BY KRISTINA ROSEN
Agave & Rye, a Tequila and Bourbon Hall featuring epic tacos, opened on June 23 in the Fayette Mall.
“People no longer want to sit down for a three hour dinner, but they still want that same quality of fine dining. That’s what we do, we take French fine dining and put it in a taco,” says founder, Yavonne Sarber.
Originally from Columbus, Sarber and her husband opened the first Agave & Rye in Covington, Kentucky in February 2018. Last October, the two signed with investment partners to roll out 100 units within the following years. By the end of 2020, six additional Agave & Rye concepts will open, continued by 15 or more locations opening annually after that.
Known best for their “epic tacos,” Agave & Rye’s menu includes 19 different tacos like “The Crown Jewel” with butter poached lobster and truffle mac n cheese, “The Sensei” with kangaroo tenderloin, and “The All Nighter” with duck confit.
With tacos the size of sandwiches, Sarber says it’s hard to eat more than one or two. Patrons can expect to be satisfied with an order of two tacos, a side and a drink for roughly $20.
Tacos are double shelled with a crunchy corn shell inside a soft flour tortilla to hold the weight of the taco together. Opt for the “love cushion” and have bourbon bacon refried beans, queso, or guacamole placed between the two shells.
The taco bowls are basically decomposed entrees, including “The Bayou Baby,” a unique take on bourbon poached shrimp and cheesy grits, and “The Ya Mon” filled with grilled Jamaican jerk Mahi Mahi. The street fair category features hand cut guaca fries, fresh elote, and a variety of empanadas like portabella mozzarella & halloumi, jumbo lump crab & shrimp, duck, and chicken.
The menu changes seasonally based on what is in season. The meat is prepped, brined, and smoked every morning. Patrons can enjoy a farm-to-table style eating experience, but expect to be in and out within a half an hour.
As a Tequila & Bourbon Hall, there’s a full bar of 80 tequilas, 80 bourbon selections, and a variety of cocktails, wines in a can, and Mexican sodas.
With a fine line between high art and street art, Agave & Rye has an urban grunge feel. Decorated with rustic wood and brightly colored cushions, the space is comfortable yet upscale. The restaurant seats 160 inside and 60 outside on the patio.
Agave & Rye is now open at the Fayette Mall in Lexington.
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