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Dining on the Bourbon Trail

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I'm coming in from DC this weekend to visit distilleries, and I'm hoping for some great meals, too! I'm staying in Versailles, and will be visiting Lexington, Frankfort, and other towns in that general area. I will have a car, and I am willing to drive for good food.

I need a few dinners: Satuday in Lexington, and Sunday and Monday anywhere. I'm also looking for lunch, one day on the eastern/southern part of the bourbon trail (around Heaven Hill or Maker's Mark) and one on the western/northern side (around Woodford Reserve or Four Roses).

I would love to have BBQ at some point. I don't much about styles in Kentucky, and am excited to learn. Otherwise, I'm looking for traditional Southern food and any local specialties.

Thanks!

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  1. I would definitely recommend one dinner in Midway at either Heirloom or Holly Hill Inn! Also there is a cafe at Woodford Reserve & I have heard really good things about the food.

    For food in Lexington, we have so many good restaurants, so it depends on what you are looking for. For innovative, delicious cuisine go to Azur. For down home cooking, go to Ramsey's. Downtown, my favorites are Jonathan's and Metropol.

    You have to try a Hot Brown while you are here! Hope you have a great weekend, the weather has been great the past couple of days!

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    Metropol
    307 W Short St, Lexington, KY 40507

    Holly Hill Inn
    426 N Winter St, Midway, KY 40347

    Azur
    3070 Lakecrest Cir Ste 550, Lexington, KY 40513

    4 Replies
    1. re: Roadpony

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      We had Sunday brunch at Holly Hill Inn. I had been there about 5 years ago. I prefer their "old" format where each diner picked a main course, and all sides were served family style. I remember some great grits and asparagus! Still, brunch was very good.

      For dinner, we went to Ramsey's and Jonathan's. Loved the down-home meals at Ramsey's; in fact, my husband and I went there twice! I especially loved the fried chicken and creamed corn. That's the kind of meal I can't get in DC. Jonathan's was also outstanding. The pimento cheese & grits fries were a huge hit at my table, as was the bourbon ball chocolate torte. For entrees, I had shrimp and grits, which is one of my all-time favorite meals. Loved it! My husband and our friends had steaks. I didn't try them, but my friends enjoyed them very much. I had a very tasty Manhattan, and my friends had juleps. I liked that fresh mint was used instead of mint-infused syrup.

      For lunch one day, my husband and I stumbled upon Rick's White Light Diner in Frankfort after we toured Buffalo Trace. This Maryland native was pleased to find Chesapeake Bay oysters, and my husband got to try alligator for the first time. Dessert was a lovely pecan/bourbon/chocolate pie. I appreciated the emphasis on quality meats, and I loved the homemade bread used for the po' boys. We enjoyed the experience all-around!

      On our last day, our innkeeper made us hot browns. I'm so glad we got to try them -- very tasty, but maybe a little rich for everyday eating!

      We thoroughly enjoyed our vacation, and hope to come back again!

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      Holly Hill Inn
      426 N Winter St, Midway, KY 40347

      White Light Diner
      114 Bridge St, Frankfort, KY 40601

      1. re: CapraKaren

        I am so glad you enjoyed your trip! I have not tried the White Light Diner yet, but my friend & I are planning on going soon! Thanks for the report!

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        White Light Diner
        114 Bridge St, Frankfort, KY 40601

        1. re: CapraKaren

          We ate at Rick's White Light Diner yesterday and while we liked it, it didn't WOW us. It's the 10th or so place we visited that is "Triple D approved" and it was certainly the least good.

          DT

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          White Light Diner
          114 Bridge St, Frankfort, KY 40601

        2. re: Roadpony

          We visited Woodford a few years back. They had a BBQ lunch that was, well, okay. Didn't really do much for me but wasn't bad. Now, that was about 5 years ago and much may have changed but from my experience, I'd eat off site.

          DT