Lexington Eats Comfort Food Week starts on Thursday and goes through Feb. 4. It’s a chance to eat out at some locally owned Lexington fine-casual restaurants for a great price: $20.18 per person. Most restaurants are offering two things for that price, either a starter and entree or an entree and dessert. Call for reservations; some restaurants won’t be offering the special on Saturday night.
Here are some of the menus, which feature “elevated” comfort food:
▪ Azur Restaurant & Patio, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, offers either appetizer and entree or entree and dessert. Options include either pimento cheese croquettes or three baked oysters Rockafeller or raw on the half shell with cocktail sauce; and either the “AFC” (Azur southern fried chicken brined in sweet tea with lemon) with smoked gouda mac n’ cheese and southern-style pole beans or slow-braised pot roast with 1000 Stories Bourbon Barrel Aged Zinfandel, caramelized vegetables and a twice-baked potato. For dessert, choose either blueberry peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream or bourbon chocolate bread pudding with salted caramel.
▪ Bella Notte, 3715 Nicholasville Road, has a choice of house salad or soup with pappardelle bolognese (creamy veal, pork and bacon ragout with shaved Parmesan and charred ciabatta bread) and ricotta doughnuts served warm with chestnut marzipan and bourbon eggnog anglaise for dessert.
▪ Brasabana, 841 Lane Allen Road, offers any two of empanadas picadillo or a trio of Latin dips; and either Amy’s Cuban chicken and shrimp gumbo or classic Cuban ropa vieja (slow-braised beef with tomatoes, peppers and onions). For dessert, choose either tres leches cake or key lime pie.
▪ Clawdaddy’s, 128 North Broadway, offers either appetizer and entree or entree and dessert. Options include lobster bisque, crabmeat and corn chowder or clam chowder; and choice of lobster pot pie, lobster and country ham hot Brown, or truffled lobster mac’n’ cheese. And for dessert either Maine blueberry pie or bourbon vanilla gelato.
▪ Crust, 2573 Richmond Road, offers either a simple salad or kale pesto Caesar salad, with Tuscan meatloaf, made with veal and pork topped with smoked ketchup and picked fresno chilis, served with mashed potatoes and sous vide carrots. For dessert, there’s budino, which is butterscotch pudding with gingerbread snap cookies, caramel and sea salt.
▪ Distilled at Gratz Park, 120 West Second Street, offers appetizer and entree or entree and dessert. Options include house meatballs, creamy grits, pickled chiles or Parmigiano reggiano for appetizers. Entrees include fried chicken with soupy cannelini beans, dirty Brussels sprouts and mushrooms or pork loin with sweet potato, pomegranate, orange, hazelnuts and fine herbs, with shaved Brussels sprouts, orange cous cous and Grand Marnier pork jus. For dessert, choices are chocolate and goat cheese brownie, raspberry coulis or ganache.
▪ Guiseppe’s Ristorante Italiano, 4456 Old Nicholasville Road, offers either an appetizer and entree or an entree and dessert. For appetizer, there’s arancini, which are fried risotto balls stuffed with proscuitto ham and fontina cheese. The entree is pasta Vincenzo, the pasta of the day with grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, kalamata olives, red onions, olive oil, garlic and romano cheese. For dessert, there’s tiramisu.
▪ Honeywood, 110 Summit at Fritz Farm, offers either salad and entree or entree and dessert. The salad is an iceberg lettuce wedge with blue cheese crumbles, bacon, picked red onion, green olives, hard-boiled egg and buttermilk ranch dressing. The entree is Black Hawk Farms meatloaf with tomato-onion sauce, mashed potatoes, glazed carrots and marinated beets (vegetarian option available.) For dessert, there’s a choice of chess pie, lemon cake pie or bourbon chocolate pecan pie.
▪ Palmers Fresh Grill, 161 Lexington Green Circle, is offering a choice of appetizers and entrees. Appetizers include fried green tomatoes caprese with cornmeal crusted local tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, herb pesto and fresh basil or sweet onion hushpuppies with poblano tartar and house-smoked ketchup. Entrees include shrimp and grits, blackened shrimp, creole cream and Weisenberger Mill gouda grits; cornmeal-crusted catfish, Colonel Jim’s cornmeal, bistro fries, creamy napa slaw, poblano tartar and smoked ketchup; or Lexington Pasta gnocci with basil pesto cream, sundried tomatoes and shaved parmesan.
▪ Portofino, 249 East Main Street, is offering Italian-style comfort food with a choice Tuscan bean Soup or Caesar salad; chicken Parmesan or lasagna with bolognese or marinara sauce; and tiramisu for dessert.
▪ The Blue Heron, 185 Jefferson Street, is offering a choice of appetizers and entrees. For appetizers, there’s a duo of split pea and carrot soup or grilled bacon with fried cornbread and tomato chutney. For entree, there’s either fried chicken with mashed potatoes, green beans and gravy or Creekstone Farms Beef Bourguignon with pearl onions and salt-cured bacon.
▪ The Ketch, 2012 Regency Road, is offering a starter and a main. Choices for starter include a cup of clam chowder, a cup of seafood gumbo, petite crab cake remoulad, New Orleans butter barbecued peel ‘n’ eat shrimp, a garden salad or a Caesar salad. Choices for main entree include Low Country shrimp and grits with tasso gravy; grits and grillades, chicken breast or pork loin in picate brown gravy; catfish Atchafalaya, lightly blackened catfish smothered in crawfish etouffee on rice; or jambalaya with shrimp, chicken and andouille. For $2 more, you can add either a key lime bar or bourbon bread pudding square.
▪ West Main Crafting, 135 West Main Street, has either an appetizer and entree or an entree and dessert. For appetizer, there’s truffle mac and cheese with Morbier and New York white cheddar. For entree, either cornmeal fried North Carolina catfish or tomato and basil bisque with fresh herbs and a grilled cheese with raclette on Sunrise sourdough brushed with herbed oil. For dessert, there’s bourbon doughnut holes with nutmeg royal icing, pear butter and candied oranges.