Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My department went out for lunch to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of one of our coworkers, and to do so, we visited Serafini's, an upscale restaurant in downtown Frankfort across from the old Capitol building. I had been to Serafini's once before at dinnertime but this was my first lunchtime visit.

I have to say, they definitely have the ambiance down. This is the perfect restaurant for a romantic dinner for two with white tablecloths, soft lighting, and unobtrusive music. They also have a small, private dining room that is good for get togethers, such as ours.

Serafini's is owned by the same family that runs Portofino in Lexington (another excellent place to eat) and definitely leans more towards the Italian end of the spectrum for their offerings, including alfredo, pizza, and a lasagna that my boss raves about. However, they also had a rueben sandwich and a fried catfish sandwich on their lunch menu today, as well as today's special, meatloaf. A friend and I both chose cups of the soup of the day to start with, sauteed onions and leeks in a rich, creamy broth. A cup was only $3, so I felt it was worth a shot. It was absolutely yummy, if a bit difficult to eat due to the long, thin strips of onion that just would not seem to stay on the spoon to make it to my mouth. My friend and I decided to split two meals so we could try some different things. I ordered the goat cheese and apple salad, which is available in regular ($6) and large ($9). Given the plan to split I ordered the large size, and while the salad is absolutely beautiful and unbelievably delicious, I felt a bit let down at the portion size for $9. A bed of greens with wafer-thin slices of granny smith apple, large crumbles of creamy goat cheese, and sweet candied walnuts all drizzled with house dressing. It was good, but maybe not nine dollars good.

The sandwich, on the other hand, was worth every penny. She ordered the catfish sandwich with french fries ($9). A palm-sized piece of catfish, battered and fried to a perfect, golden brown, drizzled with just a touch of lemon juice and served on a toasted bun with tomato and lettuce. The tartar sauce, which looked like it was freshly made, was served on the side to allow the diner to add just the amount they desire and was perfectly tangy. The fries were crisp and golden, quite obviously done in peanut oil, given the characteristic taste. After finishing, our boss ordered tiramisu for the table...don't know the cost, but it's worth any price! The balance of coffee, chocolate, and cream was just right and the presentation, scooped into a thin-stemmed cocktail glass, beats any presentation anywhere else. Probably the best tiramisu I've had from any restaurant (but nothing beats Mom's!) Overall, I would love to visit Serafini's with the hubby and have a candlelight dinner, but it would take some saving beforehand given that the prices take a significant jump after nightfall. If visiting for the first time, give it a try for lunch so you won't lighten your pocketbook unnecessarily.

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