Eat Local Lex: Because (sadly) you can't eat brunch for every meal! - Lexington Luminary

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Friday, August 31, 2018

Eat Local Lex: Because (sadly) you can't eat brunch for every meal!

New sports bar from Matt Jones and Kentucky Sports Radio crew about to open (NOW OPEN)

Confession:  I've never been a KSR person - no offense to Matt, he's been KILLING IT since 2007, I just don't care that much about the innermost workings of UK sports - but I am SO excited to see new life breathed into 1030 South Broadway...again.  Especially following the prompt exit of Lucky's.  District Sport & Tap was a massive flop, and believe it or not, their adjacent business Big Whiskey failed even harder.  As a big fan of Saddle Ridge immediately after undergrad (I know, I know, spare me the scolding) I want this place to succeed in some form or another.  The space is fantastic and perfectly-suited for a sports bar, and being adjacent to UK's campus doesn't hurt, either.  On the flip side - literally - there is a Tilted Kilt going in.  Fans of The Pub (RIP) and Hooters will be thrilled.  How do you think side-by-side sports bars will fare?



Have you ever had a camel burger?  Sustainably farmed in and sourced from Australia, obviously.  Do you enjoy an abundance of mussels on Mondays?  NOW you do!  I love Napa Prime's original location AND their food truck.  Lexington could not be luckier to add this gem to their culinary compilation.  MORGAN could not be in more trouble with the PB&J and Bourbon Bacon Jam burgers so close to the heart of downtown!  Upon recently learning that our ABC inspector is as big a foodie as yours truly, I asked him to let me know when this was going to open, and I'm told October 2 is the lucky day!


Lexington bakery moves second location to Richmond Road

My second-favorite cupcakery, after BabyCakes, of course!


This is a good list, HOWEVER it's missing a couple key locations.  Le Deauville's fantastic cheese plate (ok, ok, technically not 'charcuterie'), which is only $8 during happy hour!


Also missing from the lineup is PieTana's Charcuterie Board, dubbed by our ABC inspector as 'the best in town.'  I believe it.


Not going to lie - I went to the 'new' restaurant just once, exactly one year ago yesterday (September 12, which was significant for other reasons that make it memorable) - and the experience was completely forgettable.  The Chevy Chase/Ashland Park area desperately needs a quintessential Mexican eatery, so I'm crossing my fingers for success in this reincarnation.  I've heard good things so far!



Former UK football players bring Short and Bourbon streets together at Creaux

I've had my eye on this place since late 2017, and their website STILL doesn't have a food menu 😩 despite what this article teases.  I've also scrolled through their Facebook page until I almost forgot what I was looking for - to no avail.  I can't wait to try a Slurricane, but I reeeeeeeeeally want to pair it with some authentic Creole cuisine!  Regardless of the food situation, the next time my friend Matt’s jazz trio plays, I'll be there!  If you haven't heard Paper Moon, you're missing out on some of Lexington's best live music!



Former Lexington chef opens new restaurant at Richmond winery

It doesn't get much more legitimate than Lexington's own Chef Ranada Riley, who has appeared on Food Network not once, but twice!  If you love Lexington Diner, a downtown establishment with which she is no longer affiliated, no doubt you will be pleased with Ranada's, The Bistro at Chenault Vineyards.

Another restaurant at Hamburg closes; only one local location still open

For sentimental reasons, I'm a little sad to see this particular Cosi close; my college roommates and I loved the tabletop s'mores.  At least there's still the Lexington Center location to feed the downtown crowd.

Nicholasville bourbon, cigar bar expanding in Brannon Crossing

I'm so happy about the success and support Jake's is experiencing, from both economic and personal standpoints.  Not only did I have a great experience there as a guest of Barry Brinegar and the Lexington Bourbon Society earlier this year, but Jake and his family now own the house my cousins sold when they moved to Sewanee last year.  The environment is very warm and welcoming, with an emphasis on education, which is great for those of us whom you wouldn't consider bourbon or cigar aficionados. 


Where to Eat Now

I didn't intend to comment on exactly half of the article's featured restaurants/bars.  Oops.  Oh, well.  Almost as often as I'm quizzed about brunch locales do I receive the same assortment of questions as they pertain to regular meals.  Who has the best patio downtown?  Who has the best happy hour on the southside?  I'll get into those specifics someday.  For now, this is a lot of food for thought...and eating.

Apollo Pizza & Beer Emporium:  There's no question that the Leestown Road corridor needs more food, but pizza?  Not sure that's the category they've been craving.  Still, with the craft beer assortment they boast, I don't think anyone on the northwest side will be complaining!

