New restaurant to open in former Regatta space

ssloan@herald-leader.comMarch 20, 2013 

A new restaurant will open in late April inside the former Regatta Seafood Grille at The Mall at Lexington Green.

A complete renovation of the former seafood restaurant is under way for Palmer's Fresh Grill and Wine Bar, which will focus on seasonal cuisine prepared through techniques including wood-fired grilling and slow roasting.

"We really focus on the farm-to-table movement with the freshness of products," said President Darrell Lewis, who has spent nearly 30 years with various casual dining chains including Romano's Macaroni Grill and Ruby Tuesday.

Lewis said the menu's entrées will be priced $12 to $30 and more than 35 wines will be offered by the glass.

Dishes on the menu will include a center-cut filet featuring portabella mushroom risotto, a cabernet demi-glace and arugula; smoked meatloaf sliders with horseradish cream and crisp fried onions; and pan-seared diver scallops with herbed couscous, spring peas, leeks, prosciutto and lemon-thyme beurre blanc.

Since Regatta closed late last year, the focus has been on renovating the space at the rear lower level of Lexington Green.

"It's a complete renovation down to the four walls — from lighting to design to decor and booths and tables," Lewis said. "We're using a lot of reclaimed lumber throughout the design of the building, as well as contemporary glass lamps for the bar. It's really cool.

"It's a warm, inviting atmosphere that's cozy and comfortable."

Renovations are also taking place outside on the lake-side patio, which will feature live music Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The restaurant's opening will add another dining option for the shopping center, which saw both Regatta and Tony Roma's close late last year and Bar Louie before that.

Lexington Green has been undergoing a transformation as its owners revamp it into a high-end fashion center.

Anthropologie, Ann Taylor Loft and Hot Mama stores have all opened recently, and White House/Black Market and Chico's recently announced plans to open there this year. The fashion strategy has meant changes elsewhere. Longtime tenants Heavenly Ham and Willis Music were asked to move.

Doris Benson, president of Langley Properties and a partner in Lexington Green, said she expects to announce two new tenants soon.

"We're just very excited about getting this open," she said of the new restaurant. "The lake-side dining has always been very popular, and we're very excited about reopening it with a new concept."

Scott Sloan: (859) 231-1447. Twitter: @HeraldLeaderBiz

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