This is the oldest business in our town.
Visitors in the 19th century included future presidents Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison and Abraham Lincoln.. Lincoln's parents stayed at the tavern when a court ruling went against them, leading the family to move to Indiana when Lincoln was only seven years old. Other prominent figures who visited the tavern were Henry Clay, the inventor of steamboats, John Fitch, environmentalist John James Audubon, songwriter Stephen Foster and Jesse James, who is said to have been the cause of the bullet holes in the murals as he was drunk and shooting at imaginary butterflies.
George Talbott purchased the tavern in 1886. Within two years, six of his children died in the tavern, included one by falling down the stairs, and another hanging herself after being unlucky in love.
Queen Marie of Romania is known to have lunched at the tavern in 1926. Likewise, World War II general George Patton once visited the tavern.
Throughout its history, the tavern has been called different names: Hynes House, Bardstown Hotel, Chapman's House, Shady Bower Hotel, the Newman House, Talbott Hotel, Talbott Tavern, and the Old Stone Tavern. The Talbott Tavern was the official name from 1885 to 1968.
On March 7, 1998, a fire damaged the tavern, severely damaging the roof and second floor. The fire also damaged the Louise-Phillippe murals, which have still not been restored. The renovations to repair the fire damage were described as "generic". The Old Talbott Tavern reopened on November 9, 1999.
The old Talbott Tavern currently serves as both a restaurant and a five-room Bed and Breakfast.. A writer for Travel and Leisure magazine described it as having "slightly spooky charm" It has been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel, and was once ranked the 13th most haunted inn in the United States.
It is next to the historic Nelson County Jail. The original bar still is featured in the current bar today. My favorite dish from here is Kentucky Hot Brown.
The Hot Brown isn't just any old turkey sandwich. The storied sandwich has a history originating from glamorous parties at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.
In the 1920s, the famous hotel drew over a thousand people each night for dinner and dancing. After a night of dancing, party goers were hungry but were tired of the usual ham and egg sandwiches. So Chef Fred Schmidt got creative. He created his masterpiece, the Hot Brown, an open faced turkey sandwich covered with bacon and Mornay sauce.
Want to have a piece of the glory of the Brown Hotel? Here's the recipe from the hotel's web site.
The Brown Hotel's Legendary Hot Brown Recipe:Ingredients (Makes Two Hot Browns)
2 oz. whole butter 2 oz. all-purpose flour 1 qt. heavy cream 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish salt & pepper to taste 14 oz. sliced roasted turkey breast 2 slices of Texas toast (crust trimmed) 4 slices of crispy bacon 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half paprika, parsley
Mornay Sauce:In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and whisk in flour until you form a thick roux.
Cook the roux for two minutes over medium-low heat. Be sure to stir frequently.
Whisk whipping cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Assembling The Sandwich:For each sandwich, place one slice of toast on an oven-safe dish.
Cover the slice of bread with 7 ounces of turkey.
Take the two halves of a Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast.
Pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish.
Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese.
Place entire dish under a broiler. When the cheese begins to brown and bubble, remove it from the broiler.
Place two pieces of crispy bacon on top of the sandwich and sprinkle with paprika and parsley. You're ready to eat your homemade Hot Brown!
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