It's located in Cold Spring, Kentucky and it's off the beaten path. To be honest, it's a little out of the way but the view is worth it. It's sort of on the edge of a valley with a river at the bottom and there's a beautiful view from the restaurant and from the car on the way there. This place is welcoming and homey. It has real live Cajun flavor. I heard about it from a local and regulars were there pulling on beers at the bar.
If locals like it…
I'm not local but I can tell you there is nothing I would have changed about Knotty Pine on the Bayou. You absolutely feel like you're in New Orleans when you're there and the service is five stars.
The food is fabulous. I enjoyed the alligator bites —taste like chicken — as an appetizer ($13.95, served with creole sauce). I then plowed through a side salad ($4.95) accompanied with a generous supply of bleu cheese. The coup de grace was probably the gumbo: the gumbo (cup $5.95, small bowl $8.95) was straight-from down-home and tasted like it came straight from the French Quarter. It was 100 percent down-home NOLA. I finished it off with a mouthwatering and perfectly-cooked steak, blackened just like Bourbon Street does it accompanied with country green beans. I did not have room for dessert.
I'm wanting to go there again; this place is worth being a destination restaurant if you're within a couple hours drive. Besides the steak, they offer etouffee, red beans and rice, surf and turf, oysters bienville, frog legs, and crawfish boils. My wife has googled the menu (she does that) and swears she's going there just for the appetizer of spinach and artichoke rangoons served with chili sauce ($9.95).
The whole place made me feel like I was in the French Quarter: the wire chairs, the cozy, small home feeling, the warped wooden floors. I love New Orleans and it was great to find a little bit of Cajun charm north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Every single detail at the Knotty Pine was taken care of. They even had Abita beer available (a New Orleans brewery!): I was drinking the Purple Haze, a raspberry beer, which was okay. When I switched to the Wrought Iron IPA I was much happier, though. The point, though, is that in Northern Kentucky, I was able to drink two New Orleans beers. (I could've done more, of course, but I'm a working man.)
Knotty Pine is great: it alone is a really good reason to visit the god-forsaken state of Kentucky. Even the chance of running into a UK fan couldn't take the luster off this gem.