Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Derby Dining

A group from my office attended “Dawn at the Downs,” this morning. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and then watched the horses workout. Saw such Derby contenders as Dublin, Noble’s Promise and Line of David, as well as the beautiful gray horse Paddy O’Prado. I also saw Homeboykris, which I may have to place a bet on in honor of Hubby, if anything just for the name.

So, as I continue the tips for the Derby, you may want to know some great places to dine while you’re in town. If you’re looking for a place after Derby, you better have reservations. In fact, because seating is so limited and they want to avoid no-shows, many restaurants require that you provide a credit card number in addition to your name. So, keep that in mind. Some of my favorites are Lilly’s and Jack Fry’s in the Highlands and 610 Magnolia in Old Louisville. One place you must check out if you’ve never been to the ‘Ville is Proof on Main, part of the 21c Museum Hotel, which has been voted one of the best hotels in the United States. Part modern art museum, part hip luxury hotel, it’s quite a site to behold. And, lots of red penguins thrown in for good measure. What? Visit the website if I’ve piqued your interest.

For those of you wanting to party like it’s 1999, your concierge will probably direct you toward 4th Street Live. It features several bars and eateries that the hipsters like to frequent, although this isn’t quite my scene. I’d rather head back to the Highlands neighborhood which has a much more eclectic vibe and “come as you are” attitude. There are some upscale restaurants in the Highlands, but they sit among funky and creative establishments as well. And, if you’re really brave, try the Bambi Walk, our city’s version of the pub crawl. May the force be with you if you do.

Then, if you’re not too hung over the day after Derby, venture out for breakfast or brunch at Toast on Market or Lynn’s Paradise Café, which will be featured in the Today Show this Thursday. Talk about eclectic! But the food is amazing and the giant portions will keep you full well into late afternoon. Or, if you happen to be out in the East End, try one of the two Wild Eggs locations. Their Stuffed French Toast featuring thick sliced sourdough, sweetened cream cheese, blueberries and strawberries, maple syrup, powdered sugar and cinnamon, is to die for.

I also have to give a special shout-out to the Holly Hill Inn, which is close to an hour down the road in Midway, Ky. While it’s a bit of a jaunt from Louisville, it’s in the middle of horse country and serves the most divine food in a gorgeous, old southern home. If you want a true Kentucky dining experience, go to Holly Hill (then head to Woodford Reserve for some bourbon tasting.)

This is just a small list of the many fine restaurants the Derby City has to offer. We must be doing something right because Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri keep coming back (although, I’m sure the horse race has something to do with it, too.)
Image courtesy of Southern Accents


Anonymous said...

You keep making the whole experience sound better and better! I want to go so bad! Hope your having a great day! xoxo

Beth Dunn said...

I wish I was dining with you for the Derby!

Same Sweet Girl: Memoir of a Southern Belle said...

Thanks for the ideas!!!!!! :)

James said...

Jealous does not begin to describe it!

the pink prep said...

fun, fun! jealous, jealous1

Jo said...

Oh how I wish I was joining you ~ I too am SO jealous!


Elizabeth said...

lynn's paradise is a great place to eat! i know it's been featured in southern living before....oh, and holly hill inn is one of my favorites. i haven't been in a couple of years though. i actually forget about it. sounds like you had a great brunch with co-workers. those other restaurants sound yummy too!

fleur de lis cottage said...

I heart Dawn at the Downs. Best breakfast ever -- southern style ;-)

sara said...

Love all of your great dining suggestions! Jack Fry's is a personal favorite, I'm sure they have been booked for weeks. And you know from my blog the love I have for Wild Eggs!

theluckiestmrs said...'re making me miss all those Louisville hot spots! Thanks for sharing all that the bluegrass has to offer...I love LOVE all of those yummy restaurants you mentioned! One of my favorites not on your list is North End Cafe! :) Their biscuits & gravy are absolutely delish!

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