Chef Michael Paley’s menu changes frequently with an emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients from regional farmers and producers. Many of the menu items are meant to share, and all of the food is designed to pair with the eclectic selection of beers. Pizza is at the heart of the offerings, but the menu also reflects Garage Bar’s Southern roots. In addition to pizza the menu features local and regional country hams, freshly shucked oysters and a small selection of Southern inspired snacks and specialties. With a nod to the building’s historic roots as a saloon, Garage Bar serves up an eclectic list of draft and bottled craft brews, over 30 Kentucky Bourbon and Rye Whiskeys, and a small list of wines and seasonal cocktails.
“In Italy, pizza is all about regionality. The crust, toppings and shape of the pizza are all dependent on whether you are in Rome or Naples. The Southern specialties we serve reflect our own regionality. Making craft pizza is an art and I love that aspect, but I also wanted to highlight the people and products that we have in our own backyard.”
– Michael Paley
Garage Bar’s pies are naturally leavened, hand kneaded and crafted in small batches. Pizzas are hand stretched and cooked in a wood-fired Ferrara oven. Quick cooking at high (850 degrees Fahrenheit) heat produces a thin, chewy crust that is lightly blistered and crisp on the outside. Only the best ingredients are used: Antico Molino Caputo 00 Flour, San Marzano Tomatoes and Fior di Latte Mozzarella.
The oven was built by hand in Naples, Italy by Stefano Ferrara. Ferrara’s grandfather started the business during the 1920s and Ferrara ovens are now considered one of the most reliable, authentic Neapolitan brick ovens in the world. The oven is powered by kiln dried birch wood that has seven percent moisture. This allows for optimal conditions in the oven to create a perfectly cooked crust.
“From Farm to Garage.” The saying isn’t just on our t-shirts, it’s who we are at Garage Bar. In addition to making our own sausage and pepperoni (among other items) we feel that supporting local farms enhances our community and our menu. Fresh, locally-grown produce and humanely raised livestock is at the heart of chef Michael Paley’s menu and even makes its way to our bar and cocktail program from time to time.
- Woodland Farm, located in Goshen, KY, provide us with so much goodness. Owned by Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson, Woodland focuses on raising heritage breed livestock and farming heirloom varieties of vegetables. Farm manager Kristopher Kelley and horticulturist Stephanie Tittle work hard to maintain sustainable practices. From our pork meatballs to our bison burgers and even the wood we use to burn in our fire pits, Woodland Farm is all around us.
- A portion of our vegetables and chicken eggs come from Barr Farms in Rhodelia, KY, a seventh generation farm ran by Adam Barr and his wife, Rae Strobel. Alongside their other family members, they raise grass-fed livestock and pastured chickens, in addition to many seasonal vegetables.
- Our smoked Nova salmon, which is served during brunch with our homemade bialys, comes from right here in Louisville via Schuckman’s Fish Co. & Smokery. Smoked for eight hours over a blend of hot woods, this is a local favorite. Shuckman’s also provides our smoked mozzarella and blue cheeses.
- Many of our salad lettuces and our basil (when we aren’t growing it ourselves in the warmer months) come from across the river in Indiana via Grateful Greens. A small operation ran out of an 18,000 square foot greenhouse, Grateful Greens offers up many varieties of hydroponically grown greens in addition to micro greens and edible flowers.
- In an effort to support as many local farmers as possible, we also receive a selection of produce from Kentucky Gold Produce in Trimble County. KGP follows strict natural growing standards and are famous for their heirloom tomatoes which you will see on the menu whenever in season.
- Our country ham selection offers two samplings from the great state of Kentucky. Broadbent Ham’s, located in Kuttawa, KY and family-owned for over 100 years, offers hickory smoked hams that have been aged 9 months and given a top-secret cure. While over in Sturgis, KY, Amanda Meacham Coy is now running the 80 year old farm that produces Meacham Ham’s. The five generation-old farm produces hams that have been aged for 5 months and have, what we like to call, a signature “twang.”
- Run by husband and wife team, Luke and Katharine Groce, Groce Family Farms in New Albany, IN provide us summer greens and vegetables like grape tomatoes, celery and chard.