At Embers, flames dance in a stacked-stone torch and gas lanterns, and atop the wicks of candles, all of which illuminate floral oil paintings and black-and-white photos of Cincinnati history. Just as the restaurant’s name evokes images of fire, so too does its menu of steaks and chops aged for 28 days. The Filet Oscar arrives at the table with a king-crab crust–a touch that tips its hat toward the restaurant’s seafood specialties. Seared scallops, grilled Scottish salmon, and broiled lobster tail grace the list, though the grill’s flames bypass the extensive sushi selections. The staff recommends pairings with one of 11 signature cocktails or wines and beers from around the world.
The Patriot Steakhouse & Tavern delights palates with its classic American fare known for its big portions and unpretentious deliciousness. Diners devour choice cuts named after ex-presidents, tasty seafood, chicken, and pork, and hearty burgers and sandwiches paired with locally brewed beers. Live music fills the American-flag-bedecked interior regularly, with the rhythm of a four-piece jazz band or a pianist replacing the mandatory silence of family dinners.
Inside Miyako Sushi & Steakhouse, diners gather around the flames of 10 hibachi grills to watch an expert chef flip and sear chicken in teriyaki sauce, while other patrons sit in comfy black chairs in the cool blue glow of the sushi bar. Sleek modern decor surrounds guests as their teeth unpack skillfully rolled sushi and their eyes stare hungrily at the nervous fish inside the restaurant’s aquarium. Miyako’s hibachi and sushi chefs use only fresh ingredients as they craft each dish to diners’ specifications.
The pit master at World Bar-B-Que works hard slow-cooking Carolina-style pulled pork, Texas brisket, and St. Louis–style pork ribs, imbuing each meat with distinctive barbecue bark and deep, smoky flavors. After the cuts have smoked for 6–15 hours, diners take over with finishing touches, adorning their choice of meats with sauces such as sweet-and-spicy blackberry habanero and classic sides such as potato salad and baked beans. They can also forge everything from smoked and beer-soaked burgers to authentic Cuban sandwiches.
On certain nights, patrons can finish off meaty cuts and showcase their singing chops with open-mic and karaoke sessions. The generous eatery also sets aside one day a week for a "World Invasion"—a chance for local groups, charitable organizations, or extraterrestrial barbecue-reconnaissance parties to take over the restaurant and receive a portion of the evening's sales.
As the sun descends over downtown Lexington and gives way to the city’s own twinkling lights, guests take the Chase Building elevator 15 stories up to gaze out the windows of the aptly named Vue Restaurant. Executive chef Ray Cameron can hardly take a moment to enjoy the view, as he presides over a bustling kitchen that churns out creative American fusions alongside traditional steak and seafood dishes.
As Chef Cameron’s creations arrive at their oversized booths, guests shift their eyes from the downtown landscape to artful plates of Kentucky Alltech Angus steaks, bacon-wrapped scallops, and pan-seared pork tenderloin medallions. A wood-burning stove—used for baking the restaurant’s signature pizzas—adds a warm, crackling soundtrack to meals illuminated by hanging lights above. Behind the trapezoidal, granite-top bar, mixologists craft drinks such as the bourbon-based Bluegrass Sundown and Absolut Vanilla–based Godiva Chocolate Kiss. Aside from these and other cocktails, guests may order wines and craft beers to enjoy with views of Lexington’s most famous landmarks and Spiderman impersonators.
Growing up in Louisiana, Tommy Walters spent a lot of time in the kitchen, learning the ins and outs of Cajun cuisine from his father, Chef Roland Walters. So it's no surprise that when he grew up, Tommy opened his own Cajun restaurant. He even passed down that love of cooking to his daughter, Emilee, who now runs Furlongs Crazy Bout Cajun alongside her father. The pair fry up cuts of catfish, toss shrimp in barbecue sauce, and marinate crab legs in garlic sauce. They serve a lot of traditional Cajun cuisine, but they've also created their own unique takes on the region's dishes and ingredients. They stuff quail before serving it over a bowlful of spicy jambalaya, and they top new york strip steaks with roasted tomato relish, lump crab, and blue-cheese crumbles. To offset these spicy dishes, they also offer a range of mixed drinks, housemade root beer, and ladlefuls of imported bayou water.