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a la lucie
159 N. Limestone. 252.5277. Lexington’s special occasion address. Regarded as one of the region’s best. Award winning menu with extensive wine list. Open 6-10, Mon-Sat. Reservations recommended.

557 S. Limestone 253-0014. Voted best pancakes by Ace readers in the Best of Lexington poll year after year. Winner of 2001's "Best Veggie Friendly Restaurant." Live music. Free evening parking behind the building. Daily specials. Lunch, Monday - Friday 11-2. Dinner, Tuesday-Thursday 5:30-9, Friday & Saturday 5:30-10. Brunch, Saturday and Sunday 10-2.

Billy's Bar-B-Q
101 Cochran Rd. At the corner of High St. in Chevy Chase. 269-9593. Genuine Western Kentucky style pit barbecue and fixins. Dine in/ carry out/ catering/ bulk deliveries. We’re the home grown guys. Open M-Th 11am-9pm; F-Sat 11am-10pm; Sun 11:30am-8pm.

Cafe on the Park
369 W. Vine St. at the Radisson Plaza Hotel. (859) 231-9000. Wonderful view of Triangle Park. Breakfast 6:30am until 10:30am daily; breakfast buffet served in season. Lunch 11am-2pm, (pasta bar on Thursdays) Affordable upscale American cuisine and a wonderful wine list 5pm-10pm. 90 minute complimentary parking.

Cafe Jennifer
111 Woodland Ave at the Woodlands Condominiums, 255-0709. A cozy restaurant featuring Kentucky favorites, using locally grown produce. Lunch and Dinner daily, Mon.-Sat. Pub room atmosphere in the well-stocked bar and private room available for small gatherings.

The Depot
128 East Main St., Midway 846-4745 Eclectic creations with a down home flavor serving Central Kentucky and beyond. Good times abound at “The Depot” in Midway, six days a week for lunch and Thursday, Friday & Saturday for dinner.

Ed and Fred’s Desert Moon
148 Grand Blvd. 231-1161. Affordable American Cuisine. Gourmet pizzas, fresh pasta, specialty salads and sandwiches, and a wide array of entrees. Informal yet elegant atmosphere. Wonderful wine list! Patio dining and banquet facilities. Lunch: 11a-3p Tue-Fri; Dinner: Tue-Sun.

Emmett’s Restaurant
Off Tates Creek Road, south of Man O’ War, 245-4444, offers innovative Southern cooking in a renovated farmhouse featuring a cozy bar, casual patio dining and seven lovely dining rooms. Dinner served Mon.-Sun. beginning at 5:30 PM and Sunday brunch from 11 AM-2 PM. Reservations accepted.

255-2431. It’s all about the food at this continental eatery where Chef Jim Plymale builds his menu around fresh, seasonal ingredients. For lunch how about Black Bean Cassoulet or Crispy Polenta Napoleon? Imagine the dinner fare. Located on (that’s right) 431 Old Vine St., the atmosphere is smart and cozy. And the bar is the swankiest in town. Dress: As yourself. Lunch: Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:30-10; Fri-Sat 5:30-11.

"Food with Character" 735 E. Main Street (859)266-9000. Full-blooded, dipped in the Bayou, authentic Southwest Louisiana Cuisine at Furlongs! PO-Boys, Burgers, Creole, Etouffees, Gumbo, Pastas, Salads, Seafood, Steaks, Fresh Fish, great daily dinner specials and extensive wine list. Open for dinner: Mon.-Sat. 4-11.

Happy Dragon Chinese Buffet
1510 Newtown Pike, 859-388-9988. All you can eat chinese buffet. Over 120 items daily, featuring fresh seafood, beef, chicken, pork, soups, salads, fruits... and much more! Open Sun. to Thurs. 11am - 10pm, Fri.& Sat. 11am - 10:30pm.

The Homestead
3955 Harrodsburg Rd, 219-9922 The Homestead Restaurant offers superb regional cuisine in a classic and beautiful setting. A warm and cozy ambience naturally complements the traditional southern dishes prepared by Executive Chef Tony Cortez. Open for dinner six nights a week. Closed on Sundays, except during Keeneland. Dinner: 5:30 Mon-Thur, 5:00 on Fri & Sat.

Jonathan at
Gratz Park

120 West Second Street 252-4949 Redefined regional cuisine served in our Southern dining room or in the English pub room. Festive Sunday brunch from 11:30-2 pm. Reservations suggested. Also call us for intimate dinner parties, fabulous banquets, business lunches, pre-wedding events to the reception.

Mancino’s Pizza
& Grinders

1590A Leestown RD. 253-2299. First in Kentucky with HOT oven grinders! A taste of New York right here in Lexington. Everything from the traditional Mancino’s Pride pizza to the “New” Zesty Ranch Pizza. All Grinders are oven baked and served Hot from the oven. Everything made to order. Mon-Sat 11am-8pm.

The Mansion
at Griffin Gate
1800 Newtown Pike. 859-288-6142. Lexington's landmark of good taste. The elegantly restored antebellum mansion offers traditional American and regional southern cuisine with European flavors. Experience gracious dining at Lexington's first Four Diamond rated restaurant. The Mansion is open daily from 6pm-10pm. Reservations are suggested.

