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Please help me pick a restaurant in Lexington, KY

  • c
  • cimui Mar 20, 2007 09:10 PM
  • 5

Hi Lexington Chowhounds! I'm looking for a restaurant to send my parents to for my mom's birthday in a few weeks. I haven't been home in a while, so I don't know the latest dish on restaurants. Of the following, which would you pick? Which place has the least heavy food, most nuanced food, and best, non-stuffy-but-nice atmosphere?

Jonathan’s
A la Lucie
Holy Hill Inn (worth the drive to Midway?)
Grotto
Merrick Inn

Any input is appreciated. Thanks a whole bunch!!

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  1. Jonathan's is one of my favorite restaurants in Lexington. It can be a little stuffy in the main dining room, but they also have a bar area with booths and a fireplace. They have patio seating when the weather is nice, too. The food is about the best I've had in Lexington. lucie's is also one of my favorites, definitely not stuffy! I've never had anything there that wasn't good. Merrick Inn is good, but I consider it more an everyday kind of dining place, rather than a special occasion place. Their food tends to be more heavy southern cooking. I haven't been to Grotto or Holly Hill yet, but I've heard both are very good. A lot of people on this board have raved about Holly Inn, but I just haven't had time to make the drive yet.
    If they are into Italian, you may want to consider Bellini's or Portofino's downtown. Other people on this board seem to be hit and miss with them, but I've always had good experiences with them. This website has a lot of info. on restaurants in Lexington as well as menus for most of the above places: www.topsinlex.com.
    Good luck!

    1. I haven't been in a few years (because I don't live in Lex.) but Holly Hill Inn is a wonderful birthday dinner spot. I would think any mom would enjoy the pretty drive and the beautiful setting for her special day. It perfectly fits your "non-stuffy but nice" criteria, as the resturant's a home and the service is gracious without being the kind of formal where they hover at the edge of the room. Let them know when you make the reservation that it's a birthday, and they will give you a table with a view if you're there before dusk. The food is outstanding every time I've been.

      1. Holly Hill is OUTSTANDING and the drive through the Horse Farms is nice. Also stop in the town ( MIdway)to wander- nice shops and quaint

        1. Thanks so much for your help, adhow, amyzan, and mustardgirl. I just made a reservation at Holly Hill Inn (sorry for type-o in the OP) and took a peak at this month's menu. Looks fanschmastic and I know my parents will love it! I'll see if I can thumb-twist my mom into writing a review of it for the board. =)

          1. Lexington-area Chowhounds, just wanted to report back on this. I sent my parents to Holly Hill Inn and they LOVED it. My mom gave me a blow by blow account and raved about the fresh / pure ingredients (though she claims she's not internet saavy enough to write a review).

            Thank you all, again!! Please let me know if I can ever reciprocate for NYC.