Hey, y'all! While I'm a Louisville boy through and through, I love visiting Lexington and my friends in the 859. While I have my go-to spots in Lex that I've enjoyed for years, I'm excited to share about a new restaurant downtown that will be your new go-to spot (I can assure you that it is mine): ItalX.
This post is in partnership with ItalX. Thank you for supporting those that make JCP Eats possible. All opinions expressed, as always, are my own. Originally posted October 2020, updated September 2021.
ItalX: Italian Food In Downtown Lexington, KY
I was invited to the first soft opening of ItalX on Friday, October 2nd. I can only describe my experience with one word: immaculate. The sleek dining atmosphere, exceptional service, and the food/beverage menus are second-to-none. However, this makes sense when you realize who comprises the ItalX team: Chef Jonathan Lundy, Certified Sommelier TJ Cox, and Marketing Maven Brie Lowry Cox.
What To Order At ItalX
There's no need to look further than the calamari, which features fresh squid, pickled peppers, and a lemon-basil aioli sauce. Seriously -- so good.
However, I'd say that the calamari appetizer was second to the Carpaccio, which was truly extraordinary. The Beef Carpaccio features high-quality beef, cipolline (onion), patatine (potato chips), and pecorino. Yes, you read that correctly: potato chips. An interesting combination, sure, but trust me: it works. It just works. The added crunch is a gift from heaven above.
Looking for a third appetizer, you say? Order the Vongole Veraci, which features clams, vino bianco, garlic, and Calabrian Chili. Fabulous.
A quick aside, but an important one: don't sleep on the Cavolo Nero Caesar. It's one of the best caesar salads that I've ever had: tuscan kale, focaccia croutons, white anchioves, egg yolk, and Reggiano. Two thumbs up.
*note: all noodles are made in-house
My favorite dish of the night, without question: Lasagne di 24 Strati -- aka 24-layer lasagna. Iconic. Legendary. There are no words. Complete with tomatoes, spinach, and ricotta... this dish is a standout.
Cacio e Pepe is a favorite of many -- myself included. It's simple, yet comforting. And sinfully good. The version at ItalX - Candele Cacio e Pepe - is classic in that it includes toasted black pepper, butter, Pecorino, and Reggiano.
For the entree, my friend Lori and I split the Prime Strip Steak, which was prepared perfectly medium-rare, as requested. Complete with pecorino-peppercorn butter, balsamic roasted mushrooms, and polenta fritta -- it's finger-lickin' good, y'all.
If you are a long-time reader of the blog, you'll know that dessert isn't my favorite course (by any standard). That said, the Tiramisu al Marsala at ItalX is a. must. order. One of the best desserts that I've had in ages -- and the best tiramisu that has ever entered my mouth. It features espresso savoiardi, hazelnut brittle, and caramel. Y'all, I was scraping my plate.
The attention to detail, immaculate food + beverage pairings, and the overall dining experience receive my highest of praises. Please do yourself a favor and make a reservation soon - it's sure to be a new hot-spot. ItalX officially opened on Tuesday, October 6th.
ItalX is located in Lexington's City Center, 160 W. Main St, Lexington, KY 40507.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?
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