|Indian||Italian||Japanese||Lunch||Mexican||Middle Eastern||Pizza||Seafood||Special Occasion||Steak|
Euclid, South Ashland, High Street & Romany Road
|Athenian Grill||Bear & Butcher||Bella's||Bourbon & Toulouse||Charlie Browns||Coles||Great Bagel||Joella's|
|The Chevy Chase neighborhood is Lexington's version of Pittsburgh's Carson Street, San Antonio's River Walk or Baltimore's Inner Harbor. This two block business district plus three outlying streets in the midst of the city's most elite residential neighborhood contains 16 restaurants plus wine outlets, ethnic groceries, coffee houses, ice cream counters, bookstores, boutiques and other upscale establishments. Chevy Chase offers a mix of Cajun, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, 60s, Contemporary, Mediterranean, Greek, BBQ, Seafood, Classic, food carts, and even gourmet ice cream. You also have a choice of white table cloth, sidewalk cafe, roofed patio, 50s style booths, wrought iron tables, decks, red and white checked country and dark wood. Formal, informal or casual, you can find a place to fit your mood along Euclid, South Ashland, East Main or East High. There's also a choice of price ranges. A few Chevy Chase spots are quite pricey, but others are medium to low in cost. Most of these restaurants run Happy Hours from 4 - 7 pm. Professionals from downtown, students and faculty from nearby UK, and area residents fill up the patios and sidewalks. Chevy Chase also fills up after home UK football games, being a one mile walk from the stadium. From downtown, drive out East High Street. There is parking on the street and in two lots.|
|At last Greek food has returned to 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, and has since opend two other locations. The one in Chevy Chase is a small facility with a short menu, but Ilias' mother is in charge of the kitchen and 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. The Athenian Grill is at the back of the large parking lot across South Ashland Avenue from Starbucks. They have wireless internet and outdoor tables.|
|The Bear & The Butcher is a two story gastropub with a great balcony overlooking Euclid Avenue. Most patrons come here for the Beers, Wines and Cocktails. They have a good selection and some unique drinks. The big attraction over on the food side are the sausages. There are only five entrees plus a daily special, but they're all fascinating. The Sweet Italian is a mix of pork, fennel seed, oregona, garlic, marinara sauce, pappers and onions. You get to choose from grilled street corn, vinegar slaw, potato salad, pasta salad, mac & cheese or handcut Belgian fries for your side. The Texas Hot Link includes smoked beef and pork, onions and orange chipotle bbq sauce. We particularly like the Bratwurst, which includes pork and veal, marjoram, all spice, white pepper, sauerkraut, diced onions and brown German mustard. Or you could try the Yardbird (smoked chicken, shaved cabbage, pickled jalapenos and Alabama white bbq sauce). If you can't make up your mind, they offer the Sausage Board (choice of any three sausages served with pickles, sauerkraut and house made mustards. There are House and Greek Salads. You could choose a Steak, Shrimp or Chorizo Taco. A final option is your choice of a Burger, Fried Chicken, Smoked Brisket or Lamb.|
|Bourbon & Toulouse replicates an Atchafalaya Swamp Shack. What you get is Pure Cajun Authenticity. This is serious Gumbo (chicken, smoked sausage, shrimp and vegetables), Jambalaya (rice, smoked sausage, chicken, peppers, onions, and celery), and Chicken Creole (tomato sauce, chicken, green and black peppers all in a white wine roux). Of the various specials, we always order the Crawfish Etouffe (crawfish tail meat, cream, cheddar cheese, chili and cumin). But the vegetarians in your group should love the Vegetarian Etouffe (spinach, sliced mushrooms, cheddar cheese, chili, cumin, and whatever vegetables are in season). Other popular Cajun entrees are Black Beans & Sausage (in a vegetable broth and dry sherry), Chicken Piquant (tomato sauce, chicken, onions, peppers, celery and lemon), Chicken Etouffe, White Chile and Creamed Artichokes & Mushrooms. Be sure to specify "Mild" if your tolerance for Scoville Units is low, because there's some serious heat here. The Sweet Tea and Lemonade are very good, and save room for Bread Pudding.|
