Business

Jonathan Lundy to open Latin-inspired restaurant Corto Lima

Jonathan Lundy, most recently chef at the now-closed Coba Cocina, plans to open a new restaurant, Corta Lima, at Short Street and Limestone in January to serve Latin-influenced food.
Jonathan Lundy, most recently chef at the now-closed Coba Cocina, plans to open a new restaurant, Corta Lima, at Short Street and Limestone in January to serve Latin-influenced food. Herald-Leader

Chef Jonathan Lundy has signed a lease to open a new Latin-concept restaurant at 101 West Short Street, at the corner of Short Street and Limestone.

The new place will be called Corto Lima, Lundy said, which is Spanish for “short lime.” It’s expected to open in January, with seating for about 100 customers inside and 20 on the patio.

The building was most recently the home of The Upstart Crow, which closed last year after about a year in business. Lundy was most recently chef at Coba Cocina, which closed in April.

The location has seen several restaurants rotate in over the last decade but Lundy said he thinks the location is a prime one. The corner is down the block from Dudley’s on Short and Table 310 and around the corner from the 21c Museum Hotel, which has Lockbox. In the spring of 2018, the renovated courthouse will also have a second Windy Corner Market location from chef Ouita Michel.

“I think the time’s right,” Lundy said. “I’m going to make it work.”

According to a news release, the restaurant will be open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night guests. There also will be a private dining room with 40 seats that will also host periodic events from his catering business, Jonathan’s Events. Parties can request either the Latin-inspired menu or a special menu with more Southern-style fare, Lundy said.

Lundy built a following among Lexington diners with his innovative Southern-cuisine restaurant, Jonathan at Gratz Park, which closed in 2014.

Corto Lima will offer vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan friendly items, including a menu of small plates, street-style tacos and entrees to bring the cuisines of Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and the American Southwest to downtown Lexington.

Beverage specialist TJ Cox will develop the restaurant’s beverage program with a focus on tequila, mezcal, rum, pisco and cachaça. Classic and house cocktails along with aguas frescas will feature freshly pressed juices prepared daily, according to the news release. South American and Spanish wines will feature predominantly on the wine list.

Lundy said the menu will be upscale and Latin-inspired. “What’s going to make this different: I’m going to cook and grind my own masa, make my own corn tortillas, going to do that seven days a week,” he said.

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