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triangle park, downtown lexington, ky
AthenianGrill Alfalfa BlueFire Carson's Columbia's Dudley's Great Room   Jeff Ruby's LeDeauville
LockBox Postmaster's Pub Sawyer's SkyBar Southern TasteOfThai Tony's Triangle Vinaigrette WagonBones Zim's
At a time when many cities have struggling downtowns, Lexington is fortunate to have one that is thriving. In addition to beautiful small parks, such as Triangle Park shown above, modern hotels as shown at right, Rupp Arena hosting basketball, rodeos, concerts and circuses, and The Opera House with its professional theatre, the downtown also holds 19 restaurants, some of which are among the finest in Kentucky. There's a good mix. You can find French, Contemporary, Steak, Thai, Italian, Classic, Pizza, Southern, etc. In addition to the downtown core, Jefferson Street, two blocks west of the Hyatt, has shown an exciting 21st Century revival with a dozen restaurants, bars and coffee houses. downtown lexington restaurants
At last Greek food has returned to downtown Lexington. Since the demise of Levas' and The Grecian Garden, this wonderful cuisine has been missing, but after running a food truck for three years, Ilias Pappas opened the Athenian Grille in Chevy Chase, has since opened two other locations, and has now opened downtown. The food is authentic and wonderful. If you just want lunch or a quick bite, there are Lamb, Chicken, Sausage, Souvlaki (shishkebab) and Veggie Gyros ("Heroes"), a famous Greek sandwich. For Appetizers, you can pick from Avgolemono (chicken, rice, egg, lemon) Soup, Greek Salad and Horiatki (tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, feta cheese, olives and classic Greek dressing). But the heart of the menu is the Dinner Entree list : Mousaka (eggplant, spiced meat and bechamel sauce), Pastitsio (ground beef, pasta and bechamel sauce), Spanakopita (spinach pie with eggs and other vegetables), Greek Beef Stew and Cypriot Meatballs. Sides include Lemon Potatoes, Basmati (long grain) Rice and Roasted Vegetables. This location is in the Public Library building, facing Limestone Street across Phoenix Park.
At Alfalfa you know you're in for an adventure as soon as you see the drink list: Ale 8, Ginseng Ginger Ale, Seltzer, Cinammon Coffee, Twig Tea and Soy Milk. Among various eccentric appetizers, we recommend the Spinach Mushroom Quesadilla. Order the Soup Of The Day. It's often quirky but always great. The best salad is the Phoenix, a mix of greens, apple, raisen, cucumber, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, and sunflower seeds. Chalk Boards list daily specials. Entrees rotate by season, but when available, we like their Meat Loaf, a hearty blend of ground chuck, red bell peppers, garlic, red onion, eggs, worcestershire, bread crumbs, spices, roast red peppers and chipotle. If you saw Cat On A Hot Tin Roof and remember Big Daddy's love for Hoppin John, but never got to eat it yourself, this is your chance. Alfalfa makes the best Hoppin John of any restaurant in Kentucky. It contains black eyed peas, brown rice, creole tomato sauce, diced onions, green peppers, and cheddar cheese. That's the classic Southern recipe. If you go for lunch, three sandwiches stand out. The Grilled Avocado on Whole Wheat is a concoction of hummus, swiss, cheddar, avocado and tomatoes. The Smoked Turkey adds lettuce and a cranberry herb pesto. The Original Dagwood (from the comic strip) stacks city ham, country ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, cranberry herb pesto, and white cheddar. Lunch or dinner, save room for Carrot Cake, which includes whole wheat and honey, or Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake. Alfalfa's is on Main Street, four blocks east of Triangle Park, across the street from the Public Library. Alfalfa's
downtown Hyatt Regency's Blue Fire Grill is inside the atrium of the hotel adjacent to Rupp Arena. The ambience and menu are cutting edge. Among the appetizers, we like the Butter Bean Hummus, Bourbon Barrel Ale Onion Rings, and Catfish Fingers, but the Crab Cake (blue lump crab, avocado, charred corn salsa) is the star of the show. It, a soup and salad are all you need. They offer a Soup of the Day, but the White Bean & Tomato (toasted fennel, fresh basil) is available daily and is hard to beat. The Heirloom Tomato Salad (goat cheese, bibb, white balsamic) is the best of their five salads. Sides are pretty creative : Wild Rice, Bacon White Cheddar Grits, Sweet Potato Fries. If you're from out of state, you MUST try Burgoo, Bison, Catfish and Hot Brown while you're here, and the Blue Fire offers fine interpretations of those old Kentucky classics. Their Maple Bourbon Salmon (local maple syrup and Woodford Reserve) and Filo Pouch (green chili creme fraiche) are also very good. You may not have room for dessert, but if you do, there's a Mint Julep Creme Brulee, Blueberry French Vanilla Cobbler or Whiskey Vanilla Sauce Bread Pudding waiting.
