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 a buttery garlic 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.
Succulent aromas and a symphony of sizzling meat emerge from Cast Iron Steak House's kitchen, where bacon-wrapped filets and rib eye steaks sear inside of cast-iron skillets. For each of these steakhouse favorites, the staff personally cuts and rubs aged USDA beef in-house. Though it's their specialty, the team's expertise extends beyond steaks, as they offer a variety of chicken and fish entrees. A side dish and salad accompany most main course menu selections.
At Kobe Japanese Steakhouse, patrons can enjoy entertaining teppanyaki-style dining in front of a limber habachi artist or opt for more intimate seating in the dining room. The teppanyaki experience invites bold guests to take seats at a square bar and watch Kobe's centrally located master chefs juggle flames, knives, vegetables, seafood, meats, and appetites as they whip up meals before diners' growling stomachs and flickering eyes. The Iron Plate Grill menu tantalizes tongues with fried oysters ($5.95), soft shell crab ($7.95), pan fried dumplings ($3.95), and more. If you choose to snuggle up in the dining room, temp your tonsils with filet mignon ($17.95), lobster and steak ($23.95), or beef teriyaki ($14.95). Sushi, noodles, fried rice, salads, and hot and cold appetizers round out the edible roster. Everything on the menu can be enjoyed with a premium Japanese sake or a Kobe sake cocktail, like the Sea Splash, made with blue curacao, triple sec, and pineapple juice ($5.50), ideal for easing lingering tidal stresses.
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.