Commonwealth Collaborations | Corto Lima

Happy Monday, y’all!

I am writing today to tell you about the hotspot to dine in Lexington (or Kentucky for that matter): Corto Lima. The name is derived from the location of the restaurant in Spanish – it is on the corner of Short (Corto) and North Limestone (Lima). While it is a small restaurant, it brings unparalleled food to the Kentucky food scene.

3ea13033-f396-4c7b-95d3-42dd7e4b1319

The masterminds behind the project? Chef/Owner Jonathan Lundy (former owner of Jonathan at Gratz Park and a James Beard Award Semi-Finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast) and Owner/Director of Operations TJ Cox. I had the pleasure of tasting ten – yes, ten – menu items with my dear friend Shelby and Brie Lowry, Director of Marketing and Events at Corto Lima.

At its core, Corto Lima is a small plate and tapas restaurant; however, there are larger menu items and I found the offerings to be great for sharing. The Latin American cuisine offerings draw inspiration from all over the Spanish-speaking world, ranging from Mexico to South America. Many courses are served in beautiful wood pieces that were custom-made; furthermore, the decor – from the bohemian and Aztec pillows, to the assortment of cacti, to the beautiful wall mural – was straight out of a magazine.

f35a044b-cd32-48ab-897d-57d9f102a09acf0eb579-eabd-46eb-bae8-a4654b4805d2

Corto Lima is known for their wide-ranging menu, amazing cocktails (most notably their margaritas – be sure to try it with Prickly Pear!), house-made sauces, and friendliness to all diners: meat-eaters, vegetarians, and those requiring gluten-free options.

c2e13168-02a2-4094-9a58-29a058beb7ae

be4a66ce-261b-487c-9a8b-6ac2736df758

Back to the cocktails. They were OUT OF THIS WORLD. If a small restaurant makes 300 margaritas/day… while hand-pressing each and every lime… they are clearly doing something right! I tried three of the offerings. The Margarita de Casa features Sauza Blue Reposado Tequila, Lime, and Agave (again, with the option to add Prickly Pear). The Mezcal Margarita (wow!) boasts Vida Mezcal, Lime, Agave, and Charred Jalapeño. The Hemmingway is composed of Cruzan Light Rum, Lime, Grapefruit, and Luxardo Maraschinos. All three were show-stoppers!

7ea66dd0-b7b1-4de2-a62a-710ba69addbc

9d181926-6c86-4ddc-a486-6c30cb118fe2

Let’s get to my favorite part – the food. The glorious, mouthwatering, life-changing food.

9ae2e80f-9599-4738-a1ab-9540c0f8baff

Queso Blanco – warm cheese dip with onions, peppers, tomatoes, and the option to add chorizo.

36cb5afd-cb49-4d91-a8ac-a6ae4659b364

Blue Corn empanadas – Chilean rock crab, green chilies, cream cheese, served with a pineapple-banana pepper hot sauce.

75113d91-daf6-4a15-80c0-78a502110d97

Cauliflower “Al Pastor” – achiote-sour orange marinated cauliflower, pineapple, onions, cilantro, and coconut-cashew crema.

img_3923

The best guacamole in Kentucky – avocado, roasted garlic, red onion, tomatoes, and barrel smoked salt.

img_3995

Huitlacoche Quesadillas – corn truffles, epazote, onions, jalapeños, Oaxacan cheese.

img_4037

My favorite dish: Chicken Chicharron – fried chicken thighs, crispy chicken skins, chili escabeche, cilantro, lime.

e5a6a543-0e8c-44bb-8e06-814f7547babf

Tamales – freshly-ground masa stuffed with barrel-smoked pork, served with salsa verde.

a622b5e3-93cf-4068-809d-4ff88f2ac8f7

Barrel-Smoked Pork Tacos (the best I’ve ever had – pulled pork, honey-jalapeño salsa, queso fresco), Steak Rajas de Poblano Tacos (grilled beef, pico de gallo, fire-roasted poblano chilies), and Quinoa Chaufa (stir fried vegetables with quinoa, eggs, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and the option to add chicken/shrimp).

fa17c7b4-5da9-48d3-97ce-81268b288f8b

Quinoa Croqueta Ensalada – quinoa croquettes with mixed greens, snow peas, green onions, carrots, tomatoes, and a creamy coconut-cashew dressing.

c9b7fe59-7b7d-469d-8360-d4619768df76

Steak Rajas de Poblano Tacos (described above).

86ba22fd-a053-48b7-84ea-e6598502d181

Quinoa Chaufa (described above).

The food? Delicious! The company? Top-notch. The atmosphere? Unparalleled in Kentucky. Missing the opportunity to dine here as soon as possible (and as often as possible)? A deep, grave error – one that you will regret.

To the staff of Corto Lima, thank you for hosting me for a fantastic afternoon! Cheers (which reminds me – I need another Mexcal…)!

You can visit Corto Lima at 101 W. Short St in Lexington, Kentucky. Visit their Website, follow them on Instagram, and like them on Facebook. Tell them that I sent ya!

As always, Happy Eating!

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

My best,

JCP

FTC: I was compensated for this post. I, at times, am fortunate enough to receive accommodations in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s