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.
It's best to come hungry to Brazil Grill Churrascaria, where an all-you-can-eat Brazilian steak dinner greets guests' hankerings for flame-cooked meat. Unlimited skewers of juicy steak, chicken, and sausage aren't all that's available?there's also a salad bar and sides such as pork and sausage corn, garlic rice, and cheese balls. For the less ravenous, the grill offers smaller portions of its never-ending feasts, including single-piece platters and dishes composed exclusively of garnish.
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.
Succulent aromas and a symphony of sizzling meat emerge from Cast Iron Steak House's kitchen, where sirloin, rib eyes, and T-bone steaks sear inside of cast-iron skillets. For each of these steakhouse favorites, the staff personally ages, cuts, and rubs slabs of USDA beef in house. Though it's their specialty, the chefs expertise extends beyond just steaks and steak-related mythology.
A ring of rice encircles the Caviar roll's morsels of yellowtail tuna, smoked salmon, avocado, and cream cheese. The roll's exterior is just as complex, with its delicate crust of masago, tempura flakes, and eel sauce. Sushi chefs assemble hearty sushi rolls such as this at the spacious wooden sushi bar, which curves and twists its way from the front to the back of the dining room. Sushi is the focal point of both the dining room and the menu itself—chefs slice 80 different rolls, ranging from traditional crab and avocado to exotic flourishes such as squid and kiwi. To enhance their sushi selections, diners can consult the sake menu, or fold it into a paper plane and drink whatever beverage it lands on.