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Lexington, KY advice?

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  • Clare Whittaker Sep 30, 2005 10:52 AM
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Any suggestions on nice places to get a meal in Lexington, KY?

Thanks!

-- Clare

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  1. What timing...I was just coming on to make the same post. I am looking for the same, especially anything downtown or walking distance (I can walk pretty far) from Rupp Arena. I have not been to Lexington in 5 years, so am especially interested to hear about anything new that has appeared on the dining scene.

    Clare, if you have not been to Lexington before, you are going to love it. Last time I went, A La Lucie was one of the hot spots, but I can't verify if it still is since its been awhile.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sprocka

      I was just there a couple of weeks ago and had wonderful dinner at Harvest - near UK - they are famous for their special hens - local produce - very thoughtful meal planning - vanilla bean creme brulee was amazing. Harvest Restaurant
      314-1/2 S Ashland Ave
      1200 Red Mile Rd
      Lexington KY 40502
      Phone: (859) 268-4374
      Also for breakfast or pastries Magees!!

    2. I like Jonathan's. I had an amazing pumpkin seed crusted fish there recently that was amazing.

      His bourbon-lit creme brulee arrives flambe and is the best I've had.

      1. I like Jonathan's as well. I always enjoy the rock salt roasted chicken and the salmon is really good too.Oh and the corn pudding is delish! At lunch time I love his Hot Brown.On a side note I also like staying at the hotel very close to Rupp but super service!

        1. Update from a local -

          a la Lucie (try the Chicken Ferrero) and Jonathan (Grilled Caesar with pan-fried oysters) still fab, as others have noted; Harvest (on S. Ashland) has closed but Grotto, which replaced it, has some of the same owners and offers many of the same fresh, delicious entrees.

          Downtown faves: Alfalfa (ecletic, folk-y, lots of vegetarian; Chicken Talese is an old fave); Portofino (freshly done, city-feeling, with some leanings toward new Italian; choose specials when you can), Stella's New Kentucky Deli for lunches M-F (total focus on locally grown, organic food - luscious crustless quiche and soups; home-y in tone); Hanna's on Lime (breakfasts with homemade cinnamon raisin bread and French toast, and downhome lunches with KY traditional desserts made fresh daily, including meringue pies many days), Metropol - fresh, local emphasis, a bit dressy; Dudley's (fresh, local, beautiful without being stuffy; over 20 years, I've never had a bad meal at Dudleys! lots of horse industry patrons; best Hot Brown in town). Beautiful choices here in Lexington. Has anyone eaten at Annabelle's lately? It's a beautiful spot that has had uneven food. Same with le Deauville. Any improvements there?

          We are lucky to have a steady increase in restaurants offering great Kentucky ingredients beautifully prepared.

          1. I had that Jonathan's fish recently too. terrific stuff. Never a bad meal there. I like Holly Hill Inn in midway a lot and think it's worth the drive. but in terms of stuff close to rupp and cheaper I'd have to say Tomo is good for creative japanese and delicious appetizers.

            I've never had a good meal at le deauville though their wine bar is fun.

            for a short drive there's a fav new place, jean farris winery, out on old richmond road. they have their own wines, which aren't bad and are ridiculously cheap at $3 a glass. they serve popovers!!

            Dudley's is great too, I agree.

            Tuna sandwiches at Alfalfa's are good, but I wouldn't go there for dinner.

            terrific new southern indian place on south limestone: Banana Leaf. Buffet lunch or dinner, but esp. dinner.

            1. Jonathan's is definitely a winner.

              I like dinner at Alfalfa's, but the service can be flaky.

              1. I just found out from my husband's undergraduate student who works at Alfalfa's that all their food aside from the breads and salads and eggs is canned! I'm bummed. But I'll still go sometimes, because for what it is it's not bad.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JennyL

                  Nope - not so. On Saturdays the Alfalfa restaurant manager is usually in the Farmers Market, buying vegetables for the restaurant. Managers for decades have had special relationships with local producers for many of the vegetables served. They also buy in bulk from the Good Foods Coop (organic and whole produce.) I'm trying to think where the canned idea came from. Maybe beans? Tomato sauce? I'm not sure. But any meal at Alfalfa includes plenty of crunchy veggies that have never seen the inside of a metal can. True even in winter - though undoubtedly those veggies aren't local in winter, as many are in summer. Enjoy it all - Alfalfa continues after 30 years to have a particular and wonderful place in Lex dining, and its new space seems to be working out well. Service - well, no question. Alfalfa has at times had almost an anti-service vibe, but my experience in the new downtown location has been that service may be quirky but it's more often warm, quick and capable than at any time in the past.

                2. Yes, it must be the beans and tomatoes. My meals there tend to have a lot of both. And their rice isn't better than old uncle ben's, come to think of it.
                  But...those complaints aside, that's all very good to hear! Thanks for setting the record straight.

                  1. Just a couple of updates - Jonathan at Gratz Park is moving (or has moved) his kitchen to the Woodlands (formerly Cafe' Jennifer).

                    And the chef at the former Harvest (now Grotto) is now the chef at Metropol.

                    Good dining all around!

                    And one recommendation I've not seen posted around here is Pazzo's on Limestone. Very good pizza (subs are more pedestrian), and the city's (state's?) best beer selection bottle & tap.