Bistro La Belle has a nice ambience and serves good food. Susan Reigler, food critic for the Louisville Courier Journal said, "The cafe, with its French posters and internationally inspired menu, has a definite air of the Left-Bank-Meets-the-Bluegrass about it." See her archives of restaurant reviews for full review. The cafe is nice with its french inspired posters and photos of area horse farms. This would be a good first date restaurant to make a good impression without going overboard, but it is also informal enough to take older children and is only moderately expensive considering the quality of the food. In Midway, this fits between the less formal and inexpensive Depot and Darlin' Jean's restaurants, and the most exclusive Holly Hill Inn in terms of quality of food and expense. The cafe offers a blend of regional and continental cruisine. Like all restaurants in Midway seating is limited and I wish more shops would stay open late to browse while waiting for the restaurant reservations in the evenings.
Favorite Dish: The Louisville Courier Journal food critic ate at Bistro La Belle in January 2005 and rated it three stars. My meal was delicious and I am looking forwad to going back and trying different selections.
The Holly Hill Inn is the fanciest restaurant in Midway. It is in an old mansion built in 1845. The owners, Chef Ouita Michael and her husband Chris change the menu weekly based on what is fresh and available locally. Both are graduates of the Culinary Institute of America, where Ouita graduated first in her class. I like the concept of using fresh food picked up at the local farmer's markets. This would be the best restaurant in Woodford County for a special dinner such as celebrating an anniversary or birthday, but would not lend itself to small children. Lunch and Dinner is served Wed-Saturday with a brunch on Sunday. See the website for the limited but changing price fixed menu. Reservations are recommended as the dining area is not large.
Favorite Dish: I just like any food cooked with fresh ingrediants. The chef at Holly Hill Inn has developed an excellent national reputation. After returning to Kentucky, Michael and Chris opened Emmett’s Restaurant, where Ouita took the role of executive chef and Chris became the general manager, earning the restaurant a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. In 2000, Chris and Ouita bought Holly Hill Inn, Of Ouita’s food, Martin Booe wrote in a recent issue of Bon Appétit, “Michel creates dishes—like a smoked pork chop with barbecue sauce enriched with coffee and bourbon—that defy categorization but always sing on the taste buds.” And at the end of an eating and drinking tour of the Lexington area, Food & Wine writer Michelle Shih enthused, “My best meal was at Holly Hill Inn.”Since the menu changes, it would be advisable to call or look at the webpage to see what will be served on the day you are thinking of eating here.
Darlin Jean's is my favorite restaurant in Midway to take children because the prices are affordable, the food is good, and the owner will treat you like family. This is also great because it is not a chain. The people that run the restaurant own it, and they have the type of quality food that you want to come back for. It is small. Seating is limited, but when weather is nice you can now sit out on the back patio.
Favorite Dish: I usually like the pizza but try to save room for desert such as blackberry cobbler.