|Mexican restaurants keep coming and going in the space above Charlie Brown's on Euclid Avenue in Chevy Chase. Marcos Valdez is the latest to try his luck, with Papi's. Valdez is a longtime chef at Jalapeno's and he's brought his mother and family along from Vera Cruz to help in the kitchen. The menu is somewhat different. It shows some seafood influences since Vera Cruz is along the Gulf of Mexico, and some Spanish and Afro-Cuban touches. We were disappointed in their chips. They're bought from the same supplier as almost every other Mexican restaurant serves. Among their dozen Appetizers we like the Pulled Marinated Beef. Be careful if you order one of their four Soups. Their idea of a "small" appetizer cup is a bowl big enough for a whole meal. You have to make it clear that you want a cup not a bowl. However, they're good, especially the Mexican Chicken Soup. Some Mexican traditions, such as Chile Rellenos, are missing. But many of the favorites are here : El Burrito Grande, Fajitas, Enchiladas and Tacos. The Pescado Veracruzana is supposed to be a Vera Cruz style fish. It's prepared very well, in onions, peppers, tomatoes and herbs sauteed in olive oil. Except that Swai is not a Gulf fish; it's Catfish imported from Vietnam. The Chile Verde (pork cooked in tomatillo saice) is excellent, as is the Rajas Poblanas (Pablano peppers cooked in onions anda cream sauce). The Lunch menu features a Chimichanga, Enchilada and Quesadilla. The bar fixes a fine Margarita. Desserts include Fried Mexican Bread, Flan (Mexican custard) and a Caramel - Vanilla- Brandy concoction. A parking garage is right next door.|
|Charlie Brown's is shown here from the rear, where the Patio is located. The front entrance is shown below in the Rincon's photo. Charlie Brown's is an eccentric little place, more of a club than a restaurant. You walk into a completely dark lounge. There are no windows and no lights, just the faint glow from exit signs and the bar lamps. The area is furnished with long, large, overstuffed sofas and easy chairs. Walls are lined with books. There is no loud playing music and the sound of conversation is swallowed up by the darkness. It is a place couples can find a corner and disappear into. The Patio in good weather offers more light. The best appetizer is the Stuffed Jalapenos, but the Beer Cheese Plate is pretty good. The menu offers 14 sandwiches, four salads, four seafood entrees, six chicken entrees and a Pepperjack Philly Prime Rib. We like their Grilled Tuna Steak, Caribbean Jerked Chicken, and BBQ Chicken, but several friends swear by the Reuben. Sandwiches come with salad or soup or cole slaw. Entrees come with two of them. 816 Euclid, middle of the block by the light.|
|Cole's 735 Main features Classic Upscale Southern Cuisine. Among appetizers, we like the Spanakopita (spinach and feta souffle wrapped in phyllo with shallot cream), but the Fried Avocado stuffed with crab salad and the Sea Cake are excellent. The Roast Beet & Goat Cheese With Arugula is the finest interpretation of this salad in Kentucky. The 14 item entree menu includes Beef Shoulder, New York Strip, a Petite Filet and Duck Breast. Cole's does not advertise itself as a Seafood restaurant, but no seafood restaurant in town matches the Shrimp & Grits and Scallops served here, and the Tuna, Salmon and Seafood Medley are also outstanding. Ribs fans will find Baby Back Ribs or Short Ribs excellent. There's Amish Chicken with mushrooms and spinach. For vegetarians, Morrocan Butternut Squash Stew includes garlic whipped potatoes and lemon shallot brussel sprouts. A Bar Food Menu, available by request, is a bounty of items below $12 : Spicy Duck Tacos, Salted Endamame, Baked Brie, Duck Fries, Wild Mushroom Bruscetta, Artisan Cheese Plate and the Kobe Burger. 735 East Main. From downtown, drive East on Vine / Main, and look left.|
|Great Bagel is a New York City style Bagelry transplanted to Chevy Chase. It's a tiny place, on the Euclid Avenue end of the Woodland Avenue strip mall. Service is slow (20 minutes for a Bagel?) and it can be crowded. But the Bagels are good. There are 18 different kinds, with 12 spreads. At Breakfast, you can order eight Bagel Sandwiches, including Basic (eggs and cheese on your bagel), American (eggs, cheese and bacon, ham or sausage), NYC (lox, cream cheese, tomato and onion), Sprout (cucumber, sprouts, cream cheese), and so on. For Lunch there are eight more Bagel Sandwiches. We particularly like their Reuben, Roast Beef and Kentucky Brown (turkey, bacon, mornay sauce, tomato and pimento). You can add a Salad (Spinach, Caesar, Pear/Walnut) or a Fruit Cup. Or you could order the Soup of the Day. Beverages include Cafe au Lait, Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Mocha, French Press, Chai Tea, Hot Chocolate, Almond Milk, and straight Milk, Tea or Coffee. The Bagels are made with hi gluten, unbleached, unbromated flour. Great Bagel is open from 7 am to 3 pm.|
|Josie's began as a carryout service, but is now a "diner" style breakfast and lunch operation. You can sit at an old horseshoe bar, in booths, or at old dining room tables. As purely a lunch stop, it may be the best in town. The classic combo is the Quiche of the Day served with either a cup of the Soup of the Day or a Classic Salad. The quiches and soups are great every day no matter what the flavor. The Josie's Whitefish Sandwich is either the best in town or a strong rival to Charlie's for that honor. If you're into burgers, you'll love either the Smoke House Burger (bacon, smoked cheddar, Makers Mark BBQ sauce and toasted onions) or the Spicy Burger (pepper jack cheese, fried jalapenos and Southwest ancho mayo). One of their popular items with locals is the Zesty Chicken Sandwich (grilled chicken breast topped with banana pepper rings and spicy pepper jack with lettuce and tomato). There's a Reuben, Hot Corn Beef and six kinds of Salads. In all there are 14 sandwiches, plus Grouper Fingers and Quesadillas. Chevy Chase Place, last business on the right rear, just before the Drug Store.|
