Loving Lexington in 2013

Wow, what an amazing year 2013 was!

Lexington is booming and I am excited to see what 2014 hold. Let’s recap some of the blogs highlights of 2013, celebrate the end of this year and beginning of the next.

Celebrating new local restaurants-The Jax.

Celebrating new local restaurants-The Jax.

...and Limestone Blue

…and Limestone Blue

Crank and Boom at Crave.

Crank and Boom at Crave.

Seafood from Smithtown Seafood.

Seafood from Smithtown Seafood.

Brunch hotbrown from Mintons.

Brunch Hotbrown from Mintons.

Lots of great nights at County Club!

Lots of great nights at County Club!

The Bourbon Barrel Project

The Bourbon Barrel Project

Crave Festival. Featuring La Petite Creperie (nom!)

Crave Festival. Featuring La Petite Creperie (nom!)

Polo in the park...there will no longer be a park in 2014!

Polo in the park…there will no longer be a park in 2014!

Refurbished Skuller's clock.

Refurbished Skuller’s clock.

Corn Maze fun at Kelley Farms.

Corn Maze fun at Kelley Farms.

Keeneland Fall Meet.

Keeneland Fall Meet.

More winning at Keeneland!

More winning at Keeneland!

Thriller Parade.

Thriller Parade.

Kentucky Kicks Ass Y'ALL.

Kentucky Kicks Ass Y’ALL.

Eduardo Kobra Abe Lincoln Mural.

Eduardo Kobra Abe Lincoln Mural.

Ice Skating in Triangle Park.

Ice Skating in Triangle Park.

What were some of your favorite things about Lexington from 2013?

Mine was definitely all the great local restaurants opening downtown. I’m looking forward to seeing the rooftop restaurant¬† from the owner of Parlay Social and the reopening of Shorty’s! I can’t wait for the patio to open at The Chase Taproom this spring…along with the return of Thursday Night Live. I’d love to check out the live music out at Talon for a wine tasting!

So much to do, see, and eat in Lexington! I hope you plan to join me in 2014 in supporting local businesses!

Please be safe this NYE. Please do not drink and drive.

Happy New Year!

Triangle Park Ice Skating

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Growing up in Lexington, I always thought one of the coolest places in Lexington was by far Triangle Park. I even took my boyfriend, now husband (who is from not from Lexington,) to Triangle Park on one of our first dates to have a picnic (…pretty sure we had penn station subs on blankets…oh-so romantic!).

In 2010, Triangle Park had to under go major renovations to pull out the dying trees and make repairs to the fountain and lawn. I was absolutely convinced the park was going to be left as a pile of rubble when the damage was more than expected, the money ran out and the repairs were put on hold. Thank goodness…this did not happen and Triangle Park reopened about a year later.

Little did we know….all kinds great things were added to the park. Not only was this beautiful spot in Lexington restored with a lush lawn, bistro style tables that line the perimeter, a new cafe, and wi-fi were among some of the upgrades. And I can’t leave out the best addition (which is the whole purpose for this post…) comes mid-November when Triangle Park is turned into a Winter Ice Village when the lawn is turned into a ice skating rink.

The ice skating rink is one of best things about downtown Lexington from mid-November until mid-January. Entry into the rink is $10 (which includes skates) for 90 minutes ( which seems like a short amount of time…but we only lasted about 40 minutes). The rink does accept all major credit cards (but not American Express).

We had a blast “trying” to stay up right and I’d highly recommend a night out at the Winter Ice Village. I am proud to report no falls and no injuries. I’d call that a successful ice skating trip. Even if you do not ice skate…bundle up…head downtown..grab a cup of hot chocolate and watch those who are brave enough to give it a whirl!

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Have you been to checked out the downtown ice skating rink?