Natasha's Cafe
112 Esplanade 259-0203. An array of tastes from Kiev to Cairo in the elegant atmosphere of a Parisian cafe. World cuisine buffet for lunch. Fine dining for all income brackets evenings after 5:30. Tour buses, business meetings and accordion players welcome. Voted Lexington's Best Ethnic Fare (ACE Weekly Readers’ Poll, 2001). Lunch Buffet 11A-2P, M-F and Noon to 3P on Saturday.

Scarborough Fare
355 Romany Road. 859.266.8704. A gourmand’s delight, featuring an array of entrees that will tickle your fancy. Menu changes daily. Deli dining, or gourmet carryout for those on the go. Open Monday-Saturday 10-8.

Starbucks Coffee
University of Kentucky Student Center. 257-1209. Lexington's first full size Starbucks location. Stop in today for fresh brewed coffee, espresso drinks, Frappuccinos, delightful pastries, and Starbucks merchandise. Conveniently close to downtown. We are a cyber-café; come surf the 'net on our laptop computers. Open Mon.-Thurs. 7am-9pm, Fri. 7am-4pm, Sat. 9am-4pm.

Yamamoto Japanese Grill
& Sushi
130 West Tiverton Way. 859-272-6668. Call for reservations. Prepared before your eyes!! Come enjoy our Fresh Sushi and a variety of Sushi Rolls and fantastic performance and taste in Habachi Grill. Lunch Specials and Lunch boxes available $5.95-9.95. Mon-Thurs 11-2, 5-10; Fri 11-2, 5-11; Sat 5-11; Sun 12-9.

l If you're Irish.

With St. Patrick's Day on the way, what could be a better subject than Irish pub fare, and beer and sandwiches? Public houses (or pubs) and taverns are known for serving great beer and sandwiches, and for providing a place to get out of the weather and exchange valuable views and opinions with your mates.

Lynagh's Irish Pub & Grill, on the corner of Woodland Avenue and Euclid Avenue, is for many people that type of neighborhood tavern. Blue-collar, white-collar, and nouveau hippie no-collar merge together to form a very comfortable atmosphere where not only is there much talk, but also reading, watching sports, eating, and of course, imbibing. Guinness Stout is a staple here, but there are 15 different draft beers and an average of 70, depending on availability, of bottled beer (always cold).

This is my neighborhood, so I have met friends here many times and one thing that I really like about sitting in Lynagh's is that there is so much to look at. Hung from the ceiling are many great, old bicycles along with a beautiful wooden johnboat, a push mower, a sculpture, and various other bizarre, atypical ceiling fixtures. Many of these items have been donated or are on loan. Some were bought and a few were given as birthday gifts. Practically every inch of wall is covered with old signs, neon, mirrors, and knickknacks-literally, there is always something new to look at.

The owners of this visual jungle of gewgaws are John and Gina Lynaugh. He is one generation removed from Ireland, she is a Woodford County girl, and both of them are thespians, which leads to lively conversations and really hearty, frequent belly laughs.

In 1981, John started his pub business where The Walrus and The Carpenter had previously been located on Euclid Avenue, just across the street from Lynagh's current location, which was opened in 1986. In the beginning, his main objective was high quality burgers and beer, which he certainly has accomplished. In 1985, the Lexington Herald-Leader named their grilled, ground sirloin burger, The O'Round, "the best burger in the Bluegrass" (Ace readers agreed in subsequent Best of Lex polls in the 90s).

Sales have since skyrocketed and today, around 120 burgers a day (or 43,600 a year) are sold, in addition to the other menu items.

There are sandwiches galore on their menu and they are not, in any way, skimpy. If the normal O'Round with all of its toppings is not enough, then the Guido 'Round (10 ounces of meat with provolone, bacon, and sautéed mushrooms and onions) may be just right for you. The Club and BLT are, I am not kidding, close to four inches tall and the Turkey and Bacon or Turkey and Avocado are not much smaller. If you are having the O'Meatball Sandwich with marinara or an O'Roast Beef O'Jus, you may need to unhinge your jaw. Be sure to have napkins close by.

For the vegetarian, The Vegwich, which is sliced mushrooms, avocado, tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and sprouts on wheat, and The NO'Round, a black bean burger, are available. There are also a variety of salads and usually a daily soup.

St. Patrick's Day, March 17th, in Lynagh's is always a mobbed venue, but with it landing on Sunday this year, it may be one of the few Irish eateries/pubs open, so expect a crowd.

They are opening at 11:00 (no alcohol until 1:00 pm as the law dictates) with food, festivities, and a roaming bagpipe player. It is an all day affair decorated in green, orange, and white and they are serving a special menu including Irish favorites such as corned beef, cabbage, colcannon (mashed potatoes with spinach or kale), potato salad, and soda bread.

The day prior there will be a corned beef hot plate special following the St. Patrick's Day Parade downtown.

Please email your culinary heads-ups to Karen at