Most people think of Kroger as a grocery. but here in Chevy Chase, they also run a restaurant. Off this photo to your left is a glassed in seating area, so you can find a table and eat here even in bad weather. There are numerous plates and bowls available, but the favorites are their Barbeque Plate, Veggie Plate and Fried Chicken Plate. As you can imagine, everything is very fresh and prepared right in front of you.
Joella's serves Nashville style fried chicken, marinated in oils with six levels of heat. The base level is mild, but the highest level is "chicken that bites back." They use the Carolina Reaper, the only pepper in the Western Hemisphere hotter than the infamous Ghost. You can order White Meat, Dark Meat, Wings, Quarter Bird, Half Bird, Tenders, and Chicken & Waffles. There are three sandwich options : Dixie Chicken, Chicken & Pimento, and Chicken Salad.
They also serve a variety of Southern style sides. They're very good, almost worth a visit even if you don't order the chicken. There's Mac and Cheese, Broccoli Slaw, Sweet Vinegar Slaw, Parmesan Garlic Fries, Green Beans With Bacon, Red Skinned Mashed Potatoes With Gravy, Collard Greens & Bacon, and Kale Almond Salad. For Dessert you can have Banana Pudding, Banana Cream Pie, Chocolate Silk Pie and Strawberry Shortcake.
It's an informal place. You place your order and find a picnic table. Drinks are interesting. You can order Lemonade, Iced Tea or Fruit Punch. You can try Cane Cola, Birch Beer, Black Cherry or Creme Soda. You can try craft beers. Or you can try their unique Bourbon Freeze or Vodka Passion Fruit Punch.
|Bella opened during the pandemic in the former Le Matin location at 890 East High Street. It's a project of Bella Notte and is a contemporary cafe, with high prices, high quality and a small but exquisite menu. They offer three great Salads plus Wings and Truffle Fries for appetizers. Their Halibut Sandwich is one of the best fish sandwiches in town, and both the Cafe and Classic Burgers are outstanding, featuring 8 oz. briskets. Sides include Broccoli, Spicy Braised Cabbage, Parisian Mashed Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, and a fine seasonal Soup. Entrees begin with a great Halibut, which comes with polenta (a kind of boiled cornmeal), greens, mushrooms and raisens. The Smoked Chicken is spice rubbed and with hot honey brussel sprouts. There's a Hand Cut House Brined Bone In Pork Chop with spicy cabbage and stone fruit mostardo (a mostardo is an Italian sauce with fruit in a mustard). The Filet Mignon is good, as is the Buttermilk Chicken, although the breading rather overwhelms the meat. The Bolognese includes rigatoni, spicy pork salami bacon ragout, and tomato cream. Desserts include Lemon Tart, Walnut Torte and Tiramisu. Beverages feature Italian sodas and teas and ginger beer. There's parking behind the restaurant; look for the narrow alley just to the right of the building. Out on the street parking will be tight as it also serves the local hardware, drug store and fishing shop.|
|Oasis was the first Middle Eastern restaurant in town, and is great for both lunch and dinner. Under appetizers, you must order the Oasis Dip (baked egg plant pureed with onions, tomatoes, peppers, mint, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil). It may be the greatest appetizer of any restaurant in Lexington. Some one at your table should order Spinach Pie. Lentil Soup is very good, especially if you add a pinch of salt. Of 20 entrees, we recommend the Oasis Platter (three skewers of various items, a chicken and beef shawarma, two falefels, two kibbles, plus grape leaves, hummus, and rice). Shawarma is meat soaked in a tart marinade, cooked vertically on a rotisserie and shaved very thin. The blend of tastes on this platter is wonderful. There's the Oasis Dish (tender chunks of meat cooked in tomato sauce with eggplant, chickpeas, celery, peppers, onions and spices) and Moussaka (eggplant cooked in tomato sauce with chickpeas, celery, peppers, onions and spices). Arabic Mint Tea is exquisite, even though the pots don't keep it warm long.|
