Hall’s on the River

Review by: Michael Stern

Hall’s really is on the River – perched high above it, to be precise: an achingly scenic setting for some fine Kentucky meals. The hot brown, for instance, is a mighty version of the Louisville-ancestored open-face sandwich that includes both turkey and country ham, great gobs of melted cheese, bacon, and a slurry of cream sauce. A seafood version also is available, the pallet of toast topped with shrimp and scallops, then sliced tomatoes, cream sauce, and cheese. Strange platefellows, indeed, the cheese and seafood not quite harmonizing. We’ll take the classic version every time.

Another good regional specialty is fried green tomatoes, notable for their truly elegant crust. The crunch and tartness inherent in the tomatoes are well-balanced by a duet of smooth sauces, one of which has a sweet-pepper edge.

From shrimp and grits to frog legs and wedge salad to ribeye steak, Hall’s menu offers something for everyone. The place is perhaps most famous for its beer cheese, which is a zesty, yeasty spread well-suited as an hors d’oeuvre or as the topping for a cheeseburger.

What To Eat

Hot Brown

Beer Cheese Soup

Seafood Hot Brown

Fried Green Tomatoes

Lamb Fry Sandwich


Hall’s on the River Recipes


What do you think of Hall’s on the River?

3 Responses to “Hall’s on the River”

Dan Hawkins

July 23rd, 2010

This is one of the better restaurants I’ve ever dined in and I have eaten in some of Chicago, Altanta, Vegas top eateries. Halls is as good as any of them.
We had ribeye with onion rings, coleslaw, and a glass of wine and froglegs, onion rings and coleslaw with an appetizer of beer cheese. The steak was very large (listed on the menu at 8 oz, no way) and grilled exactly as ordered (medium), The same with the forg legs they were the largest I’ve ever gotten at any restaurant. and were fried just right. Slaw was creamy and sweet. The onion rings were fried to just the right crispness. The beer cheese was sharp and served with crackers, carrots and celery. There was enough beer cheese to make a meal without the entrees. Our table was outdoors and overlooked a stream with sheer ledges and waterfowl swimming in the stream, Beautiful. Overall I’d say you will not find a better dining experience in Kentucky


Jay Maness

June 23rd, 2009

I’ve been going to Hall’s for over 40 years. It’s been flooded a number of times and it’s had major fires at least twice, but it long endures. If you look around inside, you’ll see the high-water marks dated on the walls.

The Hall’s Beer Cheese found in the supermarket isn’t the same as what’s served in the restaurant. They sold the license for the Hall’s name many years ago and the stuff in the store is good, but not as good as what you get as part of the relish dish they give you before you order.

The Hot Browns are very good and the seafood will range from so-so to outstanding. The chicken livers are very good also. They used to serve turkey fries and lamb fries, but they’ve dropped the turkey fries. The Oyster Parks is a nice appetizer. It’s an oyster rolled in bacon and deep-fried. Another good appetizer (but I don’t remember if it was on the menu the last time I was there): Kentucky Mudbugs (crawfish). The Kentucky mud pie is excellent.


Jim Madden

December 17th, 2008

I have been eating at Hall’s on the River since I was eight. We recently met there to celebrate my 44th birthday. It was probably the worst meal I can ever remember eating in all my 44 years.

Hall’s has had its ups and downs since the Hall family sold the restaurant back in the 80s but this was the worst meal I have ever attempted to choke down. Much of the atmosphere and river charm is gone. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. To anyone who remembers the old Hall’s and is thinking of visiting central Kentucky anytime soon and having a meal at Hall’s to bring back those old memories: save your gas, money, and Pepto. Trust me on this one. I give it till January 2009 unless some serious changes are made.


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