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.
Lexington Beerworks brings together homebrewers and fans of finely crafted beer with an emporium of brewing supplies and a bar full of craft beers on draft or in bottles. Guests stop in for sips of Three Floyd's Gumballhead or Southern Tier's Crème Brûlée, perfect for pairing with freshly baked thin-crust pizzas. Upstairs, visitors find a treasure trove of tools for trying out their own brewing recipes at home.
From SkyBar's penthouse-level perches, rooftop revelers can fix their eyes on the panoramas of Lexington's lovely skyline and the manicured toes of soaring birds. Anchored by chic signatures such as the beef and lamb carpaccio ($10.00), SkyBar's menu features upscale American fare and Spanish-style small plates. Whet wetter appetites with a tipple from the exhaustive drink list. Selections of wine, scotch, and cognac (glasses starting at $7.50) keep quaffs classic, and cocktails such as the absinthe-infused Mint Muse ($10) leave imbibers wondering if new green-fairy dance partners are real, imaginary, or ferns.
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.
Blue Agave Cantina and Tequila Bar serves a menu specializing in marinated meats and margaritas. Guests unable to domesticate their fire hydrant can cool off with a bowl of guacamole, prepared to order from fresh avocados, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and lime ($6). Entrust hands to tacos, served with salsa, lime, cilantro, and onions on corn tortillas, with your choice of steak, shredded or marinated pork, or chicken ($4 for two). Diners licensed to operate silverware can take a test run with the red-chili and shredded-pork carnitas platter ($11) or the alambres, marinated steak topped with cheese, peppers, and onions, served on a hot skillet ($16).