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Wherever we travel, my husband and I prefer to immerse ourselves in local traditions; staying and dining at historic inns and restaurants. Recently, on a genealogy research trip to Bourbon and Harrison Counties, we stayed at Cynthiana, Kentucky’s beautiful Seldon Renaker Inn. On the second evening, we used our laptop to find a good restaurant in Georgetown that also had historic appeal. My Architect husband quickly spotted a restaurant that held lots of promise - a 200 year old former family home of General John Payne that had been transformed into a dining establishment within the Canewood Subdivision and Golf Course (an unlikely location). We devoured the website’s history of one of Kentucky’s oldest homes - built in 1790 - and were intrigued by photos of the incredible two story stone structure. But, best of all, Wilshire’s promoted a “Two Can Dine for $39.99.” This special deal included dinner rolls, soup or salad, a choice of entrée, and a bottle or house wine or two desserts! We called, made reservations, and got directions. It was dark and we were traveling in unfamiliar terrain, so we required assistance. Using our cell phone, we called for better directions. A friendly man stayed on the phone with us until we had the beautiful old home in sight.
Upon entering Wilshire’s, we were greeted with the warmth and friendliness one would expect from family or old friends. Both the owner, Don Wilshire (wife Laura), and General Manager, Chuck Helms, introduced themselves with big smiles and firm handshakes. We thanked Chuck profusely for spending so much time on the phone giving us directions. He had literally “beamed us in” to the restaurant. We were escorted to a back room table, reserved especially for us, situated next to a fireplace. The ambiance was romantic and the room was decked out in beautiful autumn foliage, tiny pumpkins, gourds, and candles. The room was full of guests engaged in cheerful chatter. From time to time, before we ordered and while we waited for our appetizers, we noticed that the Executive Chef Chris Cruz, Chuck, and owner Don made a point of stopping at each table to converse with diners. At first, we thought the guests at other tables were planning some future event. When we were given the same special attention, we soon realized that this restaurant was serious about providing outstanding service. The sincerity of their approach was unquestionable. From the owner, manager, and chef, to our server Emily, we were treated throughout the entire evening like very special guests. And dinner was absolutely amazing! Chef Cruz is probably more passionate about providing palate-pleasing dishes than any chef we’ve met. And the proof was in the proverbial pudding. Each course was delicious and the presentation was lovely.
So what did we select? Our appetizer was big enough for a meal in itself! We chose the Tomato, Pesto, and Provolone Bruschetta Appetizer (fresh tomatoes, homemade pesto with melted provolone cheese topped toasted sourdough points, served with a tasty garlic and herb infused olive oil).
We both ordered Wilshire’s House Salads (chopped Romaine and green leaf lettuce, red Cabbage, carrot, tomatoes, cucumbers, and croutons with our choice of dressing - balsamic vinaigrette. Our salads were accompanied with hot, freshly baked Sister Schubert yeast rolls and butter. Mmmmnnn.
Hubby ordered the 16oz Choice Ribeye seasoned with their special blend and grilled to perfection. I ordered the Chicken Marsala, a plump and tender chicken breast topped in a yummy Marsala wine reduction. Served with roasted pepper risotto and a delectably sautéed zucchini and yellow squash medley.
We couldn’t possibly finish our huge dinners but couldn’t resist sampling the two desserts we had ordered. Our pleasant server provided us with boxes for the leftovers so we could top it all off with sweet treats that were indescribably out of this world! I had a huge slice of Deep Dish Caramel Apple Pie a la Mode drizzled with a heavenly Caramel Streusel sauce. Hubby, always thrilled whenever he can find Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie on a menu, told me that it was exactly as described: a “Dense Chocolate and Rich Peanut Butter Cream in a Graham Cracker Crust”. Both desserts were so large, and our appetites so satiated by this time, that we actually boxed up half of our desserts too! Despite the fact that we were visitors from out of state, spending a couple more nights at the Seldon Renaker Inn in Cynthiana, we knew we had access to a refrigerator and microwave, so were able to enjoy our splendid Wilshire leftovers the next night! What an absolutely divine dinner we had. And so affordable! As promised, Chuck gave us a tour of the historic property. We were impressed and delighted that Don and Laura Wilshire made sure that their renovation maintained the integrity of the 200 year-old home while meeting code. Upon leaving, we were sent away with our goody bags, more handshakes and hugs and felt that we had become fast friends in short time. Georgetown is fortunate to have such a special restaurant that obviously cares about its patrons. That’s what I call catering cuisine with compassion.
Written Nov 7, 2011
Address: 124 Gen. John Payne Blvd., Georgetown, KY 40324
Phone: (502) 863-0034
Exit 126 off I-75 in Georgetown there's a nice big Lowes store has lumber and other things for your RV if you need parts!Here's their web site Lowes Store
Updated Nov 14, 2005
There's a Super Walmart with a tire and service garage at exit 126 off I-75 at Georgetown,Ky. Here's their website Walmart Store
112 Osborne Way
Georgetown KY 40324
Photo Center Phone
Vision Center Phone
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 8:00 pm Saturday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm Sunday
8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Updated Nov 14, 2005
The Cincinnati Bengals Training camp is in Georgetown off I-75 exit 126 follow the signs it's about 2 miles from the highway. Here's the web site for them Begals Training Camp Free to get in but you have to pay to park $10.00 per car.
Updated Nov 14, 2005