Regatta Seafood and Grille sates seafaring tongue buds with its lunch and dinner menus of oceanic offerings and its nautically themed charm. Take a relaxing seafood tour sans dimwitted skipper and buzz-killing professor with bites of jumbo fried oysters ($9.99) or succulent tridentfuls of grilled swordfish florentine with dollops of bacon-infused creamed spinach and mashed potatoes ($19.99). Pasta patrons can twirl up fiery forkfuls of seafood fra diablo, a linguine-based concoction mingled with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and calamari and glazed with a spicy red sauce ($18.99), and wee eaters can gulp down kid-appropriate orders of filet mignon (8.95) or fish ‘n’ chips (4.95).
Celebrated fish dishes from around the country inspire The Seafood Connection's lunch menu, which sports favorites such as the Louisiana shrimp po' boy ($6.49), the San Diego fish taco ($3.99), and the New England clam chowder ($5.49/pint). Kids and coordinated sea cows can nosh on finger foods such as fish nuggets ($3.99) or a grilled cheese ($3.50), both of which come with fries. After burying the treasures atop a golden-fried shrimp platter deep within bellies ($8.99), inspired patrons can peruse the fresh-fish counter's seafaring cookables to take home. The Seafood Connection serves lunch Monday–Saturday from 10:30 a.m.– 2:30 p.m. It is open for retail Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and on Sundays from noon–5 p.m.
Maritime munchers can lounge in the soothing ambience of the Ohio River and passing boats while perusing the tasty sights of the menu. Sun-gazing feasters can grab a table on the expansive summertime outdoor patio to properly enjoy a three cheese burger ($9.50) or one of many sandwiches, including the oven toasted Mediterranean vegetable sandwich with zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella and parmesan. Indoor diners can sit in the stone-walled lodge while satiating an appetite with a delicious medley of New York strip steak ($29), glazed salmon ($18) or a platter of fried or broiled cod, shrimp and scallops served with cole slaw and steak fries ($19). Thirsty sailors can cure a dry throat with one of four draft beers or more than 20 bottled selections, as well as a vast listing of white and red wines and specialty cocktails such as Captain's Lemonade, which is shaken up with Three Olives Citron, triple sec, sweet and sour mix and a splash of lemon-lime soda. Captain's Quarters Riverside Grille also regales guests with occasional live musical entertainment and tales of nautical adventures hunting mythical sea creatures such as the Lochness monster and Hulk Hogan.
When Shahram and Gita Pouranfour—with the help of their sons, Farzan and Arman—first started a family-style restaurant in South Louisville, their main goal was to cater to families and seafood lovers. After years of success at this original restaurant, Fishery Station, they started adding more exotic food items, such as shark and alligator tail, to the menu alongside their traditional seafood and chicken platters. Along with the exotic fare, they incorporated Shahram’s Persian and Gita’s German cultural influences as well, adding basmati dill rice, gyros, and chicken schnitzel.
They’ve continued these same traditions at The Fish Fry House, where families can dine-in or carry out, and Shahram still enjoys cutting and hand-breading pounds of fish daily before it’s transformed to one of the popular platters or sandwiches.
For more than 60 years, KingFish Restaurants have been grilling, broiling, and frying a bounty of sea-dwelling edibles. Lobster tails, tilapia fillets, and freshly shucked oysters punctuate a menu of more than 25 seafood selections that adorn plates breaded in a golden crust or blackened in Cajun seasonings. More terrestrial morsels arrive in the form of fried frog legs and 10-ounce rib-eye steaks, which are grilled to order and taught to swim before arriving to tables.
The flavors aren't the only things inspired by the majesty of the water, though; two of the restaurant's locations are perched directly on the banks of the Ohio River. Diners can gaze through expansive windows or breathe fresh air on a covered patio as they savor their meals amid sparkling waters framed by the Louisville skyline. The understated sound of rushing water is periodically interrupted on select nights, when live bands entertain dinner guests and provide a soundtrack for the underwater ecosystem's endless Disney auditions.
Within the softly lit, modern interior of penthouse-level SkyBar, guests sink into plush, circular seats to take in views of the city skyline while supping on tapas, sandwiches, and sipping on martinis. As a house piano player serenades ears, a menu presents options for the most fussbudgety of the senses—taste—such as crab cakes ($10), pistachio-crusted lamb ($13.50), and corned-beef reuben sandwiches ($9). Feel free to satisfy the gullet with selections from an expansive list of wines and martinis, which acts as a roadmap toward creative libations such as the chocolate-tini ($10) or the french martini ($12), which combines pineapple juice with vodka served in a fresh, hollowed-out baguette.
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.