Carson's is an upscale restaurant on Main Street near the former Herald Leader Building. It has a rustic inside but the menu is cutting edge. Of the Appetizers try the Sausage Trio, Truffle Fries or Salmon Bruschetta. The Soup du Jour is always good and there are five excellent Salads. Carson's offers a creative Sandwich menu, including a Soft Shell Crab BLT, Pork Belly Beer Cheese Burger and Hickory Smoked Pulled Ham and nine others. They take great pride in rheir Steaks although they're pricey. The $45 Cowboy Ribeye is their signature item. Entrees include Scallops, Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese, Creole Shrimp & Grits and Sweet and Spicy Ribs. There are Vegan and Gluten Free entrees. Sides with any of these entrees include Jalapeno Cole Slaw, Weisenberg Cheese Grits, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and a smaller portion of the Smoked Gouda Mac & Chese. For Dessert you can order an Ice Cream Martini, Derby Pie, Bsnana Bourbon Bread Pudding and a Cheesecake of the Season. There are six Bloody Marys, a creative list of Cocktails and a very good Wine list. Carson's offers Flights of Bourbon, sets of three for $14. But they also offer an outstanding collection of the finest Bourbons, Scotches and Cognacs. Wines are domestic, mostly Californias.
columbia's Columbia's has been a Lexington landmark for 67 years. They, too, have opened additional outlets, but the North Limestone location is still their headquarters. Sports figures, presidents, governors, senators, executives, artists, writers and Old Money denizens have been visiting the Limestone Columbia's since 1948. The classic is the Nighthawk Special. For $15 you get a beef tenderloin broiled in garlic butter, served with baked potato and Diego salad. The special is named for The Nighthawk, Tom Kindall, a midnight to dawn disc jockey on WVLK, voice of rock and roll in Kentucky for 40 years. Kindall is long retired, but the special named for him is in its 50th year. However, the Nighthawk isn't the only thing special on this menu. There are five other steak entrees plus steak fries. Columbia's offers the best Australian wine list in town and the soup of the day is always good. Appetizers and salads are just average, but save room for a piece of the Kentucky Silk Pie, a lingering taste of the Old South. 201 North Limestone. From downtown, follow Main or Vine to Limestone, turn North, and drive two or three blocks. Look for Sayre School on your right. Columbia's is just across the street.