|Puccini's is a full scale sitdown restaurant which also offers carry out pizza (no delivery). Especially in the Chevy Chase area, it's loved for its pizza. But it also offers the best Calzones in town, excellent bowls of Minestrone and Pasta Fagole, nine chicken dinners (Marsala, Parmesan, Venezia, Torino, Romana, Alfredo, Piccatta, Pesto and of course Cacciatore), six vegetarian dinners, three shrimp dinners, a full complement of Italian salads, and competitive versions of Ravioli, Spaghetti, Lasagna, and Fettuccini Alfredo. The Pizza choices far surpass anything available at a basic carryout franchise. Appetizers, sandwiches and desserts complete the food, beers can be had bottled or draft, and a wine list is available. Chevy Chase Place on High Street. 269-0404. From the Euclid - High Street traffic light, go half a block South on High and turn into the Chevy Chase Plaza shopping strip. Puccini's is on your right.|
|Sage Rabbit is one of Lexington's best kept secrets. Chef John Foster (French Culinary Institute) has long been committed to locally sourced and seasonal ingredients, knows how to manage a kitchen, and plans a creative menu. The patio is a great place to enjoy a meal. Pastas and Pastries are prepared in house daily. The menu rotates with the seasons, but we really like their Cream of Roast Tomato Soup, Mixed Green Salad and whichever Pasta they're offering each day. Among entrees, the Scallop-Shrimp Bouillabaisse, Crab Cake and Seasonal Seafood are very good, indicative of Foster's training in Manhattan. But if you're not into Seafood, the Local Organic Half Hen is exquisite. Or try the Roast Pork or Beef Tenderloin. Desserts are rich and sinful, and beverages include Earl Grey Tea, San Pelligrino, Organic Coffee, Ginger Ale and Fenterman's Cherry Cola. Unfortunately, the service doesn't even come close to matching the quality of the food. This is the worst service at any of Lexington's legitimate sit down restaurants. The wait staff does not appear to have a clue about how a real wait staff does its job. They're polite enough, but they disappear for 20 minutes at a time. This has already produced a series of negative reviews for Sage Rabbit and driven away many diners who might have become loyal fans. Our recommendation is to go anyway, enjoy the food, and just pick a night when you can have a leisurely conversation without worrying about the time.|
|Ranada's Kitchen is in the former Ramsey's location at the Woodland - High Street intersection, a pleasant four block walk from the heart of Chevy Chase. It's the creation of Lexington restauranteur Ranada Riley. This is her fourth restaurant, and the experience shows. She's a gifted chef who has put together a cutting edge, 21st Century menu with a Southern accent. The day begins with a Bottomless Brunch or, if that seems a bit much, the Standard Brunch. Breakfast Chimichanga (tortilla stuffed with eggs, chorizo, potatoes, cheddar, onion peppers, hot pepper jack queso, heirloom salsa and guacamole) is one of Riley's signature items. Her Breakfast Hot Brown (buttermilk biscuits topped with sausage, gravy, tomato, bacon and cheddar cheese) is a unique take on the old Kentucky favorite. Or try the Creole Shrimp & Grits. For Lunch there are creative Burgers, Wraps and Salads, including a delicious Whaler (Cod in a Cajun caper remoulade). For Dinner you can order your Filet Mignon straight, Argentinian (cilantro chimichurri, tomato salsa, pickled onions, and chili lime fried tortillas), or Blue Grass style (coffee dusted fried onions, bleu cheese, bourbon bacon jam). There's Bourbon Trail Chicken, Weisenberger Black Cod Fish n Chips, Bruschetta Chicken, Shrimp & Grits, a Bone In Bourbon Brined Pork Chop, Vegetable Tikki Masala, and whatever the Catch Of The Day is. Save room for Dessert. You could order the Bread Pudding, Strawberry Cheesecake or Chocolate Truffle Tort. But someone at your table must order the Apple Pie Egg Rolls With Fireball Whiskey Caramel. This makes our list as one of the truly great Lexington Desserts. Ranada offers some very clever Martinis and mixed drinks. Parking can be a problem. Ranada has built a cult following in Central Kentucky and although the COVID year reduced restaurant crowds everywhere, her followers are reappearing in large numbers.|
Suggins is a neighborhood hangout for the Romany Road - Cooper Drive - Chenoa crowd. They hit most of the traditional stops : Hot Open Faced Turkey Sandwich, Hot Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich, Macaroni and Cheese, Hot Brown, Chicken Livers in White Gravy, Golden Brown Catfish, and Barbequed Chicken. The soup of the day is always good. There are six salads, four chicken sandwiches, a Catfish sandwich, Grilled Turkey Sandwich, French Dip and various other burgers and entrees. Suggins features unlimited refills and soft drinks. One of their biggest draws, however, is their Chile. Since Brookings closed, Suggins claims to have the best Chile in Lexington. They mix in cheddar cheese, chopped onions and jalapenos and supply tortilla chips for dipping. On a cold winter day, a bowl of this chile makes for a fine lunch. Walking from Chevy Chase, go South on High / Tates Creek to the Cassidy-Morton school campus, turn left on Providence, and turn right on Romany Road. Suggins is on the left at the top of the rise. It's a pleasant walk through a fine old neighborhood.
