From Our Editors
Lilly's – A Kentucky Bistro: A User's Guide
Southern-Inspired Food | Local Ingredients | Food Network–Lauded Grits | Acclaimed Chef
- Starter: Red-wine poached-pear salad with Boone Creek blue cheese, cranberry-pear balsamic, and housemade granola
- Entree: Pappy Van Winkle dinner scallops with loaded grits, Southern collards, and rosemary-lobster cream
- Dessert: bread pudding with hot-toddy sauce
What to Drink: Befitting of a place that’s a stone’s throw from Bourbon Country, there's a lengthy list of authentic bourbons to indulge in. If bourbon's not your thing, there’s also an award-winning wine list and a selection of cocktails to whet your whistle. Whatever you order, be thankful for it; back in 1988, Lilly's opened without so much as a wine license.
When to Go: If you’re not in the mood for a big entree, head in on Wednesday evening to take advantage of the Small Plate Wednesday menu, which showcases a rotating selection of shareable farm-to-table dishes. You’ll also likely be treated to a 50% discount on selected bottles of fine wine.
Who's in the Kitchen? Since opening Lilly's, chef-owner Kathy Cary has become something of a regional icon, garnering acclaim for her creative use of organic veggies, free-range beef, and artisanal cheeses. She even landed a feature spot on Food Network's FoodNation with Bobby Flay, where she touted her creamy Kentucky grits and gourmet fried-green tomatoes. Recognized as a pioneer in the farm-to-table movement, Chef Cary prides herself on an unbending loyalty to local purveyors within a 90-minute drive of the city.
While You're Waiting
- Munch on the complimentary basket of sourdough potato bread, which comes with a carafe of rosemary olive oil. The only way to get butter to the table is by requesting it, or by smuggling it in with a flask.
- Soak in the sun in the main dining room. The large floor-to-ceiling windows suffuse the space with natural light and offer prime views of the bustling pedestrian activity on the corner of Bardstown and Patterson.
If You Can’t Stick Around: When a full meal just doesn't fit into your schedule, stop into La Peche, a gourmet to-go café that operates in what used to be one of Lilly's private rooms. Chef Cary opened the original La Peche in 1979, and she serves up some old-time favorites such as the strawberry pie.