Jerry's Restaurant opened in 1961, and since then it's served family-style meals, which incorporate some of the 15+ vegetables the kitchen uses. The team cooks breakfast, lunch, dinner, and whatever meal humans think up next. Their food ranges from cheesy spaghetti and lemon-pepper chicken entrees to potato skin and onion ring entrees. Jerry's serves the popular J-Boy sandwich—a double-decker cheeseburger with a special sauce—and even a hot fudge cake.
Natives of Palermo, Italy, brothers Vincenzo and Agostino Gabriele share twin passions for food and their Italian heritage. Both loves are combined under the same roof at Vincenzo's Italian Restaurant?by the owners' count, a winner of more than 20 separate culinary awards. Chef Agostino Gabriele began his culinary career at age 14 back in Palermo before moving on to kitchens in Milan, Dusseldorf, and St. Louis, commonly known as "The Dusseldorf of the Midwest." Gabriele's internationally honed cooking skills helped him become a James Beard?honored chef and win a DiRoNA award with his brother for Vincenzo's in 2007 and 2008.
Inside the kitchen, Chef Gabriele tops plates of al dente spaghetti with South African lobster tail and petite shrimp and roasts farm-raised chicken breast with asparagus tips, sun-dried tomatoes, and gorgonzola cheese. The eatery, which also offers an extensive wine list and souffl? desserts, has been visited by a number of celebs, including Muhammad Ali, Steven Spielberg, and Sylvester Stallone.
Even among Lexington's other historic buildings, Bellini's Italianette-style architecture stands out; perhaps because the building has been a city fixture for close to 150 years. This was a large draw for long-time friends Giancarlo Marletta and Nader Iweimrin when they started the restaurant some 10 years ago. But Bellini's has been a shared success. Chef Craig Devilliers deftly helms the kitchen and insures quality with a strict sustainability pledge: organic and locally sourced seasonal ingredients whenever possible. The result is a dynamic menu pairing rack of lamb and diver scallops with modern accents of basil relish, blackberry compote, and sweet candied fennel.
Housed within the restored 1893 Fletcher House, The Bistro honors the spirit of Bowling Green's Fountain Square and historic downtown with a menu of refined American cuisine. However, in the American tradition, the chefs also look abroad for culinary inspiration, finding room for lots of dishes from Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean. Those influences shine through in dishes such as the chicken piccata and the lobster ravioli with champagne-leek cream sauce. Hand-cut rib eye steaks and herb-marinated pork chops represent a classic supper-club spirit, while beignets stuffed with crabmeat and shrimp and grits spiked with bloody-mary sauce celebrate The Bistro's Southern roots.
Walls of moss-green brick surround the rich cherry wood tables and chairs that fill the ground-level dining room, lit by glowing pendant lamps. A piano invites occasional live music, which drifts upstairs to a more intimate private dining space. Behind a rustic wooden bar lies a worldly collection of wines, which includes bottles from California and Oregon as well as France, Argentina, Australia, Italy, and Atlantis.
Mama Lea's Kids Zone is aptly named. With fun games for all ages (including toddlers), plus pizza, this is the place to keep the kids happy. But the grownups should leave content, too, thanks to a menu packed with buffalo chicken wraps, philly steak and cheese sandwiches, and build-your-own pizzas. Along with being the spot for everyday family meals, Mama Lea's Kid Zones also hosts birthday or sports team parties.
Montgomery Inn has seen a lot of famous faces over the years; Johnny Cash, Brittany Spears, Cameron Diaz, countless professional athletes, and every US president since Gerald Ford. The real stars, though, are the restaurant's award-winning ribs. Founders Ted and Matula Gregory started serving them in the late 1950s using Matula's homemade barbecue sauce. The ribs were an instant hit with diners and earned their first official accolades from the Cincinnati Post in 1968.
Years later, Montgomery Inn has expanded both its menu?specialties now include housemade Saratoga chips and barbecued spring chicken?and locations, but the ribs still steal the show. In recent years, they've been lauded by The Today Show, CNBC, and Fox News. The restaurant has even their own grocery line, so customers can enjoy their ribs and sauces at home.