3 minute read

Carson's Food & Drink (Lexington, KY)


L e x i n g t o n , K Y

To be honest, we happened upon Carson's by chance. We were finishing up a tour at Town & Branch when we realized we needed to eat before we got back on the road to Louisville for the next day's round of tours and interviews.

We asked the guys what they thought was a good area around the distillery. They unanimously said "Carson's."

So, we scrapped our Louisville plans and swapped them for Lexington plans.

We'd never actually been into Lexington's downtown before. We'd usually skirt around the edges to various distilleries.

However, we were delightedly met with a beautiful city full of lively people, beautiful public art, and delicious food.

We were brought in, and greeted with giant wooden shelves behind the bar filled to the top with whiskies.

The place had an incredible atmosphere. Open, lively, and decadently simple with a rustic edge. A lot of care is taken with this place, you can tell. From the brass distressed menus to the water carafe being an empty whiskey bottle, you could tell that everything was designed around an "upscale Kentucky" vibe.

We ordered our meals. We are simple men of simple tastes. We got the meatloaf and the cheeseburger. We went a little crazy and got an appetizer of béarnaise truffle fries and I got a side of smoked gouda macaroni.

However, when our food got to the table we were floored. Great plating, and a lot more than what we expected at the price on the presentation side.

Though, how was the food itself? Pleased to report it tasted as good, or better than it looked, and the cocktails matched it.

We were given various cocktails to sample. While all of them were great, our favorite had to be their Manhattan.

While I'm usually partial to an old fashioned, the Manhattan was simple, balanced, and whiskey-forward.

Though, if you're looking for something more on the... well... a pour straight or over the rocks, you're in luck.

The whiskey selection at Carson's was great. They had a wide variety of pours for you to enjoy. That's good, because with as varied menu as Carson's has, you'd be hard pressed not to find a good whiskey to pair with your dish.

The burger was incredible. Cooked to order and elevated with a symphony of contrasting flavors and textures.

The meatloaf had a nice spicy and sweet southern barbecue sauce that went well to enhance the dish but not overthrow it.

The béarnaise truffle fries were unbelievable, the smoked gouda macaroni and cheese was creamy and rich.

I wish I’d had been able to try more of their dishes, but we the portions were more than generous and we left absolutely stuffed just off what we had ordered.

Mark, the founder of Carson’s, was an absolutely incredible host. He was funny, kind, passionate, and a true whiskey fan. Everything you’d expect from the owner of such an establishment.

From start to finish everything was great. You can tell the care taken in everything here. The food, the decor, the whiskey selection, and the cocktails all speak to the pride and intentionality put into Carson’s. If you’re in the Lexington area, make it a priority stop.