In the United States last year, the wine industry was worth $70.5 billion according to Wines Vines Analytics. The top five wine regions in the country are California, Washington, New York, Oregon and Texas, with many people spending their vacations traveling through places like Napa Valley, California, to sip their wine, eat delicious food, and take in picturesque vistas overlooking the vineyards. This is, at least, what I’ve read about. Having never experienced any of these places, I can’t say if it’s completely accurate, but heck, it’s on the internet so it must be true. I have at least seen lots of Instagram posts from my fancy friends who travel to such places. So while I can’t speak from firsthand knowledge about any of those destinations, I can tell you that right here in little ol’ Jessamine County, Kentucky, lies a beautiful restaurant at the top of a hill that overlooks vineyards and has the most mouth-watering dishes that I bet rivals those other places. It’s called Chrisman Mill Winery and it’s been in operation for over 15 years. Recently, Leigh and I visited their new restaurant, Fuego Grill, to learn a little more about its rich history.
Fuego means “fire” in Spanish and it’s a great name for this restaurant as one of the unique aspects of what they do here is cook over an authentic Argentinian wood-fired grill. Does it make a difference in the taste? We can heartily say, “Si, si!” The focus here is on clean eating. They source their food locally and grow many of their own herbs right off their beautiful patio. We started the meal with bacon-wrapped shrimp with drawn butter to dunk them in and a caprese salad with the most exquisite balsamic drizzled across it. The organic bread that they brought to the table was warm and fresh, crusty on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. For the main course, we enjoyed the sampler platter of meats. The sirloin, pork tenderloin and chicken was all cooked to perfection and we could taste the smoky flavor that comes as a result of cooking over the grill. When Chris and Denise Nelson, the owners, described how they fell in love with the taste while enjoying a vacation in Mexico and how they wanted to bring that back to Kentucky to share with others, including the painstaking efforts they undertook to procure this authentic Argentinian grill and have it installed at their property, it made us appreciate it even more! It was a carnivore’s delight! The sides were equally delicious. Mexican street corn, rice and black beans had our taste buds jumping for joy.
Another unique aspect of the experience at Fuego Grill is their all-inclusive dining which means for the price of $29 per person, you get your choice of one meat, appetizer, bread, accompaniments, dessert and iced tea or water. Considering the quality of the food and the old world feel of the place, we consider this to be a fantastic deal!
The food at Fuego is perfectly accompanied by their drink selections. Not only do they produce wine, of course, but also a black strap molasses rum called Streamertail by Hummingbird Distillery. What this means is they have the perfect ingredient for making lip-smacking cocktails. We enjoyed a delicious Moscow mule and caramel apple martini in addition to two flights of their wines. Whether you like sweet or dry, red or white, they have a wine you will enjoy.
Don’t you just love it when a wine is perfectly paired with a dish? We experienced this when the flourless chocolate mousse torte was served with their red wine that has hints of blackberry. This flavor combination left us with smiles across our faces. And since dessert is my absolute favorite part of a meal, I need to tell you about the Hummingbird cake and their OMG bread pudding. (They call it OMG because that’s what you say when you take a bite!) Both of those were simply fantastic. It was hard deciding on a favorite, but I guess I’d have to go with the chocolate torte. Again, anything perfectly paired with wine is a notch above for me.
Just as the wine was perfectly suited to the dessert, so is the new Fuego Grill to Chrisman Mill Winery. It affords people the luxury of having the feeling one would get sitting on a hillside in wine country, but without the headache or expense of actually packing their bags and traveling across the country. So take an escape from the everyday and book your reservation today by calling 859-264-9463!