Dudley's has been a downtown tradition since 1984, when it opened as the original tenant in Dudley Square. In 2009 owner Debbie Long and four partners bought the 1889 Northern Bank Building on Short Street and restored it. Dudley's became the primary tenant, occupying two floors. They serve Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch and Dinner, specializing in Contemporary Cuisine. Dudley's retains the classy air the building once had, and is a good place to take a business client to close a deal. They don't advertise themselves as a seafood restaurant, but with eight entrees seafood is the largest single category on the one page menu, and each one is prepared very well. The Beer Battered Grouper is probably their best, but the Grilled Sea Scallops, Lump Crabmeat and Seared Tasmanian Salmon are close seconds. They also offer Oysters and Seared Tuna, plus Steamed Mussels and a large Shrimp Cocktail. If you're not in the mood for seafood, there's also Beef, Duck, Chicken and Lamb. They also have five "short plates," which include Pork Belly Tacos, Crab Wraps, a Vegetarian Array (avocado, tomatoes and zucchini). Dudley's offers several interesting Salads. There's a Kale Salad (with parmesan, cherries, pine nuts and lemon slices in olive oil), Beet Arugula Salad (with goat cheese, pistachios, fennel and a vinaigrette) and Brussell Sprouts Salad (with cheese, pine nuts, and balsamic vinegar dressing). For more traditional tastes, they offer the standard Bibb, Caesar, and Tomato/Mozzarella. From 11 am to 2:30 pm, you can order a Quiche of the Day or what Dudley's calls a Debbie Brown, an open faced ham, turkey, cheese, and tomato sandwich. Of their eight Desserts, we think the Black Tie Sundae (vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce, brownie, chocolate truffle and whipped cream) is the most decadent, but there's also Sherbert, Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie, Lemon Icebox Pie and Blackberry Crumble. dudleys
Great Room is the first floor restaurant in the Marriott Hotel. In this photo, diners in the Great Room look out those ground floor windows. Currently, with COVID restrictions, it's Breakfast Only, but hotel officials promise they'll add lunch and dinner back as restrictions are lifted. It's a great menu. Offerings for Breakfast include a Broken Yolk Sandwich, Cajun Egg Burrito, Egg White & Roast Red Pepper Sandwich, two Skillets (Spinach & Feta Egg, and Crawfish & Andouille Hash), Steel Cut Oatmeal, Bagels, Muffins, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Fruit, and French Market Dark Roast Coffee. The rest of the day is just as interesting. The Salads include quinoa, applewood bacon and torn sourdough pieces. The Soup slot is filled with Gumbo. There are Bowls and Pizzas and Sandwiches. They serve what Marriott calls the "perfect sandwich." It includes chisesi ham, prosciutto, salami, provolone, jardineire spread, and wild flour bakery olive bread.
The day Jeff Ruby's opened at the corner of Vine and Limestone, it became the special occasion restaurant in downtown Lexington. It's too pricey for a regular date, business meeting or a stop before or after a UK game. But if you really want to impress someone, this is the place to bring them. You could just order Appetizers, Salad and Soup here and leave with a very good meal. Appetizers include a Crab Cake, Scallops and Meatballs. The Soup is Lobster Bisque. If you're a Sushi fan you can order eight different kinds. Five large iced Salads are all delicious. Jeff Ruby's is, of course, a specialist in steaks. You can pick from seven, which are variations on Center Cut or Ribeye. Ruby's buys steak from cattle who grazed on natural grass, then were finished off with corn in a feedlot the last six weeks. They claim this adds a marbling to the steak which customers prefer. However, the consensus of critics, ranchers and steak conneisseurs believe grass fed steak has a noticeably better taste and texture to it, that finishing herds off with corn erodes that taste. Food is not the only reason you come to Ruby's. The Lexington site has a definite Great Gatsby/Big Blue ambience.
