In 1783, Captain John Holder established Holder's Tavern along the region's main thoroughfare: the Kentucky River. Now part of Hall's on the River, the site persists some 200-plus years later as a place to gather around food and drinks. Today, visitors dig into classic Southern dishes, ranging from steaks and smoked pork chops to frog legs and a seafood platter stacked with shrimp, oysters, scallops, clams, and fried ocean catfish.
The brick walls of Woody's Sports Bar and Grill showcase large, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs to broadcast multiple sporting events while sheltering burger-bearing wait staff who serve patrons steaming entrees and frosty beverages from the menu. Crackers, crispy celery, and crunchy carrots lounge around a dish of signature beer cheese dip ($3.99) to gossip about the potato skins' designer sour cream purse ($6.75). With the 8-ounce prime rib dinner, choose a cut of tender prime rib and two sides such as a fresh salad or golden fries ($13.95). Slices of roasted turkey, bacon, juicy ham, and tomato cozy up under a rich cream sauce and melted cheese blanket in Woody's hot brown platter ($10.45). The kitchen team exercises one of its most useful assets—patience—to slow cook the pork that bathes in Herschel Walker's #34 barbecue sauce in the pulled-pork barbecue sandwich ($6.25). Meander out to the patio during a pick and jam night, where talented locals tickle eardrums with singing, guitar strumming, and ear-shaped feathers.
Saul Good Restaurant & Pub combines a comfortable, yet elegant, atmosphere with hearty pub entrees. Chefs festoon third-pound burgers with eclectic ingredients such as blue cheese or pineapple, and they assemble equally inventive pizzas topped with thai, parisian, and argentine sauces. Servers also shuttle regional favorites such as chicken and waffles and bourbon-slathered sirloin to dark hardwood tables surrounded by red velvet booths and brass chandeliers. Fine spirits, craft beers, and decadent desserts are also available to cap off meals or add a sweet epilogue to your hard-to-finish memoir.
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.
Friends Again Grill & Tavern slings classic American pub fare, frosty brews, and entertaining diversions seven days a week. The menu showcases appetizers such as handmade potato skins ($5.99) and fried pickle spears ($5.49) to stir languid taste buds from their slumber as gently as a wake-up call from Enya. Pound down protein with the beer-cheese burger ($7.99), an angus chuck patty topped with beer cheese, or show reverence for poultry with the homemade chicken-salad sandwich ($5.99). Serious sit-down diners can peruse the tavern’s triumphant platters, such as the classic Hot Brown, a slice of bread topped with ham, turkey, cheese, bacon, and a special sauce ($7.99). Friends Again's staff also pours a full bar’s worth of cocktails and brewskis for game night, date night, and discovering your inner Herbert Hoover night.
The cuisine experts at Lynagh's Irish Pub heel click their way through pub fare and a pub’s share of more than 100 domestic and imported beers. Avoid straining a tongue by warming up with a beer cheese platter appetizer ($5.75) or o'nacho dip and chips ($5.25). Then buckle down for a main plate such as the barbecue-slathered round-up o'round, accoutered with bacon, sautéed onions, and cheddar cheese ($7.50). The seasoned honey-mustard chicken sandwich vivifies dull gullets ($7.25), while the vegwich satiates the buds of both vegetarians and people who like edible stacks ($6.95).