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 soufflé 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.
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.
Homemade meatballs, ham smothered in sweet-barbecue sauce, and melted cheeses cover pizza crusts and fill the space inside hoagie rolls at Fatty Patty’s Pizza, named one of Cincinnati's 50 Best Pizza Places of 2012 by Cincinnati Magazine. Diners can build their own pies from the ground up or place their trust in Fatty Patty's capable hands by ordering pizzas off the menu, such as the pizza bianca topped with fresh garlic, ricotta cheese, and tomatoes or the buffalo-chicken pizza with hot sauce, jalapeños, and grilled chicken. The kitchen stays open until 3 a.m. on weekends, and a staff of delivery drivers is on hand for whenever people get a craving for steak or chicken hoagies at home or while stuck in line at the DMV.
Cici’s Pizza fills bellies with a sprawling buffet filled with more than 28 varieties of pizza, as well as pastas, salads, and dessert. Their eclectic offerings include Cheeseburger pizza with crumbled beef, crisp dill pickle slices, and mac ‘n’ cheese sauce; Hog Fest pizza with bacon, italian sausage, ham, and pepperoni; and Zesty Veggie pizza with seasoned parmesan-ranch sauce. Pizza pies rest on a made-from-scratch crust, which cooks lovingly adorn with a variety of sauces, including homemade marinara. After filling plates with all-you-can-eat portions, eaters can settle into an environment more family friendly than an animated movie that shows viewers how to clean a house. The eatery’s carry-out menu allows on-the-go diners to top their pizzas with pineapple, onions, jalapeños, and more.