le Doueville Le Deauville is patterned after a French bistro, including a slow kitchen and some of the highest prices in town. But don't let this deter you, for the food is worth waiting for and worth the price. Their Onion Soup Gratinee is the best in town, mainly due to the great beef broth, fresh onions, and crusty cheese. The preliminary menu is spectacular. It offers Oysters, Clams, Shrimp, Lobster Tails, Caviar, Escargot, Sardines, and Mussels fixed four different ways. There are five salads. This is the only place in town offering Chicory Salad, and it's great. But the Beet, Endive and Nicoise Salads are also delicious. These greens are local, fresh and lovingly prepared (although we don't see any olives at all and the tomatoes have that picked in Mexico, gassed and shipped in taste). Among entrees, we highly recommend the fish. There's Tuna (sauteed in hoisin cream, wasabi oil and ginger rice), Monkfish (herb crusted, sauteed in mussel sauce), Salmon (sauteed in tarragon cream, tomatoes and tarte), Scallops (pan seared in citrus brown butter and risotto), and Bouillaibaisse (shrimp, mussels, clams and scallops in saffron, fennel and a tomato broth with roulle). They're all good but we love their Scallops. If fish is not your thing, try the Roast Duck (with peach compote and vegetable risotto), Pork Chop, Rack of Lamb or one of three steaks. 199 North Limestone. From the Hyatt, go east on Main and north on Limestone for three blocks. On Restaurant Row across from Sayre.
We would really, really like to love Lockbox. Everything about it appeals to us. They favor locally sourced foods and rotate their menus, even the drink menu, seasonally to suit what's available. It's located in what was Lexington's first major bank. There's an art gallery across the hall. The place is classy. Their kitchen is very creative, with Signature dishes like Cornmeal Gnocchi, Woodland Farm Cast Iron Hog Chop, and Kentucky Silver Carp. Appetizers include Smoked Trout Toast, Cornmeal Fried Oysters, and Roast Carrot Soup, which we rate as one of the better soups in town. Their Spinach and Beet Salads are delicious. Their Sides page offers Pimento Mac & Cheese, a unique interpretation of this classic. There's also Grilled Asparagus and German Style Smoked Bacon Fingerling Potatoes. The dinner menu lists only six entrees: Salmon, Char Grilled Pork Loin, New York Sirloin, Roast Chicken, Mushroom Risotto and a Cheeseburger. For Dessert there's Corn Cake or Chocolate Tort. All of this sounds tempting, and except for the Sirloin, the prices are quite reasonable for a major downtown restaurant. Their Bourbon collection is impressive, including all the favorite Kentucky brands and interesting new ones. So is the Wine List. The reason we have a hard time loving the place is the service. Often, it's very slow and rather uncaring. No attempt to apologize for the long waits for food and gaps between server visits. The wait staff at a boutique hotel and restaurant like this should be elite, and this staff is not. However, we keep reminding ourselves that one goes to a restaurant for the food, not the service. Just go with friends, plan on good conversation, and assume food and drinks will arrive eventually.
sawyer's Sawyer's is on the corner of Broadway and West Main Street, but you enter it from inside the closed mall and the windows look out on Triangle Park. This is basically an upscale burger joint, and many of its loyal followers think it has the best burgers in town, large and juicy. You get your burger and then take it to the toppings bar (cheeses, veggies, sauces, bacon, dressings, garlic, mushrooms, etc.) and fix it however you want. The friendly and energetic owner, Jim, is right there behind the counter and knows regular customers by name. Lunchtime lines on weekdays can extend out the door but they move fast. The chili is a Lexington favorite and customers debate whether it may not be better than the burgers. There's a Chili Pie, probably the only one served in Kentucky (or the nation). They have five good beers on tap. There's a Daily Soup n Burger Special. The home made Kettle Chips rank right up there with the homemade rye chips at La Favorite as the best chips in town. In addition to its devoted crowd of secretaries and downtown executives during lunch hours, Sawyer's has a loyal throng dropping by before and after home UK basketball games, since it's right across the sky walk from Rupp Arena. Drive around the back and park, then have Jim validate your ticket.
