nice, but with their age comes certain inexperience or mannerisms that they exude without knowing better. The bartender's language or social graces should have been better. I think he thought his sarcasm was funny and cute, but that's for sports bars. It doesn't match the image or higher end food being served there.

I would say the food was great, but overpriced for Bardstown. Also, by hiring a younger staff, the owners save on money, but keep customers like myself from coming back. There is something to be said about customer service, experience and atmosphere. A younger staff just doesn't know better about how they act or present themselves because they don't have the experience.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Todd N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Underground location...”
Reviewed 31 May 2014

We had delicious steaks…rib-eye and filet…cooked and served medium rare. The sides were delicious asparagus, string beans, brussel sprouts and baked potato. Service was excellent and the knowledgeable bar tender provided much local color to the bounty of bourbons served. Not easy to find as the signs are small, but worth the search. Shelley is a great server adding more local color.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank manewman1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elizabethtown, Kentucky
1 review
“Worth Visiting”
Reviewed 30 May 2014

We tried the Rickhouse on a Friday night and had a pleasant experience. It wasn't too crowded and the noise level was not a problem for a group of six that wanted to catch up on old times.
We started with the house pinot grigio and Bookers.
We ordered salmon with blueberry couscous, steaks and barbeque chicken. Sides were brussel sprouts, scalloped potatoes, asparagus. Everything was delicious! Portions were generous and very tasty.
My only complaint is that the service was so so.
I would recommend the Rickhouse. Leave the kids at home.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank CubRunKY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
Level 6 Contributor
401 reviews
246 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“Food was good, atmosphere just okay”
Reviewed 25 May 2014

Okay... depends upon your reference point in evaluating this place. If you are coming from the big city, than this might seem like hicksville and if you are coming from hicksville this place might seem like a big city find. Either way the food is quite good, all of our various steaks were excellent and well-priced, and we had lots of sides to share for the table (party of six). The service is okay, but seemed that evening to be somewhat slow, surprisingly because the place wasn't all that busy. I think the server didn't have enough to do and just spent time being out of sight. The ambiance is either somewhat rustic or run-down (again, where are you coming from?). The web site promoted special pints that evening, only to find that this promotion had been discontinued several months back (so, how about updating the web site?).

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BarryandJackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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