Hayden's Stockyard Eatery:  Shame on me for not having been here yet, especially knowing that they serve BRUNCH!  Check out that Ms. Phyllis' Biscuit...😍

J. Gumbo's:  I must be on a Creole/Cajun kick or something, because once again I find my mouth watering at the thought of some Étouffée.

Mr. Brew's Taphouse:  My friend and high school classmate, Nate Canavera, owns this franchise, so everyone go patronize it or else! 😚 If that mild threat didn't convince you, go for the MASSIVE draft beer selection (over 60!) or my personal favorite, Mr. Brews Peanut Buster.  If you haven't caught on by now, I LOVE burgers, especially obscure ones.

Oscar Diggs:  What do you mean you haven't been yet?!  Don't let the name scare you - it's in homage to the Wizard of Oz's 'real' name - and the space has been beautifully reworked by the talented Rebecca Burnworth, featuring (of course) a stunning green tile fireplace and kitchen backsplash.  It's hard to believe Merit Furniture called 155 North Limestone home for almost 60 years before this transformation.  This collaboration between Gasto Gnomes (former) food truck and Rooster Brewing (hailing from Paris, KY) is not to be missed!

Pearls:  This one's so fresh, it doesn't have a website yet (that I could find)!  Going into the space formerly occupied by Limestone Blue and Giacomo's (RIP x2), this small but sweet spot hails from some of the culinary masterminds behind County Club and Bar Ona.

PieTana:  Once again, I can't say enough good things about PieTana (nee:  PieHole).  Nestled a stone's throw from the train tracks on Rosemont Garden, owner Sean Nealey has created an intimate, engaging environment for the lucky residents of the Southland neighborhood (and its fans, including yours truly).  Epitomizing 'Kentucky Proud,' their menu includes ingredients from nearby Winchell's, Blue Door Smokehouse, and West Sixth, to name a few.  Pro tip:  If you find Sean behind the bar, he might just let you play DJ, complete with a tap handle 'microphone' and all. 😉

Sedona Taphouse:  This one eludes me a little bit, as I've never seen nor heard of the franchise before.  With a name like that one would assume they boast an impressive array of beer, and my first visit last night confirms as much.  In glancing at the brunch menu I am encouraged by their moderate selection, and my everyone in my party was pleased with their entrees.  My aunt and I thoroughly enjoyed the Hand Cut Filet Mignon with garlic whipped potatoes and asparagus, but the Crab Stuffed Shrimp and Chuckawalla Chicken look equally intriguing.  The owners are listed as Eric & Lori Rossi...of Rossi's?  Hmm...

The Amsden Bourbon Bar:  I was fortunate to see this teeny, tiny, but cozy and beautifully  renovated space in its 'during' phase, and it's even more stunning finished.  If you go, try to piggyback your visit off another event happening in the surrounding square, and be sure to check out the adjoining Amsden (former bank building) mixed retail spaces, including a coffee club, mercantile, and clothing boutique.

The Ruddy Duck Grille:  This one has an interesting story.  The owner, Keith Clark, is also the original owner of Cheapside and current owner of both The Grey Goose and Blue Heron Steakhouse on Jefferson Street (and former owner of The Grey Goose in Midway).  When you talk to him his passion for the craft is apparent, and certainly carries over to all of the dishes I’ve tried, which include the Hot Brown (one of the best Mornay sauces I’ve ever had) and the (BYO) Black Hawk Burger, for us picky eaters.  And the best part?  They still have the most fabulous patio in downtown Lexington.

The Stave:  Another beautiful renovation brought to you by the talented Rebecca Burnworth.  I only swung in for a quick Smoky Paloma, but couldn’t pass on the Cast Iron Cornbread, and am so glad I didn’t!

The Still at AMBRAbev:  I could NOT be more excited about this new combination restaurant-boutique concept coming soon to my very own stomping grounds: Danville!  To make matters even more promising, local restauranteur Mary Jane Spoonamre (of Jane Barleycorn’s) is behind the project, partnering with Brazilian cane spirits producer AMBRAbev, which - interestingly enough - is headquartered in Danville.  Must. Try. ASAP.

Walker's:  Wines on Vine may not have survived the tumultuous Lexington Hunger Games of 2017, but from the ashes Walker’s has emerged, and I’m not mad about it!  Owner Larry Dean has crafted a menu wrought with Kentucky favorites, sure to please any palate and pocketbook.  Dishes I can vouch for include The Brown, Mobile Shrimp & Grits, and Dubliner’s Fish & Chips.  Bonus: They serve BRUNCH, but only on Saturday, for now...

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