Southern occupies a former residence a block up Limestone from Main Street. This is a great lunch stop. Not to be subtle, they've named their sandwiches and wraps after Southerrn cities. The Lexington features turkey, honey avocado spread, bacon, tomato and cucumber in a spinach wrap. The Miami has ham, mortadella, pimento cheese and mustard on ciabetta, The New Orleans offers ham, mortadella, prosciutto, salami, provolone, swiss, fontina, smoked mozzarella and an olice spread on ciabetta. There are 11 of these sandwiches plus three classics : Reuben, Italian and Club. The Southern offers Cobb, Mixed Green and Caesar salads and an excellent White Bean & Ham, and Vegetable Soup. Sides include Potato Salad, Cucumber & Tomato Salad and Fresh Fruit. As good as th3 food is here, they take just as much pride in their mixed drinks, again with a distinctly Southern dash. There's outdoor seating from April through October. The photo here shows two tables on the sideewalk, but most of the outdoor seating is behind the house with a thick border of greenery. Parking is a problem. One block down is a parking garage and another block, over on Main Street, is a much larger one.
SkyBar might be our new favorite Lexington restaurant. It is a sleek 21st Century rooftop eatery with spectacular views of the city. It sits atop the Marriott Hotel. The mixed drinks here are the best in town. But they offer some great food. For starters, at Lunch, they offer the city's finest Grilled Cheese Sandwich (sourdough, sun dried tomato basil, cheddar, beemster, munster). But they also serve a great BLT, plus a Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Fried Chicken Club, Avocado Toast, Oven Roasted Salmon, one of the city's best versions of Fried Green Tomatoes, and a fine Soup of the Day. On different days, we've ordered three different Soups of the Day and all have been excellent. Proving their Cool, they stock Ale 8 and Jarritos. At dinner SkyBar really blossoms. Appetizers include Grilled Octopus, a fine Beer Cheese Platter, Fried Chicken Lollipops, those same Fried Green Tomatoes, and a creative mix of Sweet Corn, Bay Scallops, Queso Fresco and Chorizo. The Soup du Jour and Salads are excellent. The Signature Dish at Dinner is their Chicken & Grits (boneless chicken breast with drumette still attached, rondale zucchini and grits in a creamy mushroom sauce with house made chili oil). But there's also Salmon, Pasta Primavera, Steak Frites (Steak & Fries), and a Bluegrass Burger. Dessert options are a Honey Bourbon Cake, Creme Brulee, Root Beer Float Supreme (they add black pepper molasses gelato), Gelato, Tarts, and Sorbet. The bar here is a major attraction. They offer Craft Beers, a solid Wine List, and a tremendous Bourbon and Whiskey collection. The Cocktails are original, creative and memorable.
Taste of Thai is downtown's Asian outlet, and it's a good one. The Hot and Sour Soup with its bamboo shoots, mushrooms, egg and special gravy is a must. Among the appetizers, we recommend the Chicken Satay, skewered chicken marinated and fried and served with a cucumber salad and peanut sauce; or the Golden Squid, battered and fried. There are six salads, all a foundation of onions, cilantro, chili, lime juice tossed with either chicken, beef, shrimp, squid or mixed seafood. Main course soups include coconut, lemon grass and mushrooms with your choice of chicken or shrimp, Lemon Grass Spicy and Sour base with either chicken or shrimp, or a medley of shrimp, mussels, squid and scallops. TT offers ten Stir Fry entrees and six Curried meats. Of these, we like the Sweet and Sour Chicken and Pad Prew Wan (chicken, pork or beef with garlic, onions, chili, cucumber, tomato, pineapple, and sweet and sour sauce), and others in our group like the Pad Woon Sen (your choice of meat with vermicelli noodles). The fish entrees include Catfish fileted, deep fried and then stir fried; or a whole Tilapia deep fried in chili sauce. Beverages include authentic Thai coffee or tea, both cold (it's too hot and steamy there for hot drinks). 100 West Main Street. From Hyatt, walk east four blocks and look for Taste of Thai on the corner of Limestone directly across from the Courthouse Complex. taste of thai
