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back in Lexington, need recommendation

Huntsville
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back in Lexington, need recommendation

We (my wife, myself and another couple) are going to be back to Lexington in April for Keeneland. We want one night out at a nice place for dinner. Help me choose.

A La Lucie's

Jonathan's at Gratz Park

Portofino

Metropol

Obviously, we are wanting to stick to downtown. I have only been to Portofino once a long time ago and it was excellent. We were poor college kids back then and couldn't afford fancy dinners very often. But now we are rolling in it! LOL! This is our friends' first visit to Lexington, so I would like to show them a nice place downtown. I always wanted to go to Jonathan's but I have heard great things about A La Lucie's and Metropol as well. Thanks in advance for your help and don't be afraid to post details about your experiences at each place, because excellence is in the details at high end places IMO.

Louisville, Kentucky
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1. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

I've been to Jonathan's 3 times and loved it.

Richmond, Virginia
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2. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

I have been to all 4 and I personally like them all for different reasons. I had good experiences at each one.

It has been several years since I have been to A la Lucie, so I can't comment on how it is now. As far as I hear, it is still excellent. My only complaint is that I feel cramped when the dining room is full.

I have been to Jonathan's 3 times and never had a bad experience. The last time I was there was last Mother's Day. I have no complaints about the service or food, but the decor needs to be updated. This could have changed since I have been there.

I was last at Portofino on New Year's Eve. My dinner and one of my friends was excellent and our service was very good as well. However, the Delmonico steaks that 2 other people in our party received were very fatty and the waitress had them taken off the bill. I love the atmosphere in that place though.

It has been a few years since I went to Metropol. It was very good at the time and the interior is one of my favorites. I have heard that they are not always consistent, but I had no complaints and would love to go back.

One place you did not mention was Le Deauville. I'm not sure if you were aware of it, but it is a great place too and has a nice setting on the corner of Lime and 2nd. It has nice french doors that open to the sidewalk, kind of giving it a Parisian feeling. It is one of my favorites.

Huntsville
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3. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

Thanks george, no I hadn't heard of La Deauville. Is it French? How long has it been there? It has been almost 8 years since I lived in Lexington. I will check it out.

Lexington Ky
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4. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

I like all 4 places as well. If you choose Jonathon's I would recommend getting reservations in the bar. It is much cozier than the big dining room and has the same menu. If it's a nice day they have a patio too (if you don't mind being around the smokers).

Metropol is a cool space but I prefer it in the winter since the dining room is on the second floor and there is no connection to the outside.

Portofino's-we like it too. We like to eat either on the patio or on the smaller dining room at the back.

A La Lucie's is such a great place but like George I find it cramped and loud. Very festive atmosphere though so it depends on your likes.

Le Deauville-the service can be very snooty if you aren't in the horse business!

Bellini's is a really cool space too. I would recommend getting a cocktail there and eating somewhere else (I've had great meals as well as so-so meals there).

Having said all this my list in the order of preference would be:

Jonathon's

A La Lucie's

Portofino's

Metropol

Le Deauville

Richmond, Virginia
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5. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

Le Deauville is French. I haven't had an experience with the snooty treatment, but I've only been a few times and not in the last year...

I forgot about Bellini's, but I do like it a lot as well. My only complaint is how noisy it can be and it is hard to hear the other people at your table. I have always enjoyed the food and service and I really like the interior. I don't recommend the sidewalk dining...we did it once and nearly choked on the car fumes from Main St. I was last there for Valentine's day. It's Italian food so a lot of pasta dishes, but they have some seafood and beef selections too.

Huntsville
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6. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

We made a reservation at Jonathan's. I'm pumped. Our friends requested that we go to a place that served regional cuisine since this is their first real visit to KY, so that pretty much decided it. Thanks for your recommendations, I'm glad that Jonathan's is still as good as it was years ago. I will post my review just in case anyone cares.

Kentucky
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7. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

>>We were poor college kids back then and couldn't afford fancy dinners very often. But now we are rolling in it!<<

Love that...

Looks like you've settled on Jonathan's. Good, you'll enjoy it. I met Jonathan last time I was in there. Young guy.

I was also going to recommend Le Deauville. I love that place and have never experienced snooty service. They get very busy when Keeneland is racing. Reservations would be a must, I think.

Bowling Green...
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8. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

One more thing. What is going on with the Hyatt? We stayed there about 6 years ago and it was a little dated but OK. We were lucky enough to get a good price on priceline. However, I have heard they have been doing renovations. Are they done? We would love to be downtown but don't want to pay $$$ for a mediocre hotel with ongoing renovations. Also, I cannot believe how expensive hotels are during the race season. INSANE!!! It is LEXINGTON, not NYC!!! Is there a serious shortage of rooms in town?

Kentucky
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9. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

>>Is there a serious shortage of rooms in town?<<

My perception is when Kenneland is open or the wildcats are playing basketball the rooms go fast...

10. Re: back in Lexington, need recommendation

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