Sunday, June 14, 2009


Okay all my impatient friends, I'm here to reveal the details of my celebratory surprise(s). Wes told me sometime Saturday morning that we wouldn't be leaving until around 4:30pm. That really threw me for a loop because I had guessed we were going to Cincinnati for dinner and since we're elderly folk, that would have made dinner somewhere around 6:30 and that's too late for grandma and grandpa. So now I figured we were going to Louisville, but where exactly. He told me I might want to dress up a little, so that made me think of 610 Magnolia. The only issue there is that we've been there before and when surprising one another we usually don't repeat places we've already been. As he was getting ready - I was already dressed and wearing a little black dress - he checks the computer one last time and reports that he'll be wearing nice jeans. What?! You tell me to dress up and then you're wearing jeans? My response must have eluded to my feelings because he comes back wearing khakis and a button down. I don't mind what you wear but I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb you know. Oh and somewhere in the midst of all this, he tells me I need to pack an overnight bag.

So now my little mind is spinning and I come up with the following scenario - fully believing I had it all figured out - dinner at 610 and then we were going to stay at the hotel that houses Proof on Main, 21C. Well to make a long story shorter, I was wrong. Wrong on all accounts. We ended up at L&N Wine Bar & Bistro. The food was good but the wine was made the place unique. With nearly 80 wines by the glass, all available as a tasting, a glass, or bottle, their selection is quite extensive. They are able to offer this many because of their nifty 54-unit wine bar dispenser that holds and protects wines at "cellar" temperature under inert-gas pressure. In laymen terms that means that an opened bottle of wine actually is drinkable the next day.

In addition to the plethora of wine, their menu is pretty decent as well. I would compare both the atmosphere and clientele to that of Lexington's Merrick Inn. It's an old house who's dining room consists of a bunch of smaller rooms, there's exposed brick and fireplaces, it's somewhat dark and dated, and we were by far the youngest people in the place (but remember that we do eat with Grandma and Grandpa so that might be part of the explanation there). The food portions were enormous and not meant for the tasting-menu style dinner that Wes and I tried to create. We eat decided to order an appetizer, a soup, and an entree and were regretting our decision about midway through our soup. Everything was good but nothing was particularly stellar. We hold Louisville to a pretty high bar because of some of the outstanding meals we've had there (Corbett's, Seviche, Asiatique to name a few).

After dinner the celebration wasn't over. After a dessert fiasco, we were on our way to our overnight destination, The Seelbach. I was excited to stay there because I've always heard mention of it but had never so much as driven by it before. While somewhat small for a non-NYC hotel, the rooms were quite elegant. Double layered sheets, flat screen tv, granite desktop and vanity, dark cherry wood, and Crabtree and Evelyn bath products rounded out the amenities. We both appreciated the charm of some of the historic nuances they've managed to retain - wooden doors into each guest room, ornate mill work, stately furnishings in both the hallways and guest rooms, and of course the infamous secret escape for Al Capone in the Oak Room dining room. Aside from our EXTREMELY loud and obnoxious floor mates (we were awake for over an hour listening to them yell, cackle, slam doors, etc), the hotel was a nice escape.

We couldn't stop there. Oh no, after all breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! We ended this wonderful birthday weekend at My mom and I had been here once before but it was when they first opened and were still ironing out the new business kinks. I tried to steer clear of the heavy pancakes after the large meal the night before, so I opted for a light egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms, and goat cheese. I did say "tried" - I had to at least have a taste, so I ordered one on the side. It was okay but I was glad I hadn't ordered that for my entire meal. I've become somewhat of a pancake snob over the years and these didn't make it very far up my list. The omelet was a nice change of pace for me and the ample goat cheese made it a step above the rest. Wes seemed to enjoy his Belgian waffle just fine. It was packed and had people waiting when we left, so others must think it's pretty good too.

Every time we come back from Louisville we always wonder why Lexington doesn't have more independent eateries. And breakfast spots around here are even more limited. Why is that? Could this be my calling? If you know a good investor, send him/her my way!

Thanks, Wes, for a great start to my birthday (and Grams for watching Colin). I kind of like having a birthday in the middle of the week because you get to celebrate twice, once during the weekend and then again on your actual day! As long as I don't have to turn 2 years older, I'm all for it. This age thing is starting to hit me that I'm not getting any younger. I keep noticing how Colin time is flying with Colin and he's getting older but somehow I think time has frozen for me. Not so and that's a harsh reality. No time to be sad on my birthday though. Happy thoughts...CAKE (a la Joyce!).

Sorry for the lack of pictures on this post. Somehow the old blog took a back seat to the mystery and intrigue of the journey.


  1. Troy and I have pondered this very same question about Lex Vegas... we have come to the conclusion that we live in "Stepford"... ROFL...

  2. Loved reading about your surprise trip! Happy Birthday!

  3. Sounds like you all had a good time. I agree completely...and if you think Lexington is bad, you should wander over to Georgetown!

  4. Happy birthday!

    That is such a nice, romantic, sweet surprise. I'm very jealous. The dinner and hotel sound great. Glad you had a good time!

  5. Sounds like you had a great birthday. My sweet hubby planned a similiar venture for a valentine's surprise one year. A night at the Seelbach (gorgeous) and five course dinner in the Oak Room (delish). I also totally agree, Lex needs some new dining options. Have you ever done the dinner train, we got it as a christmas gift for my parents one year and we bought 4 tickets so they could take another couple (which ended up being me and my little bit :) but anyways it was really fun and the dinner was actually very good.