tony's Tony Ricci has invested heavily in his attempt to make Tony's the premier restaurant in Lexington. He has a good start with its location across from Rupp Arena. It's the only downtown restaurant offering valet parking. The decor is classy, and the menu touches all the bases. The Raw Bar serves Oysters and Alaskan King Crab. Appetizers include Crab Cakes, Calamari, Steak Tartare, Mussels and Seared Tuna. There are six Salads and six Pastas, of which our favorites are the Pappardelle Fra Diavolo (heavily peppered shrimp, tomatoes, black olives, roast peppers and spinach), Pasta Pescatore (shrimp, mussels, scallops, clams, linguine, cherry tomatoes in a lobster saffron sauce) and Pistachio Pesto Orechiette (grilled chicken, parmesan, asiago and romano). Seafood includes Scottish Salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, Blackened Yellow Fin Tuna, Shrimp & Grits ande Lobster. Other Entrees are Lamb, Ribs, Pork Chops and Chicken. The Sides refuse to be upstaged by all this. The Five Cheese Mac & Cheese is very good, Creamed Spinach better, and Bourbon Whipped Sweet Potatoes With Homemade Cinnamon Maple Marshmallow memorable. Which, finally, brings us to the Steaks, Ricci's main focus. These are good steaks, well prepared (although the kitchen has a habit of fumbling the order, as in well done instead of medium rare, then tries to redo the same steak to fit the other preference, an unforgivable offense at a premium restaurant). There's Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Porterhouse and Ribeye, with or without Bone In. The problem is price. These Steaks range from $40 to $65, and even the other Entrees range in the $30s. In a predominantly Middle Class city, this makes Tony's a Special Occasion restaurant for most people, an expense account stop for business executives, and a one time experience for visiting sports fans. Lexington has a lot of restaurant options. Maintaining a large enough customer base with these prices will be a challenge.
The Triangle is in the Radisson Hotel, with big picture windows looking out on Triangle Park's fountains and trees. There's also a three season patio. This could be the most underrated restaurant in Lexington. It's suitable for a business lunch or a romantic dinner. Chef Josh Winslow is talented, buys from local farmers and serves Kentucky heirloom dishes such as Fried Green Tomatoes. He layers them with Country Ham, Red Pepper and Cream Cheese for possibly the best interpretation of this classic in the state. There's also Flatbread, Quesadillas and Mussels. Sous Chef Jessica VanHouten offers two spectacular Soups: Country Ham, Bean & Collard; and Tomato Avocado Blue Crab Gazpacho. Of six Salads, the Field Greens stand out. VanHouten lays a foundation of Arugula, Mesculum, etc., then adds Walnuts, Blue Cheese, Green Apple Slices, Strawberries and a Cider Balsamic Vinaigrette. By the time you enjoy the Fried Green Tomatoes, either Soup and this Salad, you'll have already had one of the best meals in town. But Entrees include Black Cod, Kentucky Lamb, King Salmon, Kentucky Short Ribs, Shellfish & Grits (shrimp, mussels, clams, sausage, white wine, garlic, lemon) and Yellowfin Tuna (in cilantro lime). You choose your two sides from Roast Asparagus, White Cheddar Grits, Garlic Yukon Mashed Potatoes, and six others. They're also open for breakfast and lunch.
village idiot The Postmaster's Pub is certainly a historic experience. The building dates from 1810. It was the original Lexington Post Office, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Converting it to a pub presented challenges, which they have solved very creatively. It's worth visiting just to see the building. The food, however, is unexpectedly good. This is a gastropub, a tavern with gourmet beers plus gourmet food. They've taken it seriously enough to hire two certified and experienced chefs and stock an impressive cellar of wines, spirits and beers. You can order some cutting edge items here : Pork Belly with sauce and kimchee, gourmet popcorn, Cheese Waffles, Scotch Eggs (hard boiled eggs deep fried in ground beef), Roast Brussels Sprouts (with bleu cheese, potatoes and onions), Smoked Trout, Sloppy Joes, Mussells, Seared Scallops and Country Ham. 307 Short Street. 381-9493. From the Hyatt, walk two blocks north on North Broadway, turn right on West Short Street, and look for the Postmaster's Pub at the end of the block on your left. There's sidewalk seating in good weather.
