Food in Lexington whether low-brow or high often has a strong American impulse behind it. While that tendency could be interpreted as staid in the culinary world, it really asserts that folks know what they like. Moreover, even the basics are being enlivened these days, courtesy of premium ingredients and culinary experimentation, and the results can be astounding. Healthful fare also makes inroads, and in a town that reveres a dish as decadent (and delicious!) as the hot brown ham, turkey, tomato, and bacon on toast, drenched in mornay sauce and broiled that's quite an accomplishment. Lots of elegant restaurants occupy classic manor homes notably Merrick Inn and Holly Hill Inn Restaurant and downtown venues like the venerable deSha's and the highly regarded Jonathan at Gratz Park prove worthy competitors thanks to exquisite menus and gracious service. Long-lived mainstays like Ramsey's Diner also have legions of fans far and wide, thanks to the place's laid-back attitude, terrific brunches, and unbeatable down-home fare. Lest you think middle Kentucky is devoted exclusively to domestic cuisine, take note of establishments like Marikka's, which offers excellent German dishes and an amazing supply of beers, or Atomic Café, with its flair for Caribbean style and food. It's more than evident that restaurants with international appeal shake up the local dining scene, paying tribute to Lexington's diverse population, a rainbow-broad contingent with tastes to match.
Senior editor Kelly Sigmon is Southern born and Ivy educated. During his tenure with the company, Kelly has prized being a mystery traveler and overseeing the printed 10Best Travel Guides for San Francisco, Miami, and Atlanta.