|Tomo. Located where East High Street turns into Tates Creek as it rounds the bend in Chevy Chase. Deceptive front entrance looks like small storefront restaurant but opens out into a futuristic wood and mirror interior, remodelled in 2007, very upscale and classy. This is not one of those Japanese restaurants where the cook sets up in front of you at a Hibachi table and prepares your meal right there. They bring it to you from the kitchen or sushi bar. But they have excellent sushi and rolls. Each day Tomo offers 17 specials and six standards. Among the rotating specials, when the Grilled Squid, Braised Pike or Simmered Hot Radish Fish Cake are available, try them. From the six Sushi appetizers, we like the Mackerel, Flounder and Sea Cucumber. The regular appetizers have some unique items : Shrimp Dumplings, Asparagus Beef Maki, and Green Mussels. There are seven soups, of which our favorites are the Miso and Red Miso. From eight salads, we like the Octopus Vegetable, Tomo Special (Greens, Crab, Avocado, Masago, Cucumber and Shrimp), and Sunomono Moriawase (Seafood, Cucumber, Seaweed). Tomo offers 12 dinners. We like the Chicken Teriyaki, Salmon Teriyaki, Saba Mackerel, and Asparagus Beef Maki. If you're in the mood for steak, Tomo lists three. The Yakiniki is a rib eye with onion and yakiniki sauce. We've been there on various occasions with different friends who have tried this and they've all raved about it. But there's a Bite Sized Steak and a Tofu Steak which also look tempting. There are pork and shrimp entrees. If you're in an adventurous mood, try the Beef Tongue, Barbecued Eel, Tofu Duck, or Monk fish Liver. This is one of those restaurants where the dessert menu is as interesting as the regular menu. Ice Cream comes in green tea, red bean and ginger. There's Tucker's Mom's Cheese Cake, and Golddigger Carrot Cake. We can get cheesecake and carrot cake elsewhere, but this is the only place we know of to get those three ice cream flavors, and we really love the ginger. 848 East High. 269-9291. There is one parking lot behind the restaurant and another opening off South Ashland one block back with a walkway through.|
|The Tulip is on Romany Road across from the old Kroger's. It's a dinner only very upscale bistro with a French influence. Appetizers include Blue Potato Croquettes, Escargot, Charcuterie Cheese Board, Frog Legs, Oysters, and Pomme Frites. The Soup du Jour is good, but we prefer the regular She Crab Soup. Salads include Grilled Shrimp, Warm Goat Cheese and standard House and Caesar. There are six entrees : Pan Seared Duck (with green onion risotto, grilled asparagus, sauce and pomegrantate coulis) , Fish of the Week, Scallops & Linguine (cream sauce, pancetta lardons, cherry tomatos, fresh herbs, shaved fennel and micro greens), Chicken Roulade (with prosciutto, mushroom chevre, Yukon whipped potatoes, hericot verts and marsala demiglace), Pork Tenderloin Medallions and New York Strip, a 12 ouncer served with truffle fries. A sandwich menu includes a classic French Open Faced Sandwich, the Tulip Burger (half pound with prosciutto, gouda, basi, aioli, lettuce, onion and tomato on a Kaiser roll), Oyster Poor Boy Fish n Chips (beer battered haddock), and Portobello Burger (fried eggplant, grilled mushrooms, red onion, tomato, goat cheese on cibiatta). There's patio dining seven months a year.|