Honeywood: From Hemp to Shrimp
The buzz around Ouita Michel's newest restaurant, Honeywood, and its home, The Summit, an upscale shopping center positioned at the corner of Nicholasville Road and Man O' War Boulevard, has been slowly building into a crescendo as Lexingtonians have watched the buildings spring up one by one on the former Fritz Farm. Well, folks, the time has finally arrived! KY Taste Buds had to experience it firsthand, so off we went today, giddy at the prospect of digging into food that's locally sourced and presented in such a way as only Ouita can. If you don't know her name, you certainly have eaten at one of her other 6 eateries: Holly Hill Inn, Wallace Station, Windy Corner, Midway Bakery, Smithtown, and Glenn's Creek Café. She's pretty much royalty around here and it's with good reason.
First, the restaurant itself is simply beautiful. Simple. Clean. The floors are a mix of reclaimed barn wood stained a rich chocolate, and brown and white tiles. The oversized lighting fixtures immediately caught my eye upon arriving through the door. Gold sconces along the walls create a warm glow. Fresh floral arrangements were sprinkled throughout. The emphasis on promoting local products even extends to the artwork lining the walls. All combined, the atmosphere beckons you to come in and sit a while.
The staff is super friendly (shoutout to Robin, the hostess, and Mariah, our server) and having had the privilege of tasting everything on the menu, were able to give us some of their favorite picks. We started off with the sweet potato beignets. They were savory, not sweet, and served on scratch-made Benedictine. The red pepper sweet-and-sour chili sauce was the perfect accompaniment. Excellent choice! Wanting to save room for dessert (my favorite), Leigh chose the Kentucky Victory Hemp Salad which was mixed greens, kale, Victory Hemp Foods toasted hemp hearts (think quinoa), green apple, toasted pistachio, hemp vinaigrette and marinated tempeh (a soy product). I took our server's recommendation and chose the shrimp salad. The gulf shrimp were dressed in a creamy parsley and caper dressing on a Weisenberger Mill hoecake (another local product) with bacon jam. All I can say is, "It makes my tummy happy!"
When it came time for dessert, it was really hard to decide! Do we go with the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie or the Blue Monday Sundae made with Ruth Hunt's famous Blue Monday cream candy? We ended up with the Crank and Boom strawberry ice cream served with a Midway Bakery Corn Cookie. The presentation was adorable! It was served in this adorable little bathtub! Boy, did it hit the spot! Leigh and I debated which was better, the ice cream or the cookie. I went with the cookie; she went with the ice cream. That's why we make such a good pair!
We can't wait to get back to Honeywood to sample some of their other fabulous dishes. Beetloaf, anyone? What about the Stone Cross Farm pork chops with apple butter pork jus? Yes, please! Oh, and by the way, they have brunch, y'all! Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This place is another jewel in Ouita Michel's crown and we at KY Taste Buds are sure glad she continues supplying this area with some off-the-chart cuisine!
Tam and Leigh