Happy Friday, y’all! We’re back with another installment of the #LocalFoodieFriday series, and I’m so excited to highlight this restaurant. I’ve lived in the suburbs all my life, so I never really got to have that feeling of having a “neighborhood restaurant.” As much as many chain places like to bill themselves as your neighborhood spot to be, they just don’t have the charm or vibe of a local grub spot.
4 Seasons is what I’ve been looking for all this time. Opened in 2018, this small Bulgarian restaurant is right off of Bardstown Road in Fern Creek, just 5 minutes from my house in Jeffersontown. While it looks small and unassuming, the interior is inviting and the staff is friendly. We feel blessed to be on good terms with the owner and chef, Valentine, and I love that his daughter Diana knows that I want a glass of brandy to accompany my water as soon as we sit down.
But hang on: Bulgarian food? What even is that? While Louisville has an active Bulgarian community, few Central European immigrants opt for the restaurant life, so you can be forgiven for being entirely in the dark about this particular cuisine. Bulgaria is situated near the Mediterranean Sea and shares borders with some Mediterranean countries, so the food may remind you of Greek food with some Turkish influence. Kebabs, phyllo pastry, and feta cheese feature prominently on the menu, and you can always finish your meal with a healthy portion of baklava. Oh, and like any former Soviet republic worth its salt, don’t forget the alcohol. Bulgarian wines, beers, and brandies are on offer, with a special hangover soup for when you take a sip more than you should’ve.
My husband Michael and I decided to return to 4 Seasons recently with friends in tow to try and make some more converts, and I definitely think we achieved our mission! We started with some appetizers of hummus, pita bread, falafel, and Snow White salad – a delicious Bulgarian dish that may remind you of whipped tzatziki sauce with more heft added from chopped walnuts. For entrees, we opted to go in different directions to try and taste the whole menu. Sausages with a side of fries, gyros, a grilled meat platter, and delicious warming gyuveche graced our table. For those going in winter, the gyuveche is a must: a warm vegetable stew with mozzarella and feta cheeses, topped with an egg that cooks in the clay pot it’s served in. The only thing that could possibly make it more comforting is the shot of brandy that you’ll want to wash it down with!
Finally, a meal at 4 Seasons wouldn’t be complete without dessert (and a post dinner coffee, or maybe a brandy – can you see there’s a theme here?). We’ve tried almost every dessert they offer, and recommend the chocolate layer cake or the baklava. The Napoleon cake deserves a mention as well, but this time we opted for a simple melba; who doesn’t love an old-fashioned ice cream sundae? I never skip dessert or drinks here, so I’m glad the prices are reasonable. Far from saving me money, it just gives me an excuse to try everything they have!
4 Seasons is more than just a restaurant to us. It’s a place where we can go when we are stressed or tired and we know we’re going to enjoy ourselves. It feels special to be regulars of a small local spot, and we’ll cherish this place for as long as they’ll have us. If you’re wanting to explore a new cuisine that you may not have tried before, I recommend giving it a shot. The charm and love that has gone into this place can’t be missed, and I hope you leave with a belly and heart more full than when you entered. For more information, check out their website here. I hope to see you there one day!