Friends Again Grill & Tavern slings classic American pub fare, frosty brews, and entertaining diversions seven days a week. The menu showcases appetizers such as handmade potato skins ($5.99) and fried pickle spears ($5.49) to stir languid taste buds from their slumber as gently as a wake-up call from Enya. Pound down protein with the beer-cheese burger ($7.99), an angus chuck patty topped with beer cheese, or show reverence for poultry with the homemade chicken-salad sandwich ($5.99). Serious sit-down diners can peruse the tavern’s triumphant platters, such as the classic Hot Brown, a slice of bread topped with ham, turkey, cheese, bacon, and a special sauce ($7.99). Friends Again's staff also pours a full bar’s worth of cocktails and brewskis for game night, date night, and discovering your inner Herbert Hoover night.
The cuisine experts at Lynagh's Irish Pub heel click their way through pub fare and a pub’s share of more than 100 domestic and imported beers. Avoid straining a tongue by warming up with a beer cheese platter appetizer ($5.75) or o'nacho dip and chips ($5.25). Then buckle down for a main plate such as the barbecue-slathered round-up o'round, accoutered with bacon, sautéed onions, and cheddar cheese ($7.50). The seasoned honey-mustard chicken sandwich vivifies dull gullets ($7.25), while the vegwich satiates the buds of both vegetarians and people who like edible stacks ($6.95).
Bigg Blue Martini pleases palates with more than 20 specialty martinis, beers from Lexington Brewing Company, and a menu of regional and seasonal favorites served daily until midnight. The extensive list of liquid libations boasts original martinis such as the Old Bigg Blue, made with Kentucky’s Pure Blue vodka, blue island pucker, blue curaçao, and orange juice ($9); and the Bourbon Ball, a sweet blend of Marker’s 46, Godiva dark chocolate, and Frangelico ($9). Start ingestion sessions with Chef Winslow’s four-cheese pimento dip, a creamy blend of smoked gouda, white and sharp cheddar, and parmesan cheeses ($7), before moving onto a state specialty, the Kentucky Hot Brown, a sandwich piled high with turkey, ham, bacon, and tomatoes and blanketed with a creamy cheese sauce ($14). The masterful culinarians rely on fresh, local ingredients to bolster meals, steaming the Bigg Blue mussels in Kentucky Pale Ale ($8), slathering Kentucky-bourbon barbecue sauce on the beef-brisket sandwich ($10), or sprinkling deep-fried bluegrass on everything.
Named one of Lexington's 10 Best nightlife destinations, Austin City Saloon's honky tonk swagger is bred deep in its bones. Drop in for live music three nights a week, when country crooners including James Otto, Craig Morgan, and Montgomery-Gentry have all graced the stage with sincerity and heartbreak. Sip libations beginning at 7 p.m., tipping back bottles of Ale 8 One ($1.50) or 16-ounce house margaritas ($7), or belly up to a tap table and draft your own glasses of Bud Light ($0.15/ounce) and Natural Light ($0.10/ounce). After flexing your dorsal muscles over a round of Jäger bombs ($6 each), pair fleeting fermented goodness with gooey arrays of chili cheese nachos ($2), pizzas ($5), and mozzarella sticks ($4). Those looking to sweeten up after a tumultuous twirl on the dance floor can nab a moon pie ($1).
Established by the owners of Shamrock Bar & Grille and featuring 29 flat-screen TVs and a game room, The Cellar nourishes bellies of all ages with a menu marked by dressed-up salads, sandwiches, and entrees. Make hands feel giant with an order of mini brauts ($5) before making nice with a made-to-order Cellar burger ($8) or one of many sandwich selections. The entree section includes salads, steaks, seafood, and a mouthwatering full rack of barbecue baby-back ribs ($20). The parmesan-pressed chicken breast ($12.50), like any streetwise debutante, surrounds itself with a bounty of bow-tied tasties and goes well with myriad bourbon varieties.