Lexington, KY – Anchoring the bottom floor of the Hilton hotel in downtown Lexington, Triangle Grill is the namesake of Triangle Park, and restaurant-goers are afforded an immaculate view of the long, resplendent fountain across Broadway. A newer establishment, the restaurant opened in early spring of this year on the coattails of the hotel’s renovation.
The sprawling interior can easily accommodate over 150 guests and is done up with a comfortable motif of greens and reds, and, of course, murals of horses on the walls.
The restaurant’s executive chef, Joshua Winslow, is a Lexington native who got his chops at Johnson & Wales in Charleston, S.C., as well as with local establishments Murray’s and Merrick Inn, not to mention some five-star establishments in Philadelphia and Manhattan. The menu he has concocted for Triangle Grill leans heavily on local meats, produce and tradition, with items like Kentucky lamb and beef short ribs, Kentucky beers and an assortment of Kenny’s Farmhouse cheeses finding their role as well-appointed ingredients.
The menu, it must be noted, is a seasonal affair, so that Henkle Farms tomato gazpacho or King Salmon might not be available on your next visit.
This current incarnation of the menu is a slew of tough decisions, all the way from the “first impressions” (appetizers) to the entrÈes, which is a good problem to have unless you’re trying to get in and out quickly.
Appetizer options include soups (bean, gazpacho), some shareable seafood items (calamari, mussels) and other traditional (fried green tomatoes) and unconventional (roasted duck quesadilla) items. They’re priced between $5 (for the soups) and $11 (for the calamari and Woodford Reserve barbeque tiger shrimp). My guest and I had an order of the “Bigg Blue” mussels, named for the adjacent Bigg Blue Martini bar also in the Hilton.
Customers have a wide selection of traditional entrÈes, as well as the option to combine two dishes and two sides from a list on the “Signature Triangle Grille” -
with items like mahi-mahi, Kentucky lamb, duck breast, yellowfin tuna and chicken breast available for pairing; side items include sautÈed spinach, peaches and cream corn on the cob, roasted garlic Yukon mashed potatoes and “Charleston rice.” The signature grill is $26, no matter which items you mix and match.
Other dinner entrÈes include prosciutto wrapped Alaskan black cod, rack of Kentucky lamb (pecan encrusted), braised Kentucky beef short rib (with banana pepper slaw), an Alltech Angus New York strip (with pimento cheese made in-house), and shellfish and grits. The entrÈes range in price from $14 (for the fried chicken breast) to $26 for the rack of Kentucky lamb.
I ordered the beef short rib and my guest went with the signature grille, selecting the filet medallion and yellowfin tuna steak along with mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus. The short ribs were succulent, and I pulled the bone out as easily as Arthur pulled the sword from the stone. My guest’s dinner was also very good, and the cilantro-lime vinaigrette served on the tuna was a tangy surprise and addition. Along with being delicious, both portions were heaping.
Our bill, prior to tipping, came to $117, and included two dinners, a delicious Bibb salad, an appetizer, coffee and dessert (blueberry crËme brulee), and a few adult beverages from the Bigg Blue Martini.
(Note: during home UK football games, the Triangle Grille will be offering a special menu item inspired by popular restaurants from the hometowns of the visiting teams. With Auburn, South Carolina and Georgia visiting Commonwealth Stadium in October, there could very well be some provoking specials.)