If you're looking for a place that has a bourbon-smoked paprika ranch salad dressing to top your vegan power salad, your ship has come in, and it's off Leestown Road in Townley Park.
Vinaigrette Salad Kitchen opens Wednesday. It will be open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and is next door to Orange Leaf Yogurt. Bryce Anderson and partners Jason Thompson, Evan Morris and Jeremiah Sizemore are involved in both restaurants.
"We've been looking for a healthy lunch option," Anderson said Tuesday as employees scurried to prepare for the restaurant's "friends and family" preview. "If you want quick healthy food, it's hard to find."
The area surrounding Vinaigrette has lots of fast-food choices, but many are not noted as all-around healthy options.
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Early on, Anderson said, he realized that he couldn't "create an excellent salad without a real good chef." The menu was created by chefs Ouita Michel and Sara Gibbs. Some of the lettuce comes from Lexington's Seedleaf gardening and food production nonprofit organization.
"We said, 'We want as much lettuce as you can give us,'" Anderson said.
The salads include Bluegrass blackberry: spring mix greens, feta, strawberries, apple chips, red onion and pecans, with blackberry sorghum vinaigrette. You can add country ham for $2. That salad, with its tangy dressing, is Anderson's favorite.
Other offerings include "signature salads," including chicken taco salad, orange-blossom salad and Santorini salad with quinoa, chickpeas and red peppers. Each salad comes with an option to add a protein: grilled chicken, wild salmon, country ham or salami.
Drinks include seasonal iced tea from the Lexington company Integritea and seasonal lemonade with ambrosial flavors such as ginger blueberry basil.
The salad dressings are distinctive, among them chipotle lime caesar and salsa vinaigrette.
"We really want people's feedback," Anderson, 31, said. "If this one works, we'd like to open several more. ... We want to make sure we have great things. We love healthy eating and we love Lexington."