Reads and Reviews
Casual yet Uptown, Sleek yet Comfortable
He’s just left the radio station, WLAP, where he co-hosts Sunny Side Up Lexington, a food talk show. There are folks to meet who purchased the opportunity to be “Chef for a Day” part of local charity fundraiser.
And in a booth, Charlie and I are soaking up the ambiance and deciding what to order.
One does not expect a high-end restaurant to be in a strip center, Lexington’s Beaumont Circle off of Nicholasville Road.
Outside the patio is topped with canvas sails for shade. The chairs, shiny aluminum reminiscent of a French café. In small plots, tomatoes are growing. The Azur Farmers Bazaar is winding up for the day.
Inside, the color theme is blues and greens, simple with undulating lines of movement. The bar is near the kitchen window, where a theater of kitchen staff takes center stage. The ingredients? Locally sourced of course; featuring a variety of Kentucky Proud products.
The furnishings are Scandinavian inspired, very modern, very sleek but at the same time welcoming and friendly. There are no placemats, no fancy white linen tables. It’s part of the European style.
Here’s Josh Gardener, Ashby’s day chef. Hannah part of the wait staff is fun; be sure to ask for her! She is a college student working toward a career as a Dietician.
Sandwiches include Panini’s and Poor boys, chicken and even a sandwich with nothing but vegetables. I had the lamb burger Sandwiches are served with a choice of fries, slaw or pasta salad. For a small up charge you can add a house salad or cup of soup. Price range for sandwiches in the $9 to $13 area. The Dominican Sandwich with roasted pork shoulder and a wonderful assortment of trimmings including cheese, banana peppers, and lemon slaw was Charlie’s choice. I would make a second trip back to Azur just to have another one all to myself!
There were luncheon plates available, but we did not sample them. Of special interest is woven shrimp, a signature of Ashby’s. (Update Photos of Woven Shrimp) There is a bar, well stocked with bourbon.
Azur has won several awards for their cocktail concoctions. I do not like schnapps’, but then again I had a bourbon and peach schnapps drink that was cool, refreshing and mellow. I’ll definitely try that again!
We did not stay for dinner service, but the menu was very tempting Lobster crepes, Macaroni and Cheese with pancetta and smoked cheddar cheese, short ribs, salmon, pork tenderloins, halibut, chicken steak and duck all appear on the menu. Dinner entrée prices ranched between $13 to $35, with lamb burger the most economical and filet medallions at the upper end. Azur dinners also offer cheese tasting plates, truffle fries and calamari. There’s something on the menu that would appeal to most.
Beaumont Centre (Off of Nicholasville Road)
3070 Lakecrest Circle, Suite 550
Lexington, Kentucky 40513
AZUR on the web
Full disclosure, I made breakfast including many of my jams and jellies. Chef Ashby made lunch.