Don’t always have the luxury of scoping out local dining options when traveling, but did a little research on Open Table when I decided to layover in Lexington on the way to Richmond for training on Tuesday.  Opted to start with First Last Chance ~ a cocktail made with “big alert” China China amaro, lime & Bertina elderflower liqueur.  A light and refreshing summer cocktail.

Went completely native with chilled Kentucky corn soup for my appetizer.  The soup was creamy but light with hints of pepper and cinnamon.  Fresh tarragon, blueberries and a brioche crouton added lovely flavors and textures.

My main, the carp, was a throwback to the flavors of childhood.  Carp with a cornmeal crust, pan-roasted with a grilled heirloom tomato, a relish of black eyed pies, corn and cilantro garnished with roasted onion, fresh dill and buttermilk dressing.

With no exclusively chocolate options, I went with the peanut butter ice box pie for dessert.  The savoriness of the ice cream paired well with the chocolate crust and the saltiness of the peanut brittle.  An awesome meal – I can’t wait to come back for the coulotte steak, which is a house specialty.

The Lockbox is the in-house restaurant of a growing chain of boutique museum hotels.  Launched in Louisville 10 years ago, they now have locations in Lexington (KY), Cincinnati, Durham, Bentonville (AR), and Oklahoma City.  After 10 hours of driving I didn’t have the mettle to view the gallery, but I did take a few shots of the lobby ~ absolutely worth a visit or a weekend stay!

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