Village Idiot

Village Idiot can be found on the corner of Second Street and Mill (you can’t miss it…the big white building, with the black flags flying from it)…it was formally Metropol.¬† Many, many years before that (early 1800’s) the beautiful historic building that the Village Idiot calls home was a post office (all you history buffs can click here to read more about the building and Metropol)! Village Idiot has it’s doors open Mon-Fri 5PM-midnight (sometimes 1 AM) and Sat-Sun for brunch 11AM-2PM and then for dinner 5PM-midnight. You can access their website here to find out more about hours, menus, etc.

Now, it is no secret that Village Idiot is one of our favorite places to eat and we usually frequent it once a week. What I love, is that the food is always consistent, the no fuss/laid back environment, it’s usually hopping with people but not too hard to get a table, the servers are friendly and attentive, and the craft beer availability is a beer lovers dream.

A gastropub at heart, at the Village Idiot does not disappoint with it’s extensive craft beer list, with many offerings on draft (as it should… the Village Idiot was brought to you by the owner of the Beer Trappe…also known for it’s wide variety of craft beers). Not a beer drinker, don’t worry wine and cocktails are available as well. The menu here is far different from anything else you will find in Lexington, which in my mind really makes this restaurant stand out. You will find sharables such as: scotch eggs, pomme frites (with four tasty dipping options), and crab tator tots; entrees like Duck & Waffles (not my cup of tea, but people love this!), truffle crab mac & cheese, smoked venison sausage, the infamous idiot burger (my personal fav!);¬†And for dessert: bourbon bread pudding…need I say more?

Entrees range from $10-$20. The Village Idiot supports other local businesses by purchasing meats, veggies, cheese, etc. from local vendors. To me, it’s worth a few extra dollars for a meal, knowing it’s going back to my community and that everything I’m putting in my mouth is super fresh! Check out their impressive local vendor board, by the hostess station as you come in the front door.

Even though we frequent the Village Idiot often, I do tend to forget they offer brunch, so this past weekend we hit it up the Village Idiot to check out their new winter brunch menu. I was briefly saddened that the banana foster french toast was no longer on the menu…but the $1 mimosa’s quickly lifted my spirits and I was able to focus on finding a different menu item (not sure how often they offer $1 mimosas.) Again, the brunch menu is so different from anything you would normally find at another restaurant. Do not go here expecting to get scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, biscuits/gravy. Instead, you will find interesting items like fried oyster benedict, english breakfast, wild boar hash, chilaquiles, and a B.E.L.T (with egg). I chose the chilaquiles, a traditional Mexican dish that reminds me of heuvos rancheros. Instead of chicken, it was topped with braised short rib, and of course two eggs and topped with fresh salsa and avacodos…it was so fresh and bursting with flavor. I’ve decided braised short rib makes everything better…kind of like bacon!

Below are some photos from a few different Village Idiot visits. Starting off with my favorite, the idiot burger and then moving onto our brunch items from this past weekend.

Check the board for craft beer on draft (changes)

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The Idiot Burger (braised short rib, onion Ring, burger, cheddar, on a pretzel bun, with a side of pomme frites and a choice of dipping sauce)

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So burger is so big, husband and I usually split it!

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The Bananas Foster French Toast I wish was still on the menu.

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Fried Oyster Benedict (this dish was just okay compared to the other dishes).

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English Breakfast (the beans in the skillet were delicious!)

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Chilaquiles (with braised short rib, two eggs, avocado, black beans, onions, and queso fresco).

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Check out the Village Idiot website with menu’s here.

Check out the Yelp Reviews on Village Idiot here.

Menu items I’ve had and would recommend: Idiot burger, crab tator tots, scotch egg, devils on horseback, pomme frites (with garlic-rosemary aioli sauce), crab mac & cheese, BLT, brunch chilaquiles and english breakfast, and the bourbon bread pudding is a must (it’s big enough to share!)

Have you been to the Village Idiot yet? What pulls you back here? The impeccable beer list? Or like me, the craving of the Idiot Burger?

 

 

*Just a reminder, all opinions are my own. I will always disclose if I was asked and/or compensated for a review.