Vinaigrette is a lunch stop specializing in Lexington's greatest Salads. There are 10 of them, plus a Soup of the Day and beverages (lemonade, tea and soft drinks). Our favorite is the Blue Grass Black Berry Salad. It includes Mixed Greens, Strawberries, Apple Chips, Red Onion, Pecans, Crumbled Feta, Blackberry Sorghum Dressing with an option to add Country Ham. The Kale Salad includes Kale, Quinoa, Sweet Potatoes, Parmesan Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Sunflower Seeds, Rice Noodles and Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. The Vegan Power Salad is a tour de force : Mixed Greens, Cabbage, Quinoa, Chickpeas, Carrots, Cucumbers, Grape Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Roast Sunflower Seeds, Endamame, and a Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette. The list goes on : The Santorini, Chicken Taco, Orange Blossom, Tuscan, Chicken Salad, Acapulco Caesar, and BLT Deluze. You can ask for Blackberry Sorghum Vinaigrette, Bourbon Smoked Paprika Ranch, Chipotle Lime Caesar, Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette, Honey Orange Sesame Vinaigrette, Balsamic Vinegar, Pure Ranch, and Tuscan, Salsa or Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette. This North Broadway location is four doors up from West Main Street and Triangle Park. vinaigrette
The Wagon Bones Grill is a BBQ restaurant featuring a Western Kentucky spin dry rub. After hours on the open fire pit the pork is juicy, smoky and tender. You get your choice of two sauces : a Pennyrile (vinegar - cayenne - worcestershire) sauce and a tangy sweeter sauce. Their mayo based potato salad is popular. Baked Bean and Coleslaw portions are small. The Cobbler makes a fine dessert. The staff has a curious attitude toward takeout. They don't like it. They want you eating their BBQ in their restaurant and they tell you this several times. They are surely the only restaurant in Lexington which aggressively opposes takeout. We rarely do takeout, but it was entertaining to watch the staff berating customers who wanted their orders to go. The menu is brief. You basically have two choices : Lunch (BBQ & chips) and Dinner (BBQ & two sides). Wagon Bones was hit hard by COVID, closed the restaurant and specialied in catering. They hoped to reopen when restrictions are lifted.
The old Fayette County Courthouse has been magnificently restored and there's a restaurant inside. It's Zim's and is one of the Ouita Michel family of eateries. It's a low key, casual place, but serves three meals a day and like all Michel restaurants emphasizes locally grown produce and healthy preparation. The feature dinner entrees are Catfish, Ribeye, Salmon, and Pulled Pork, but there are nightly specials (Chicken Breast, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Pork Chop, Meatloaf, Shrimp & Grits and Friday Fish). A page of baskets includes Oysters, Shrimp, Catfish and Chicken, all fried. The same ingredients are available in Po Boys. There are eight Burgers, all using locally grown beef. Eleven Sandwiches are highlighted by (the Kentucky Hot Brown, Cuban and Roast Turkey. Six Salads all come with your choice of homemade dressings. There are two Soups: Creamy Cjicken & Mushroom and Soup Beans & Cornbread. But there's also a wonderful Bourbon Trail Chile (locally grown beef, bourbon spiked gravy, and locally grown tomatoes, peppers, black beans and jalapenos). Appetizers include Artichoke Fritters, Cheese Trays, Fried Pickles, Fried Sweet Banana Pepper Rings and Southern Fried Buttermilk Chicken Fingers. The Sweet & Sour Vinegar Slaw is lively, or you can just order the regular Creamy version. Breakfast features Cheese Grits, Pancakes, Country Ham, and Biscuits & Gravy. An impressive Coffee lineup offers Espresso, Cortado, Cappuccino, Latte and Michel's interpretation of the Kentucky Classic Sorghum & Spice (espresso, milk, sorghum, spice).
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